Astaxanthin Benefits and Information

Astaxanthin is a red pigment that occurs naturally in a wide variety of living organisms. Astaxanthin is found in many human foods and you are likely being consumed in the every day diet. Most crustaceans including crawfish, shrimp, crabs, and lobster are tinted red by accumulated astaxanthin. The coloration of fish is often due to astaxanthin; the pink flesh of a healthy wild salmon is a good example. Not only does astaxanthin provide for pigmentation in many animals, but it also has been found to be essential for their proper growth and survival.

Astaxanthin is one of a group of natural pigments known as carotenoids. In nature, carotenoids are produced principally by plants and their microscopic relatives, the microalgae. Animals, including humans, are not able synthesize carotenoids; thus ultimately they must obtain these pigments from the plants and algae. Commercial production of astaxanthin from the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis is a growing business worldwide primarily due to the rapid growth of this microorganism and its high astaxanthin content. In addition to production from natural sources, astaxanthin may be chemically synthesized.