Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid (a pigment found in nature that gives fruits and vegetables their bright orange, yellow, or red hue) that’s found most abundantly in the freshwater microalgae H.pluvialis. The microalgae are a staple in the diet of vibrantly rosy-red animals such as flamingos, crabs, salmon, and lobsters. It is even suggested that astaxanthin is what gives salmon the endurance they need to swim upstream! H.pluvialis microalgae is green in its normal habitat, but when exposed to environmental stressors it responds by producing astaxanthin, which turns the microalgae red. Astaxanthin has a unique molecular structure that allows it to span the entire cell membrane, providing antioxidant protection from the inside-out. Antioxidants have the ability to protect healthy cells from oxidative damage caused by harmful free radicals, which can be produced by things like poor diet, and environmental factors such as UV exposure, air pollutants, and tobacco smoke1. Oxidative damage plays a crucial role in everything from skin ageing and dermis damage, to muscle damage and inflammation2,3. Antioxidants like Astaxanthin work to neutralise the oxidative stress that can occur in every organ in our bodies, including our skin, brain, heart, and eyes.
Bilberries are found in Swedish forests. This berry is one of the richest sources of anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid with strong antioxidant benefits. Anthocyanins are also responsible for the berry’s intense red-blue hue.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
1 Pham-Huy et al., 2008.
Pham-Huy, Lien & He, Hua & Pham-Huy, Chuong. (2008). Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health. International journal of biomedical science : IJBS. 4. 89-96.
2 (Davinelli et al., 2018; Djordjevik et al., 2014)
Davinelli, Sergio & Nielsen, Michael & Scapagnini, Giovanni. (2018). Astaxanthin in Skin Health, Repair, and Disease: A Comprehensive Review. Nutrients. 10. 522. 10.3390/nu10040522.
3 Djordjevic, Brizita & Baralic, Ivana & Kotur, Jelena & Stefanović, Aleksandra & Ivanišević, Jasmina & Radivojevic, N & Andjelkovic, M & Dikic, Nenad. (2012). Effect of astaxanthin supplementation on muscle damage and oxidative stress markers in elite young soccer players. The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness. 52. 382-92.