There’s an exhaustive list of supplements you can take for various health goals, and sometimes we might be a little spoiled for choice! One nutrient in supplement form that often goes unnoticed is astaxanthin. It has various functions in our bodies, some of which include being a natural antioxidant, acting as an anti-inflammatory agent that reduces free radicals formed in the body, and supporting the immune system.
Astaxanthin is also one of the key vitamins that can support healthy immune system function, and you can take it regularly through diet or supplementation. It is naturally found in organisms that feed on it, such as salmon, and prawn - which is what gives them their red color (1). Let’s get to know the role of astaxanthin in preserving our immune health.
Benefits of astaxanthin in supporting immune health
Here are some of the ways astaxanthin can help support your immunity:
Supports muscle performance
A great way to boost your immune system is by keeping your body healthy through exercise. Astaxanthin can be useful to your exercise regimen as it can support muscle performance and edurance (1). With the effects that astaxanthin has on our muscles, you could improve your exercise performance as well as help your immunity system get stronger.
Helps reduce inflammation
Inflammation is part of your immune system response. It occurs when your body tries to heal itself from things like injuries, toxins, and infections. Whenever you see a wound swelling up or turning red, it’s your body’s immune system’s response to an irritant like a germ or bacteria (2).
However, too much inflammation can cause damage to the body. Inflammation is related to a long list of health ailments (6, 8).
Astaxanthin supports your immune health by acting as an antioxidant which can decrease oxidative stress (3, 4).
It has also been shown that because of its anti-inflammatory properties, astaxanthin has been used in clinical trials to treat metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, cognitive impairment, muscle damage, visual fatigue, and dermatological diseases with hopeful results (3).
Maintains immune system health
Astaxanthin maintains immune system health by helping mitigate tissue damage that may occur due to excessive immune system response (8).
Astaxanthin modulates the production of various immune system cells, without causing significant cytotoxic effects (7). It can also support healthy immune system function by stimulating the production of immune cells. Because of this astaxanthin may help in treating or preventing immune diseases.
Other vitamins to boost immunity
Besides astaxanthin, here are other vitamins that can support immune health which you can include as part of your everyday diet:
Vitamin C helps maintain healthy immune system function (9). This vitamin is found in citrus fruits, spinach, brussel sprouts, and papaya.
Vitamin D helps support the immune system by maintaining absorption of dietary nutrient intake (9). You can get this from the sun, as well as eating salmon, tuna, and sardines.
Iron is an antioxidant that reduces free radicals formed in the body, and helps the immune system to fight illness. Its main function in the body is to help carry oxygen to your cells (9). Iron can come from chicken, sardines, mussels, and broccoli.
*Iron should only be taken if prescribed by your doctor.
When paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise, astaxanthin can help support immune health. It’s a good thing that Vitable Australia’s subscription vitamin service carries supplements like astaxanthin and other vitamins that can help you achieve your daily nutrient intake to support immunity. The vitamin delivery service in Australia also ensures that you get your vitamins with ease!
Find out more about other supplements that can support immunity:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Vitable. “Astaxanthin”. Vitable. Published (n.d.) on https://research.vitable.com.au/astaxanthin. Accessed December 5, 2021.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. “What is an inflammation?”. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Published February 22, 2018 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/. Accessed December 5, 2021.
- Ruriko Nakao, O. Lynne Nelson, Jean Soon Park, Bridget D. Mathison, Pam A. Thompson And Boon P. Chew. “Effect of Astaxanthin Supplementation on Inflammation and Cardiac Function in BALB/c Mice”. Anticancer Research.. Published July 30, 2020 on https://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/30/7/2721#abstract-1. Accessed December 5, 2021.
- Ming Xian Chang and Fan Xiong . “Astaxanthin and its Effects in Inflammatory Responses and Inflammation-Associated Diseases: Recent Advances and Future Directions”. MDPI. Published November 16, 2020 on https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/bccb/d601449aecde3071391236406c4efb08cf7f.pdf. Accessed December 5, 2021.
- Harvard University: Science in the News. “The Reason for the Season: why flu strikes in winter”.Harvard University: Science in the News. Published December 1, 2014 on https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2014/the-reason-for-the-season-why-flu-strikes-in-winter/. Accessed December 5, 2021.
- William Snyder. " The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Inflammation". Vanderbilt School of Medicine. Published Feb 10, 2015 on https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/vanderbilt-medicine/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-of-inflammation/. Accessed December 24, 2021.
- Kuan-Hung Lin, et. al., "Astaxanthin, a Carotenoid, Stimulates Immune Responses by Enhancing IFN-γ and IL-2 Secretion in Primary Cultured Lymphocytes in Vitro and ex Vivo". International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Published Jan 2016 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4730289/. Accessed December 24, 2021.
- Muscular Dystrophy. " Immune System Modulation". Updated July 2019 on https://musculardystrophynews.com/immune-system-modulation/. Accessed December 24, 2021.
- Cleveland Clinic. "8 Vitamins & Minerals You Need for a Healthy Immune System". Published n.d. on https://health.clevelandclinic.org/eat-these-foods-to-boost-your-immune-system/. Accessed December 24, 2021.