Astaxanthin: A Potential Mitochondrial-Targeted Antioxidant Treatment in Diseases and with Aging

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Nov 11:2019:3849692. doi: 10.1155/2019/3849692. eCollection 2019.


Oxidative stress is characterized by an imbalance between prooxidant and antioxidant species, leading to macromolecular damage and disruption of redox signaling and cellular control. It is a hallmark of various diseases including metabolic syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, inflammatory, and age-related diseases. Several mitochondrial defects have been considered to contribute to the development of oxidative stress and known as the major mediators of the aging process and subsequent age-associated diseases. Thus, mitochondrial-targeted antioxidants should prevent or slow down these processes and prolong longevity. This is the reason why antioxidant treatments are extensively studied and newer and newer compounds with such an effect appear. Astaxanthin, a xanthophyll carotenoid, is the most abundant carotenoid in marine organisms and is one of the most powerful natural compounds with remarkable antioxidant activity. Here, we summarize its antioxidant targets, effects, and benefits in diseases and with aging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Xanthophylls / pharmacology
  • Xanthophylls / therapeutic use


  • Antioxidants
  • Xanthophylls
  • astaxanthine