Positive effects of astaxanthin on lipid profiles and oxidative stress in overweight subjects

Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2011 Nov;66(4):363-9. doi: 10.1007/s11130-011-0258-9.


Astaxanthin, a carotenoid, has antioxidant activity as well as many positive effects, such as anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects. We performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to investigate the effects of astaxanthin on lipid profiles and oxidative stress in overweight and obese adults in Korea. In total, 27 subjects with body mass index >25.0 kg/m(2) were enrolled and randomly assigned into two groups administered astaxanthin or placebo capsules for 12 weeks. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1), and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) were measured before and after intervention. Malondialdehyde (MDA), isoprostane (ISP), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and total antioxidant capacity (TAC), as oxidative stress biomarkers, were measured at baseline and at 4, 8, and 12 weeks after intervention. LDL cholesterol and ApoB were significantly lower after treatment with astaxanthin, compared with the start of administration, whereas none of the lipid profiles was changed in the placebo group. At the baseline, all four biomarkers were not significantly different between the two groups. Compared with the placebo group, MDA and ISP were significantly lower, but TAC was significantly higher in the astaxanthin group at 12 weeks. These results suggest that supplementary astaxanthin has positive effects by improving the LDL cholesterol, ApoB, and oxidative stress biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Korea
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Xanthophylls / administration & dosage
  • Xanthophylls / blood
  • Xanthophylls / pharmacology
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Lipids
  • Xanthophylls
  • astaxanthine