Astaxanthin is a pink-orange carotenoid found in salmon and has been shown by some published studies to exert antioxidant effects, Ivana Baralic, from the Sports Medicine Association of Serbia (Serbia), and colleagues administered astaxanthin (4 mg) daily, or placebo, to 40 young, trained Serbian soccer players for 90 days. The team observed that the men taking astaxanthin showed significant attenuation of muscle damage and subsequent related inflammation. Further, the astaxanthin group showed beneficial immune system effects – including higher salivary IgA – an immunoglobulin that maintains the integrity of the immune system and is involved in muscle function as well. Writing that: “This study indicates that [astaxanthin] supplementation … attenuates muscle damage, thus preventing inflammation induced by rigorous physical training,” the study authors submit that: “Our findings also point that [astaxanthin] could show significant physiologic modulation in individuals with mucosal immunity impairment or under conditions of increased oxidative stress and inflammation.”
Ivana Baralic, Marija Andjelkovic, Brizita Djordjevic, Nenad Dikic, Nenad Radivojevic, Violeta Suzin-Zivkovic, Sanja Radojevic-Skodric, Snezana Pejic. “Effect of Astaxanthin Supplementation on Salivary IgA, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation in Young Soccer Players.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 783761.