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:
- Interaction with others
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:
- Parathyroid disorders
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:
- Birth control
- Cholesterol-lowering medications
- 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
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