The immune system is our body’s intrinsic military defense system, made up of a network of cells, tissues and organs that work together to protect the body against infectious microorganisms, such as certain bacteria and viruses. Immune system also works to destroy any infectious microorganisms that invade the body.
Individuals with weakened and compromised immune system are often more susceptible to bacterial and viral attacks. Excessive free radicals in the body resulted in oxidative stress which in turn damage the immune system.
Like other parts of the body, the immune system functions better when protected. Natural astaxanthin has a strong ability to both balance and strengthen the immune system. It acts as an antioxidant that reduces the undesirable oxidation caused by free radicals, hence reducing the DNA damage in the immune cells. This response defends the body and suppresses the overactive immune responses that create unwanted inflammation.
Immune cells are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress; an increase in oxidative stress inhibits the response of the immune system. Natural astaxanthin seems to improve the immune response by increasing the number of antibody producing cells and may also protect immune cells against oxidative stress and membrane damage.
Phagocytes are cells that destroy invading organisms, while lymphocytes are cells that allow the body to remember and recognize previous invaders and help the body destroy them – the innate immune response. Natural astaxanthin has shown positive effects and substantial benefit in enhancing the capacity of both lymphocytes and phagocytes.
Astaxanthin Reduces Oxidative Stress
Astaxanthin improved immune response by reducing oxidative stress. A biomarker for DNA damage was measured (*p <0,05 compared with control) (Park et al.,2010)
Faster Immune Response with Astaxanthin
The first human study to show that natural astaxanthin enhances the capacity of lymphocytes was published in 2010. In this double blind, randomized study, 42 individuals received 2 or 8 mg of astaxanthin per day or placebo over 8 weeks. The amounts of lymphocytes were significantly increased for the group taking the astaxanthin supplement, compared to those placebo group. Markers for inflammation were also lower in those taking astaxanthin. Further those receiving astaxanthin demonstrated a significant increase in the activity of certain immune system cells and increases in the numbers of other immune cells. Natural killer cell activity increased along with levels of both T and B cells.
Overall, the study showed a decrease in DNA damage and inflammation and enhanced immune system activity. These results suggest that supplementation with astaxanthin could be beneficial for the promotion of several aspects of overall health and the prevention of illness and disease1.
The effect of astaxanthin on immune response was measured in a double blind, randomized study involving 42 subjects. B-cells and T-cells were exposed to high concentrations of mitogens and its capacity to proliferate was measured1. (*p<0,05 compared with control)1.
Clinical Benefits of Natural Astaxanthin
✔ Strengthen and balance the immune system
✔ Enhances antibody production
✔ Protects immune cells against oxidative stress
- Park, J.S. et. al, 2010. Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in human. Nutr. Metab. 5, 52-59.