Astaxanthin, a red carotenoid, is unique among antioxidants due to its molecular form, blood-brain transferability and powerful properties. Human clinical research substantiates astaxanthin’s health benefits to inflammation, heart health, cognitive health, eye health, immunity, sports nutrition and skin health.

Sandy Almendarez, VP of Content

March 7, 2017

1 Min Read
Astaxanthin for Human Health

Distinguishable by its rich red color, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant from the family of carotenoids. Astaxanthin is a long molecule with hydroxyl groups on the end of the molecule. “The presence of the hydroxyl and keto endings on each ionone ring explains some unique features of astaxanthin, such as its ability to be esterified, its high antioxidant potency and a more polar configuration than other carotenoids," explained Oran Ayalon, Ph.D., vice president for development and research, Algalo, Frutarom group.

Then, there’s the blood-brain transferability. “Astaxanthin can cross the blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers to bring its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant protection to these vital organs, while other good antioxidant carotenoids like lycopene and beta-carotene can’t get through these barriers," said Bob Capelli, executive vice president, global marketing, AlgaeHealth, a division of BGG.

These properties, and others, combine to make astaxanthin a powerful antioxidant.

However, astaxanthin is highly reactive with oxygen, so great care needs to be taken with the material once the astaxanthin has been extracted from the algae. “If exposed to oxygen, astaxanthin will oxidize into a degradation product called astacene and will lose all its benefits," warned Gerald Cysewski, Ph.D., founder and CEO, Cyanotech.

When manufacturing methods are effective, and bioavailability is realized, astaxanthin imparts a slew of benefits to humans, from athletic performance to heart health, skin health, eye health and more.

Learn more about the growing practices, manufacturing concerns and research behind astaxanthin in INSIDER’s Science Behind Astaxanthin Digital Magazine.

About the Author(s)

Sandy Almendarez

VP of Content, Informa


• Well-known subject matter expert within the health & nutrition industry with more than 15 years’ experience reporting on natural products.

• She cares a lot about how healthy products are made, where their ingredients are sourced and how they affect human health.

• She knows that it’s the people behind the businesses — their motivations, feelings and emotions — drive industry growth, so that’s where she looks for content opportunities.

Sandy Almendarez is VP of Content for SupplySide and an award-winning journalist. She oversees the editorial and content marketing teams for the B2B media brands Natural Products Insider and Food and Beverage Insider, the education programming for the health and nutrition trade shows SupplySide East and SupplySide West, and community engagement across the SupplySide portfolio. She is a seasoned content strategist with a passion for health, good nutrition, sustainability and inclusion. With over 15 years of experience in the health and nutrition industry, Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a content-focused business leader. With specialization in topics ranging from product development to content engagement, creative marketing and c-suite decision making, her work is known for its engaging style and its relevance for business leaders in the health and nutrition industry.

In her free time, Sandy loves running, drinking hot tea and watching her two kids grow up. She brews her own “Sandbucha” homemade kombucha; she’s happy to share if you’re ever in Phoenix!


Speaker credentials

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University


Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like