The best astaxanthin supplement brands are going to have several quality features. Briefly, they will be made with natural astaxanthin, high potency, naturally sourced, and will also contain effective doses.
In this post, learn about the best astaxanthin supplements, astaxanthin benefits, potential side effects, and how to take them for optimal benefits.
Table of Contents
How the Best Astaxanthin Supplement Brands are Ranked
Astaxanthin products are either synthetic or made from haematococcus pluvialis microalgae (H. Pluvialis).
This type of algae helps support health because it is naturally rich in astaxanthin. Fish and seafood are also good sources of astaxanthin.
In order to get the most benefits from astaxanthin, you should choose naturally sourced astaxanthin from H. Pluvialis microalgae or fish.
The following criteria are other criteria of how the astaxanthin products are ranked for this post.
- Effective Dose-All of the astaxanthin in this list contain at least 10 mg per serving which is a common dose used in clinical studies.
- USDA organic products-with organic astaxanthin are prioritized because of their harvesting and safer growing practices. Only one brand fits this criteria, so naturally-derived astaxanthin is also a good bet.
- Source materials are natural and pure-most astaxanthin on the market today is synthetic. To make the best astaxanthin supplement brands listed here, the products have to be naturally sourced from either fish or H. Pluvialis.
- GMP certified-most brands here are either Good Manufacturing Practices certified and/or third-party inspected for quality and purity.
- Reviewer ratings-reviewer ratings are highly considered as well because consumers are ultimately a very important part of how happy you may be when you try the product as well. To make this list, the products needed to have at least 4.5 stars from their product website or from Amazon.
The Best Astaxanthin Supplement Brands Overview
The following astaxanthin nutritional supplements (microalgae haematococcus pluvialis) are fairly similar in quality, ratings, and strength. You can be assured of finding a healthy astaxanthin supplement from this list because of this.
Keep in mind, astaxanthin supplements can take some time to work, so give them at least 4 weeks to notice benefits.
Brands included on this list must be naturally sourced. They are also gluten-free and free of major allergens like soy and dairy as well. All come in soft gels or capsules which are easier to absorb than tablets too. In addition, almost all contain naturally occurring lutein because they are made from natural H. Pluvialis.
You will note that many are made from registered trademark processes.
AstaPure® is consistent, it is high in purity, it is free of contaminants, and it is produced sustainably.
Best Astaxanthin Supplement Brands Overall
Best Astaxanthin Brands
Pure Synergy Organic Astaxanthin is the only brand of USDA organic astaxanthin on the market today with Superpure® astaxanthin. Pure Synergy is also a certified B corporation, and the company uses an entirely natural process of extraction. While this brand costs a bit more per softgel than some, it is worth it for a truly pure astaxanthin supplement.
Double Wood Supplements Astaxanthin has 12 mg of Astareal® Astaxanthin and is a natural astaxanthin that is made in the USA as well as GMP verified sourced. Great value and is very highly rated, so it is one of the best natural astaxanthin supplement brands on the market today.
Jarrow Formulas Astaxanthin contains 12 mg of Astapure® Astaxanthin per serving and this is a GMP-certified and highly trusted brand of astaxanthin. Gets great ratings as well.
Sports Research Triple Strength Astaxanthin supplement contains 12 mg of natural astaxanthin per gelcap and contains coconut oil as a carrier instead of seed oils. This brand gets overwhelmingly high ratings for improving health. Sports Research is also a GMP-compliant company.
Now® Extra Strength Astaxanthin is a reputable brand of astaxanthin that contains 12 mg of natural astaxanthin along with lutein, canthaxanthin, and beta carotene from H. pluvialis. Great ratings and a great price with this product.
Peak Performance Astaxanthin is made with organic coconut oil and has 12 mg of Astapure® astaxanthin per gelcap. Each bottle contains a 1-month supply so this is great to try if you are not sure how well astaxanthin works for you. 3rd party-tested for purity.
Healthy Origins Astaxanthin is 12 mg of Astapure® Astaxanthin and also contains 6.7 mg of d-alpha tocopherol vitamin E, which is a natural type of vitamin E. Also contains 227 mg of lutein per soft gel serving.
Nutrex Bioastin Hawaiian Astaxanthin is highly rated by thousands of reviewers and contains 12 mg of naturally occurring astaxanthin per gelcap. Each bottle contains a 5-month supply of astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin Benefits Overview
The benefits of astaxanthin are vast.
Clinical research shows that taking astaxanthin pills helps with many aspects of health because of their rich antioxidant content.
In fact, research shows that astaxanthin antioxidant capacity is greater than almost any compound. It is more than 100 times stronger as an antioxidant than vitamin E, for example.
Owing to its rich antioxidant content, astaxanthin can help neutralize free radicals in the body. This is why it has so many potential health benefits.
Supports Healthy Skin
By far the most research out there about astaxanthin is related to improving skin health and reducing skin aging.
In fact, astaxanthin is even more protective than other antioxidants for the skin, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene.
For example, middle-aged people received astaxanthin for 29 days and all had characteristics of younger skin at the end of the study. They also benefited from less markers of oxidative stress in their blood as well.
Another study found that women using supplements of astaxanthin reduced UV skin damage and prevented the wrinkles associated with sun damage. The dose mattered too: 12 mg helped reduce sun damage while 6 mg per day did not.
By helping the skin retain moisture and possibly increase sebum production, astaxanthin also helps improve the appearance of the skin as well.
Another way that astaxanthin may help protect the skin is by increasing its collagen content.
Topical use of astaxanthin also reduces the appearance of wrinkles as well.
Astaxanthin Reduces Inflammation
Like many powerful antioxidant supplements, astaxanthin helps reduce inflammation in the body. It is able to dampen inflammatory compounds in the body, including TNF-ɑ and NF-κB.
Using astaxanthin may also decrease inflammation in the body because it reduces the oxidation of fats in the blood.
Fascinatingly, astaxanthin even reduces inflammation in brain microglial cells.
Owing to its strong antioxidant effects, astaxanthin helps improve eye health as well.
In a research study of patients with age-related macular degeneration, antioxidant supplements and vitamins with astaxanthin improved central retina function.
Visual acuity also improved in people receiving astaxanthin, zeaxanthin, and lutein over a two-year period compared to people who did not supplement in another study. They also had improvements in their visual function scores.
Not only that but research also shows that astaxanthin can reduce symptoms of dry eye as well.
You should know that astaxanthin supplements are made from H. Pluvialis also contains lutein and other carotenoids as well as astaxanthin.
Nerve Protection and Brain Health
Like many antioxidants, astaxanthin is helpful because it helps damper down inflammatory compounds that are harmful to the nervous system.
Fascinatingly, astaxanthin can even cross the blood-brain barrier, which makes it even more beneficial for brain and nerve health.
Astaxanthin promotes nerve cell growth and neuroplasticity according to early research.
Compounds like astaxanthin that have these benefits are called nootropics. Research shows that astaxanthin may improve brain function as well.
Not surprisingly, astaxanthin may also improve memory. A recent study showed that supplemental astaxanthin and tocotrienols helped improve overall memory and visual memory compared to people receiving a placebo.
Keep in mind that this research is still early, so there is not a lot of proof yet that astaxanthin works to improve brain health in people. But it certainly won’t hurt to try it.
Astaxanthin May Improve Immunity
Researchers think that astaxanthin may play a major role in immunity and can even dampen down inflammatory compounds because of this. It is able to temper oxidative stress and immune impairment that goes along with inflammation according to early research.
Promotes Gut Health
Another major benefit of astaxanthin is that it helps to increase the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
One type of probiotic bacteria that helps increase by 12-fold is called Akkermansia. This probiotic is linked to lower body mass index (BMI), lower rates of type 1 diabetes, and even a reduction in inflammatory bowel diseases.
Also, astaxanthin promotes a healthy balance of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes types of bacteria in the gut.
By improving the gut microbiome, astaxanthin may even reduce the risk of fatty liver disease.
My personal experience of taking astaxanthin has been pretty positive. First, I feel less eye strain while working at the computer. Additionally, I’m noticing that my skin looks more vibrant after just a few days of taking it.
I find it very easy to take because it is a small gel cap. My recommendation is to just make sure to take it with a hearty meal that has fat in it to help it absorb better.
Here are what other reviewers have to say:
“I was recommended this product a few years ago and I continue to like the results. My eye muscles feel more relaxed also. I didn’t realize it also has a skin shield from UV exposure. Dosage is 3 soft gels a day, but I take less.”
“Been on this for about a month now it has helped clear up my rashes due to autoimmune disease RA. I just found myself not having to take other medicine to get through the day! It has also helped my husband with a psoriasis rash on his calf. It has never looked better. So something is working. At first, we did not know why things were getting better until we both started to look at everything we were taking and this was it! We are sticking with it.”
How long does it take for astaxanthin to work?
This can vary depending on how much inflammation your body has, but it’s best to give this supplement at least 4 weeks for it to work.
When is it best to take astaxanthin?
Make sure you try to take astaxanthin with a meal that has fat in it because it is a fat-soluble antioxidant.
Does astaxanthin have vitamin A?
No. Even though astaxanthin is a type of carotenoid, it does not have any vitamin A activity in the body.
How much astaxanthin do I need?
For optimal benefits, it is best to try to get the amount of astaxanthin used in human research studies. Clinical studies use between 9-12 mg per day when they look at the benefits of astaxanthin.
Are there any side effects of taking astaxanthin?
You should avoid astaxanthin if you are allergic or sensitive to algae or algae products or fish if your astaxanthin is fish-derived.
Some people notice an orange color in their bowel movements from astaxanthin pigments. This is normal. If your stool is red or dark, this is not caused by astaxanthin but means you should seek medical attention.
Does astaxanthin have hormone side effects?
When combined with saw palmetto, astaxanthin increased testosterone levels in men while also decreasing estradiol. However, more research is needed in this area.
How much is too much astaxanthin?
No studies have shown toxicity of astaxanthin at doses of 20-50 mg per day.
Does astaxanthin increase energy levels?
No research studies have looked at sports exercise recovery or the energy benefits of astaxanthin yet, although reviewers often find that they have more energy when they take astaxanthin.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 23 years as well as a book author of the new book Gut Fix and The Whole Body Guide to Gut Health, Heidi has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. She has researched supplements and natural medicine throughout her career. One of her biggest loves is helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.