Astaxanthin Side Effects: Allergies & Biological Functions

Studies show that antioxidants (such as alpha lipoic acid) can be a powerful tool for better health. Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant derived from algae. Antioxidants aid in reducing the amount of oxidized LDL-cholesterol in the body. This type of cholesterol contributes to the formation of plaque buildup inside arteries. This process potentially leads to heart disease, blood clots, and strokes. Astaxanthin also help with certain gastro-intestinal ailments.

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Even in the case of high doses, no known toxic astaxanthin side effects have been observed in humans or animals. Some people may notice a slight orange tint to fecal matter while taking astaxanthin. This is a harmless effect caused by small quantities of the pigment passing through the digestive system.

Although no effects have been encountered that reach a level of toxicity, this article will discuss:

  • Precautions
  • Interaction with others

Three Precautions

1. Allergies

Individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to astaxanthin or related carotenoids, hypersensitivity to an astaxanthin source of algae, hormone-sensitive conditions, or immune disorders should not include astaxanthin in their daily skin regimen.

2. Side Effects

The Code of Federal Regulations has deemed astaxanthin as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). It is a healthy additive to seafood, is a useful antioxidant and helps to treat cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Side effects, although non-toxic, can involve:

  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Increase in skin pigmentation
  • Additional hair growth
  • changes in hormonal balance
  • lowered calcium levels in the blood
  • decreased libido

Use caution in cases of:

  • Hypertension
  • Asthma
  • Parathyroid disorders
  • Osteoporosis

3. Gender

A study of astaxanthin as an agent to treat male infertility was performed, but results were neither conclusive, nor did they show a benefit. However, astaxanthin is potentially dangerous for pregnant women as it possibly affects reproductive hormones.

Astaxanthin Effects on Biological Functions

Astaxanthin may have some effects on biological functions.

Astaxanthin may interact with the medications for:

  • Asthma
  • Menopause
  • Birth control
  • Parathyroid
  • Cholesterol-lowering medications

Astaxanthin may:

  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Have hormonal effects
  • Have effects similar to those of the antihistamines etirizine dihydrochloride and azelastine
  • Lower levels of calcium in the blood
  • Decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation

For more on Astaxanthin, watch this Perricone MD video:

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61 Comments • Please comment below


  1. I have had a very intense rash-like reaction from the topical application of Cold Plasma D on my neck and chest. Customer service was very helpful in that they did not try and push the product, instead telling me to discontinue use and that the side effect would most likely get worse before it gets better. She told me I should have done a “patch test” on my temple…now, I am frustrated as I purchased this from QVC and no where in their presentation did they recommend a skin patch test, infact, the host said this product was suitable for all skin types. Well, it is not and I am miserable as I feel like I have a 2cd degree burn.

  2. I’m 38 years old male in good shape. I’ve been taking 4mg/day for 3 months now with other vitamins, which include fish oil and Acetyl L-carnitine. I was feeling good until recently when I started having low back-pelvic pain which has worsened over the past week. At times the pain is so bad that it takes me a while to get out of bed or straighten my back. Has anyone experienced these symptoms with astaxanthin? Does this mean my Ca levels are reduced, since I read that may be an unlikely side effect.

  3. Your cold plasma sub d has given me a rash that doesn’t go away even when I stopped using it a week ago. My dermatologist dais it caused contact dermatitis and now I have to pay for medication and treatments to take care of it. What will you do for me?

    Dr. Herrero

  4. I am currently taking 12 mg dosage per day. How will this interfere with my HRT.

  5. Jon 16mg is a very high dosage. Maybe you should lower it.

  6. I have tried 16mg of ResVitale’s Astaxanthin for the past two days with 5000iu of D3 and 900mg of fish oil and have been getting a headache that is dull for a few hours. Is this something others have noticed?

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  8. Took Astaxzanthin ordered from Dr. Mercola. Within two days I had the most horrendous dizzy spells/vertigo I have ever experienced. Got off it immediately and recovered. I have some liver issues and I think my body could not handle it but they don’t warn you about that. And they should. BEWARE!

  9. Hello:
    I take medication for hypothyroidism, will this supplement interfere with the absorption of the meds? Is it safe to take with eltroxin? Also, I’m vegetarian,I do take krill, Vit D and CoQ10, would this be sufficient along with a very plant-based diet or would the Astaxanthin be enough on it’s own or in conjunction with these other supplements? Thank you

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  11. Thanks for the info on astaxanthin – I intend to become pregnant again soon so will be careful with the dosage.