New Astaxanthin Formulation Said to Provide Ideal, More-Absorbable Dose


At the recent Natural Products Expo West trade show, Valensa's president and CEO Rudi E. Moerck also discussed the ideal dosing for astaxanthin.

A new astaxanthin formulation from Valensa International (Eustis, FL) is said to provide optimal absorption, at lower use levels. According to the company, Zanthin XP-3’s synergistic formulation enhances the body’s absorption of astaxanthin. In addition to Valensa’s algae-derived Zanthin-brand natural astaxanthin, Zanthin XP-3 contains a supercritical extract of Perilla seed oil; Valensa’s botanically based stabilization system O2B Peroxidation Blocker (which includes compounds such as astaxanthin, phenolic antioxidants, and natural tocopherols to protect sensitive oils against degradation and rancidity); and sunflower-based phospholipids.

The company says that published research has shown that astaxanthin absorption in the human body ranges from 25 to 90% in different individuals-but that absorption can be enhanced using natural plant-based oils and natural surfactant extracts.

At the recent Natural Products Expo West trade show, company president and CEO Rudi E. Moerck discussed the ideal dosing for astaxanthin. He said that research shows that large doses of astaxanthin are disproportionally less absorbed compared to a more-ideal dose of 2 to 4 mg/day. Instead of a large-dose strategy, the company says that Zanthin XP-3 typically makes 90% of astaxanthin available to the body.

Moerck said that fat-solubility is the critical factor for determining ideal dosage levels for a fat-soluble substance like astaxanthin. “With water-soluble substances such as vitamin C, we need to take these every day in relatively high doses because our body eliminates them rapidly. Fat-soluble substances, on the other hand, can linger in our bodies for up to 100 days,” he said. “In the case of astaxanthin, one dose has been shown to be detectable in serum for up to 72 hours, and the known elimination half-life (T ½)-which is the time it takes for a substance to lose half of its original dose-is 16 hours. That means after a 24-hour period, most people will still have slightly less than half of a previous dose still present as astaxanthin in their blood serum, and at the end of 24 hours, the next dosing cycle begins. The next dosing cycle results in even higher levels of serum astaxanthin until a concentration we call maximum serum concentration (CMax) is reached. Therefore, high daily doses of astaxanthin are not needed because eventually even a tiny dose will reach the CMax, where the concentration does not increase no matter what the dose.”

He said that Zanthin XP-3 provides proper absorption (a 2-mg dosage is recommended for general purposes, while a 4-mg dose is suggested for those with higher physical activity).

Moerck pointed out that beneficial effects have been shown in clinical trials to be similar at a lower 4-mg dose when compared to the higher 12-mg dose. “While there are clinical trials that show physiological benefits from 12-mg doses, the pharmacokinetics of astaxanthin indicate that these trials would have shown similar results at a 4-mg dose level. Scientists often use higher levels of a substance in studies to make sure that they can detect a measurable level in serum. In the case of astaxanthin, depletion from serum is a competitive process, with some getting used as fuel and the rest being deposited in membranes of the body, where it is primarily used for its antioxidant function. What is not done so often is determining the lower levels that accomplish everything needed for efficacy. There are quite a number of trials at 2- and 4-mg levels that show positive health effects of astaxanthin supplementation. I would fully expect that trials at 12-mg levels would give identical results as the 4-mg trials on our new super-absorbing Zanthin XP-3.”

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