Astaxanthin for Joint Health

Arthritis, inflammation of the joints, affects nearly one in every five Americans. Our joints were designed to last us a lifetime, however, due to lifestyle choices, they gradually get inflamed, leading to various types of arthritis. Common symptoms of arthritis are swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease) is the most common type of arthritis which occurs when cartilage, the cushioning surface on the ends of the bones, gets worn out and bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Another common type is inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that eats away on the joints. Overuse of joints while playing sports or typing for too long also cause joint problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow.

The mild, moderate or severe symptoms of arthritis usually get worse over time, resulting in chronic pain, difficulty in walking or climbing stairs, and inability to perform daily activities. It can even cause permanently crooked finger joints and other changes that can only be seen on X-ray.

Prescription medications do not address the root cause of inflammation or degeneration of joints. They simply mask the pain and reduce inflammation temporarily. What you need is a solution that addresses the root of the problem, in the form of diet and dietary supplements.

Astaxanthin for arthritis

There are a number of foods that you can eat to reduce inflammation. However, if you have severe inflammation in the form of arthritis, the foods may not be effective. Luckily there are dietary supplements that you can take. One of the most popular pain supplements at the present moment is astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin). It is a reddish pigment that occurs naturally in certain algae, crab, Pacific salmon, shrimp, trout, lobster, fish eggs, and other seafoods. Manufacturers extract it and offer it as a supplement in therapeutic doses. It is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory so it is used to treat various arthritis conditions when taken orally. Its anti-inflammatory properties come from its antioxidant tendencies.


Astaxanthin is a very powerful antioxidant whose role is to neutralize free radicals that damage joints. In a study that compared it to other carotenoids, it proved to be the most powerful of all carotenoids in its role as an antioxidant. This is due to its ability to integrate itself into every cell, tissue and organ of the body. It is:

Best of all, it doesn’t convert into a pro-oxidant at high concentrations, the way other antioxidants do. So, it can never cause destructive oxidation if you take a lot of it. That makes it a perfect supplement for joints.

In one animal study published in the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science in 2003, scientists found that it is effective against oxidative stress caused by nitric oxide. Another study published in 2012 in the American Association for Hand Surgery publication, astaxanthin showed promise for managing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Reduces inflammation

Some studies have shown that astaxanthin can reduce inflammation and pain related to arthritis. It acts on reactive oxygen species to reduce the type of proteins that cause inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Prevents arthritis

As an antioxidant, astaxanthin reduces oxidation, a natural process that is responsible for inflammation in the body. By reducing/eliminating oxidative stress, and combating inflammation, it prevents the development of arthritis and many other chronic ailments. If you currently do not have joint problems, you can begin to prevent them by eating sea foods that contain astaxanthin. Alternatively, you can begin to take the supplement.

Health risks

Astaxanthin naturally lowers blood pressure, so if you are taking blood pressure medication it is wise to be careful.

Like other carotenoids, astaxanthin can potentially affect the colour of the skin if taken at high doses for lengthy periods. That effect has only been observed in animals so far. In humans, doses of up to 100 mg taken at once, and 40 mg daily for four weeks did not cause skin color changes or other adverse effects.

Take away

Astaxanthin is a very effective antioxidant that will prevent the development of arthritis. If you already have arthritis, it will reduce the damage already taking place in your joints and reduce inflammation, bringing relief.

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