Background: Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant carotenoid has been found to be highly effective in mopping up free radicals as it possesses anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and other beneficial pharmacological properties. Many chemical reactions produce free radicals which are injurious to body cells, as they are the causes of many diseases, disabilities, and death. Antioxidants suppress and mop up these circulating free radicals. Method: This review was done by a comprehensive literature search using internet search engines linked to academics such as EBSCO, PubMed, Google Scholar, etc. They were assessed on topics related to astaxanthin. Articles related and linked to studies involving astaxanthin were thoroughly searched and the references of such articles were also searched for information about astaxanthin in relation to the medical application. Results: In various studies, astaxanthin has been found to be a potent carotenoid as an antioxidant thereby protective to the body as it prevents cancer, enhances eye health, suppresses lipid peroxidation and atherosclerosis, enhances skin and brain health, and suppresses the formation of complications of diabetes mellitus. Conclusion: Astaxanthin, a highly potent xanthophylls carotenoid has multiple pharmacological properties, and oral supplements of this anti-oxidant are protective against a wide range of diseases.
Astaxanthin; free radical; antioxidant; cancer; carotenoids