Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the natural antioxidant astaxanthin in functional dyspepsia in different doses and compared with placebo.
Design: The study was a controlled, prospective, randomized, and double blind trial.
Participants: Patients with functional dyspepsia, divided into three groups with 44 individuals in each group (placebo, 16mg, or 40mg astaxanthin, respectively).
Interventions: Participants were asked to accept gastroscopy before treatment, together with questionnaires: GSRS and SF-36. Urea breath test (UBT) was done before the treatment.
Main outcome: The primary objective was to test the hypothesis that the antioxidant astaxanthin at two doses regimens compared to placebo should ameliorate gastrointestinal discomfort measured as GSRS in patients with functional dyspepsia, who were either positive or negative for Helicobacter pylori, after 4 weeks of treatment.
Results: At the end of therapy (week 4) no difference between the three treatment groups was observed regarding mean Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) scores of abdominal pain, indigestion and reflux syndromes. The same results were observed at the end of follow-up. However reduction of reflux syndrome before treatment to week 4 was significantly pronounced in the higher (40mg) dose compared to the other treatment groups (16mg and placebo, p=0.04).
Conclusion: In general, no curative effect of astaxanthin was found in functional dyspepsia patients. Significantly greater reduction of reflux symptoms were detected in patients treated with the highest dose of the natural antioxidant astaxanthin. The response was more pronounced in H. pylori-infected patients.