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New Research Shows Astaxanthin Has Major Promise in Preventing Aging

July 20, 2017 Reviewed by Marta 3 Comments

It may sound like something to treat indigestion, sure, but I am not being dramatic when I say astaxanthin is one of the best antioxidants out there. You may have heard me talk about this ingredient before, as it has an interesting research pedigree. And, now, there is new evidence that astaxanthin has serious promise in preventing aging by activating a longevity gene, making it more than worthy of a revisit. 

All of us have a gene called FOX03, but only a minority of us have a version of it that ensures a long life. A recent study has shown that astaxanthin activates the FOXO3 gene common in all humans to make it act like the "longevity" version. It should be noted that the study was on mice, was dose dependent (the mice taking the higher dose had a 90 percent increase in FOX30 activation), and — the biggest caveat of all — the research was conducted by a company that makes astaxanthin using resources at the University of Hawaii.

Still, I was especially intrigued by this research, as I am currently testing some chocolate-based supplements called Esthechoc that are heavily-spiked with astaxanthin. I’ll report back in a few weeks, but if chocolate can boost my FOX30s, then I’m all for it. In any case, astaxanthin does have supporting research that shows it is undeniably one of the most powerful antioxidants out there.

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, similar to but less well known than betacarotene (present in carrots), lycopene (in tomatoes) and lutein (in spinach). When compared to its fellow carotenoids, as well as to vitamin E, which is considered one of the strongest antioxidants, astaxanthin showed the highest antioxidant activity toward peroxyl radicals (a variety of damaging free radicals) in two trials and second to only vitamin E in the third. There are plenty of studies that show it to be a potent quencher of singlet oxygen — and according to one study, the best there is. Another much-quoted study claimed that is 100 times stronger than vitamin C, but I have never managed to find this replicated anywhere.

For us aging women, it is good to note that astaxanthin could be helpful with menopause, too. One study has used astaxanthin (0.27mg) alongside other ingredients such as lycopene, calcium, vitamin D, and citrus bioflavonoids (ie. hesperidin) and noted a 48 percent reduction in symptoms such as hot flashes, libido, depression/anxiety, incontinence, and vaginal dryness.

Topical application of a cream containing 5 percent of an astaxanthin containing oil for eight weeks reduced wrinkle and crow’s feet formation associated with improved elasticity of the skin. Age spots were also reduced and while there was no overall moisturizing effect, a subgroup with dry skin appeared to see some benefits and TEWL (for the whole group) was reduced.

Impressive although all this is, astaxanthin is a tricky ingredient. It is very expensive, bright orange and pungent, making it a cosmetic formulator’s nightmare. Even consuming foods — such as salmon (which gets its very color from astaxanthin) — can, if overdone, give your skin a distinctly orange hue. Nonetheless, chemists are finding ways to refine it and, happily, we are starting to see astaxanthin in more cosmetic products for sun protection (studies also show that it protects from UV damage) and anti-aging. 

  • September 7, 2017

    by barloki

    I myself have been using The Real Things anti-x ( Astaxanthin ) at a 8mg daily dose. Everyone talks about the uv and anti aging properties however I love the fact how it protects my eyes as is one of the few anti-oxidants that can cross the blood brain barrier. I hardly use a sunscreen in this horrid Namibian sun. It really is an amazing product . Its a bit pricey but I know products that not even half as good at three times more the price.

  • August 3, 2017

    by Jessica

    Thank you, Marta!

    Hi everyone! I work with Cambridge Chocolate Technologies and we are the creators of esthechoc. :) We adore Marta and the authenticity of every word found within Truth In Aging. If you would like to learn more about our scientifically proven (and delicious!) beauty chocolate supplement, you are welcome to visit our website at

    Additionally, here is a fun and candid video of esthechoc featured on "The Doctors."
    Copy and paste the link below into your browser to view on YouTube:

    Have a beautiful day! Thank you, Marta for your eloquence. Cannot wait to hear about your results!

    All best,

    Jessica Dee Martinez
    National Director

  • July 25, 2017

    by James

    I can vouch for much of this except that in my experience astaxanthin really doesn't turn your skin pink or orange, even if you take it in large dosages. If it has any effect on the skin at all, it's more like peaches and cream, a very youthful complexion. Recently, an acquaintance asked me how old I am, and I said 75. Astonished, she said, "You are the youngest-looking 75 year old I have ever seen!"

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