Powerful antioxidant, Astaxanthin can interact with medications and hormones
A bright 'clementine' orange food coloring used to enhance the color of farmed salmon is growing in popularity as a nutritional supplement for people. The orange coloring added to farmed salmon to enhance the bright hue of the flesh is making the rounds as a popular nutritional supplement for use to take orally as a softgel. It's popular also in Japan and is one of the latest antioxidant supplements trend in Sacramento.
Check out those little softgels of astaxanthin you add to your diet to protect your eye health, blood pressure, memory and maybe your colon, too. See the sites, "Astaxanthin: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings - WebMD," and "Astaxanthin - Frequently Asked Questions." Astaxanthin may decrease blood pressure. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid belonging to a larger class ofphytochemicals known as terpenes. Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble nutrient that needs fats to break down and be absorbed by the body.
How much can astaxanthin lower your blood pressure?
Side effects of astaxanthin use may include decreases in blood pressure, increases in skin pigmentation and hair growth, hormonal changes, lowered calcium levels in the blood, altered blood counts, decreased libido, and enlargement of the breasts (in men).
If astaxanthin may decrease blood pressure, you might want to research in the various scientific studies published about astaxanthin, how much would the decrease amount to, if you have hypertension. Patients currently taking blood pressure lowering herbs and supplements should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist.
Astaxanthin needs fats to be absorbed by your body
Speaking of fats, some omega-3 fats or oils come in the form of triglycerides, and some are in the form of phospholipids. Your cell walls are made of phospholipids. The body is able to use phospholipids much more efficiently than triglycerides. One way to get naturally occurring astaxanthin with phospholipids is with krill oil.
Some people are allergic to shell fish and can't take krill oil. Then again, astaxanthin, a carotenoid, comes from microalgae, which are plants, not shell fish. And then again, astaxanthin is found also in salmon and krill, and other shellfish as well as salmon and even the feathers of certain birds.
Is your astaxanthin supplement from natural or synthetic sources?
See, Astaxanthin (section Synthetic sources) Astaxanthin (æstəˈzænθɨn | pronunciation). The commercial production of astaxanthin comes from both natural and synthetic sources. Sometimes numerous Sacramento supermarket fish retailers will tell you that farmed salmon usually is colored orange with astaxanthin. Interestingly, Sacramentans are taking astaxanthin as the latest supplement (antioxidant and carotenoid) that passes the blood-brain barrier.
Check out the April 14, 2011 guide, Astaxanthin Information | Evidenced-Based Supplement Guide. Astaxanthin is found in microalgae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish,crustaceans, and the feathers of some birds. And astaxanthin may come from natural or synthetic sources. Astaxanthin also is used in aquaculture. See the site, Astaxanthin Warning" - Don't Buy Before Seeing This.
Farmed salmon may be fed astaxanthin to make the salmon flesh appear to be a bright orange. Sacramento's interest in supplements now finds astaxanthin promoted as a supplement, an antioxidant with health effects and/or benefits still undergoing research, mostly on lab animals. According to the Wikipedia site on astaxanthin, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) has approved astaxanthin as a food coloring (or color additive) for specific uses in animal and fish foods.[Check out this site.]
The European Commission considers it food dye and it is given the E number E161j.[Check out this site for more information.] Natural astaxanthin is considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, [See this article.][Check out this site for more information,]but as a food coloring in the United States it is restricted to use in animal food. [See the source of this information.]
Last year tropical fruit juices were emphasized in supplement promotions. This year it's astaxanthin, the antioxidant. You can call it a trend rather than a diet fad, because there is ongoing scientific research on astaxanthin. The idea is to understand the side effects. So far, astaxanthin has not been studied for its long-term effects on humans, considering some people may use it daily for decades.
According to the Web MD site, "astaxanthin should be used cautiously in patients with hypertension, asthma, parathyroid disorders, or osteoporosis. Patients currently taking blood pressure lowering medications should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Astaxanthin may have similar effects as the antihistamines etirizine dihydrochloride and azelastine."
What about research on astaxanthin for inhibiting H.pylori bacteria in your stomach?
On the other hand, if you have H. pylori bacteria in your stomach, which may lead to ulcers, then consider looking at studies which tell you that astaxanthin may inhibit Helicobacter pylori growth and have an additive effect when taken with other medications that have a similar effect. If you have ulcers due to H. pylori bacteria, check with your health care professional to see whether astaxanthin or liquid aged garlic will help most in inhibiting 'bad' gut bacteria overgrowth without destroying the 'good' gut bacteria.
Astaxanthin also may interact with immunomodulating herbs and supplements. Astaxanthin may decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and may interact with other cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, such as red yeast rice. Caution is advised.
Levels of Various Medications May Become Too High in the Blood
According to the Web MD site, astaxanthin - Topic, caution is advised when using asthmas medications. Astaxanthin may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other drugs may become too high in the blood. It may also alter the effects that other drugs possibly have on the P450 system.
Also see, Astaxanthin supplement benefit, antioxidant." Check out, Astaxanthin – A More Powerful Eye Antioxidant - Mercola. The problem is this supplement has not been studied long enough to predict what changes it may make to the human body if taken every day for years.
The supplement is even being studied with mice as a possible way to help prevent colon cancer. and other benefits from this super antioxidant from algae which is a carotenoid, somewhat like, but different from carotene. Astaxanthin passes through the blood-brain barrier. Carotene and lycopene do not. Are you joining this latest "fad diet?" Or do you need to do more reading?
Sacramento Seems to Focus on Displaying a Different, New Supplement Annually
Each year Sacramento has a seemingly new diet fad or fad diet. Last year it focused on various tropical fruit juices. This year, it's astaxanthin, which is popular in Japan when used in ice cream and facial lotions.
Can astaxanthin build up other medications in your blood to too high levels? Sacramento has been undergoing a new supplement fad, astaxanthin. It's found in salmon and also in a type of red algae. See, Astaxanthin - A Natural Antioxidant | Haematococcus Pluvialis.
There are some side effects to watch out for as far as hormonal changes and amplifying some medications so that the medications build up in your blood. When your liver can't eliminate the medicines fast enough, they build up in your blood. Astaxanthin may change your hormones and liver functions so that prescription medications build up to too-high levels.
More products are being infused with added astaxanthin, from vitamin supplements to face lotions. The problem is when astaxanthin increases and deepens the pigment in your skin, perhaps leaving you wondering where those brown blotches came from. Check out how the antioxidant is affecting your hormones.
If you're male, what happens when your breasts possibly start enlarging after taking astaxanthin? Check out the studies to find out whether this is a real issue, as it has been reported in the Web MD side effects article.
And you'll find astaxanthin being added to various types of skin lotions as well as used as a nutritional supplement. It has been used in the past to color farmed salmon a brighter shade of orange. Astaxanthin is popular in Asia as an additive to face cream supposedly for anti-aging capabilities in the advertising.
Patients with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to astaxanthin or related carotenoids, including canthaxanthin, or hypersensitivity to an astaxanthin algal source, such as Haematococcus pluvialis, should not take astaxanthin preparations, according to the Web MD site on side effects and facts about astaxanthin. See, Astaxanthin - A Natural Antioxidant | Haematococcus Pluvialis.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, astaxanthin is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) when used as a color additive in salmon foods. Astaxanthin is likely safe when used as an antioxidant and as adjunctive support in cancer treatment, cardiovascular disease treatment and ocular health promotion.
The side effects of astaxanthin named at the informational Web MD site also tells you to avoid the use of astaxanthin "in patients with known allergies to astaxanthin, hormone-sensitive conditions or immune disorders." In theory, it may interact with herbs and supplements that alter parathyroid function and caution is advised.
Don't let the antioxidant change your parathyroid function
According to the Web MD site, astaxanthin is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Astaxanthin may be unsafe in pregnant women, as it may affect reproductive hormones.
Astaxanthin has been studied as an agent to treat male infertility, although results were not conclusive or of any benefit. Check out the interactions sites and read about new research to treat male infertility with astaxanthin. See the study or its abstract, "Combined conventional/antioxidant "Astaxanthin" treatment for male infertility."
Interactions with hormone-altering medications
Astaxanthin may have hormonal effects and may interact with other hormone-altering medications, such as medications taken for menopause or birth control pills. It may also interact with immunomodulating medications. Do you want the calcium levels in your blood lowered? Astaxanthin may lower calcium levels in the blood.
Just make sure the calcium goes into your bones and teeth and not into your arteries. Have you check out whether your vitamin D3 is working? How about your vitamin K-2 (MK-7) from natto--if you are not taking blood thinners and don't have bleeding or clotting issues?
How will your parathyroid medications be impacted from astaxanthin? In theory, astaxanthin may interact with parathyroid medications and caution is advised. On the other hand, you might want to research this information. If you're looking to reduce your bad cholesterol, that is the LDL cholesterol, astaxanthin may decrease low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation.
Astaxanthin may interact with various cholesterol-lowing medications
Don't take astaxanthin if you're already taking cholesterol-lowering medications because astaxanthin may interact with other cholesterol-lowering medications, such asrofecoxib (Vioxx®). (But why would you be taking Vioxx® if it's currently not on the market?)
See, Vioxx® Taken Off Market. Patients taking any medications should consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Check out the many online sites on interactions with herbs, dietary supplements, and medications. For example, the interactions with dietary supplements mentioned below regarding hormonal effects.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Astaxanthin may have hormonal effects and may interact with other hormone-altering herbs and supplements, such as saw palmetto or black cohosh, according to the Web MD article. Astaxanthin may lower calcium levels in the blood. Don't use astaxanthin together with other carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, canthaxanthin, and lycopene, because those carotenoids may decrease the absorption of astaxanthin, due to competitive absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Caution is advised. See Dr. Sahelian's website on the effects of astaxanthin, Astaxanthin supplement health benefit and side effects, review of research studies, antioxidant, 2 mg capsule, by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
When you do your research in depth before you add any supplement to your regimen, look at how astaxanthin may interfere with the way the body processes certain herbs or supplements using the liver's "cytochrome P450" enzyme system. As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high in the blood.
Competitive absorption in the gut with other carotenoids
It may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system. But first you have to understand what the P450 system does in your body. The primary role for the P450 system seems to be one of metabolism and detoxification of endogenous compounds after they have been eaten as food (or supplements). This accounts for the high concentrations of these enzymes located in the liver and small intestine. See, Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System.
The term Cytochrome P-450 refers to a group of enzymes with are located on the "endoplasmic reticulum," according to the website, Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System. In plain language, the "endoplasmic reticulum" means the interconnected network of tubules and vesicles that connect your cells. Think of your cells as if they were like the Internet with a network of connections. Instead of wires or wireless technology, your cells have tubules, vesicles, and cisternae. And your cells do communicate with one another as if they were a network of Internet social media.
These enzymes are of particular importance when studying drug biotransformation and drug metabolism. The gene for cytochrome P-450 has existed for more then 3.5 billion years, since those first primitive life forms. This indicates drug metabolism by the P-450 system is a new and secondary role for these enzyme systems.