Astaxanthin as a Potent Antioxidant for Promoting Bone Health: An Up-to-Date Review

Antioxidants (Basel). 2023 Jul 24;12(7):1480. doi: 10.3390/antiox12071480.


In recent years, bone loss and its associated diseases have become a significant public health concern due to increased disability, morbidity, and mortality. Oxidative stress and bone loss are correlated, where oxidative stress suppresses osteoblast activity, resulting in compromised homeostasis between bone formation and resorption. This event causes upregulation of bone remodeling turnover rate with an increased risk of fractures and bone loss. Therefore, supplementation of antioxidants can be proposed to reduce oxidative stress, facilitate the bone remodeling process, suppress the initiation of bone diseases, and improve bone health. Astaxanthin (3,3'-dihydroxy-4-4'-diketo-β-β carotene), a potent antioxidant belonging to the xanthophylls family, is a potential ROS scavenger and could be a promising therapeutic nutraceutical possessing various pharmacological properties. In bone, astaxanthin enhances osteoblast differentiation, osteocytes numbers, and/or differentiation, inhibits osteoclast differentiation, cartilage degradation markers, and increases bone mineral density, expression of osteogenic markers, while reducing bone loss. In this review, we presented the up-to-date findings of the potential anabolic effects of astaxanthin on bone health in vitro, animal, and human studies by providing comprehensive evidence for its future clinical application, especially in treating bone diseases.

Keywords: antioxidant; astaxanthin; bone; osteoarthritis; osteoporosis; osteosarcoma.

Publication types

  • Review