Astaxanthin - Key for Aging Skin 

Astaxanthin is one of several natural compounds that have been shown to increase longevity or help health conditions related to the aging process, especially of the skin (Ding A-J et al, 2017). Many are concerned about the appearance of aging skin, but there is more than just appearance. The skin’s reduction in structural integrity and function can affect ones’ health. 

It has been shown that oxidative stress affects all cells in the body, including the aging and damaging effects to human skin cells. Exposure to sun ultraviolet (UV light causes increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that causes faster aging (Kim Y-D et al. 2017). This causes skin DNA damage, less antioxidant production and degradation of collagen and elastin in the middle layer of skin, the dermis (Davinelli S et al, 2018). 

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that provides that robust pigment color in krill, salmon and shrimp. It has been shown to provide antioxidant benefits and support to the inflammatory response in the human body helping to maintain proper skin function. 

Astaxanthin Skin Research 

Two human clinicals performed (Tominaga K et al, 2012). 

One 8 week clinical study was done with 30 healthy women in an open-label setting administering astaxanthin. There was significant improvement observed with astaxanthin from microalgae being provided in an oral dose combined with a topical application. Astaxanthin improved crow’s feet wrinkles, the size of age spots, skin elasticity and texture; and moisture within the outer layer of skin cells. 

After that study, a 6 week, double blind, placebo controlled study with 36 healthy men was performed. Astaxanthin showed improvement in crow’s feet wrinkles, elasticity; and reduction in water loss within the skin.

Laboratory research and Clinical study 

Laboratory research was performed to evaluate astaxanthin’s role during inflammation of the skin. It was shown that astaxanthin diminished the ultraviolet B (UVB) inflammatory chemical, cytokine in skin cells (Tominaga K et al, 2017). 

There was such a strong belief of its ability to protect the skin that a 4 month human, double blind clinical study was performed with healthy women subjects. The study examined wrinkles and skin moisture. By the end of the study there was a significant deterioration in the placebo group compared to astaxanthin group. 

In the placebo group, the inflammatory chemical called Interleukin-1α significantly increased in the stratum corneum, which is the outer layer of skin. The higher dose of astaxanthin performed well and interleukin levels did not rise. 

The stratum corneum has the function of protecting the body from the environment. There are different enzyme expressions that are associated with loss of moisture and skin cells to lose their integrity. 

The study investigators concluded that astaxanthin may help reduce the degradation of skin during the aging process and help to maintain healthy skin (Tominaga K et al, 2017). 

In summary, there is a concern by many of the appearance of aging skin. The effects of the skin also affects ones’ health. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, which provides the rich color in krill, salmon and shrimp. It has strong antioxidant properties and provides support to reduce inflammation helping the skin function properly during the aging process.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

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