According to data from the United Nations, one in eight people worldwide was over 60 years of age in 2015. By 2030, older individuals are projected to account for one in six people globally, and this will jump to one in every five by 2050.1 The normal ageing process is accompanied by numerous health challenges, which vary due to nutrition, genetics, lifestyle, environment, and life events.
Ageing involves the accumulation of oxidative damage in cells and tissues. Younger people are naturally better protected from free radicals and other reactive oxygen species (ROS) through balanced activity of the mitochondria, efficient antioxidant and DNA repair systems, and active protein degradation machinery. Ageing, on the other hand, is generally accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction leading to increased free radical production which, in turn, leads to an overloading of the defence systems and oxidative damage of cellular components.2 Oxidative stress and an imbalance of pro-oxidants and antioxidants can impact several areas including heart, brain, joint, skin, and eye health.
Several decades of dietary research findings3,4,5 suggest consuming greater amounts of antioxidant-rich foods can help support a healthy lifestyle throughout the lifespan. Antioxidants help to counteract the damaging effects of ROS, and promote a healthy oxidative balance. One such antioxidant gaining traction in the healthy ageing category is astaxanthin, a carotenoid produced from Haematococcus pluvialis. One of the most powerful antioxidants known, astaxanthin has numerous health benefits supported by extensive scientific research, including 50 human clinical trials and more than 1400 peer-reviewed papers.6
Comparison studies have shown astaxanthin is 6,000 times more powerful than vitamin C, 100 times more powerful than vitamin E, and five times more powerful than beta-carotene in trapping energy from singlet oxygen, one of the most common ROS in the body.7 In addition, the way astaxanthin neutralizes harmful ROS/free radicals is more gentle on the body’s cells compared to other antioxidants which can actually be harmful because they may turn into highly reactive molecules themselves.8 Demonstrated by human clinical studies, some of the health benefits of natural astaxanthin are:
- supporting cardiovascular health by improving blood lipid profiles in healthy seniors with a protective effect against cholesterol and triglyceride oxidation.9, 10, 11
- supporting normal healthy skin by improving skin elasticity and moisture, reducing hyper-pigmentation, and wrinkle formation.12, 13
- Improving cognitive function in healthy seniors.14
- Protecting the eye by reducing oxidative damage within the eye and improving blood flow in ocular capillaries.15, 16, 17
 United Nations, World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision, 2015, available at: https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Publications/Files/Key_Findings_WPP_2015.pdf
 Shigenaga MK, Hagen TM, Ames BN, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 1994, 91:10771-8.
 Kandola K, Bowman A, Birch-Machin MA, Int J Cosmet Sci. 2015, 37 Suppl 2:1-8.
 Valko et al, The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. 2007, 39(1):44-84.
 Fusco D, Colloca G, Monaco MRL, Cesari M. Interventions in Aging. 2007, 2(3), 377-87.
 PubMed. Search performed on 2016-11-17.
 Nishida, Yamashita, Miki. Carotenoid Science, 2007, 11, 16-20.
 Beutner et al, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2001, 81(6),559-568.
 Nakagawa et al, Br J Nutr, 2011, 105:1563-71.
 Kim YK, Chyun JH, Nutritional Sciences, 2004, 7:41-46.
 Yoshida et al, Atherosclerosis, 2010, 209(2): 520-523.
 Tominaga et al, Acta Biochim Pol, 2012 59:43-7.
 Yoon et al, J Med Food, 2014, 17(7): 810-816.
 Katagiri et al, Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 2012, 51(2): 102-107.
 Saito et al, Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol, 2012, 250:239-45.
 Hashimoto et al, J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2013, 53:1-7.
 Hashimoto et al, J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2016, 59:10-5.