Health alert: Toxic astaxanthin on the market

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Dangers of Synthetic Astaxanthin(NaturalHealth365) Synthetic astaxanthin is now being sold in the United States. Unfortunately, the truth must be told, consumers are unknowingly using supplements that are downright dangerous to human health. Cyanotech, a supplier of microalgae-derived (natural) astaxanthin, has an important warning for every health-conscious consumer.

It turns out that synthetic astaxanthin comes from petrochemicals or genetically mutated yeast. The petrochemical derived astaxanthin is not approved for human consumption in any country, while the yeast derived astaxanthin has limited approval in a few countries.

Gerald Cysewski, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Cyanotech, says that it is very difficult to distinguish between natural and synthetic astaxanthin – in lab tests. This makes it easy for the adulterated version to get into the market.

Why would anyone make petroleum-based astaxanthin?

Cysewski reminds us that natural astaxanthin is quite challenging to grow – especially when trying to meet the growing demand for this super antioxidant. It is labor intense and an expensive process to produce astaxanthin from microalgea.

Obviously, for greedy corporations, it’s more profitable to market mislabeled, illegal, and untested astaxanthin.

Cysewski says, “some companies will do anything to make money, and we’ve definitively confirmed that some astaxanthin products entering the United States and world markets are synthetically produced from petrochemicals.”

Keep in mind, astaxanthin is a high valued product and annual sales are in the $200 million range and climbing. No doubt, with a growing demand, synthetic astaxanthin will be heavily pushed into the marketplace.

It’s no surprise that Chinese astaxanthin is beginning to flood the market.

They have two approaches – one is to mix synthetic astaxanthin with the natural product. The second way is to produce a completely counterfeit product, which could have the same molecular formula, but a different arrangement of atoms. Some companies will stop at nothing to make a buck off uninformed consumers.

With the algae-based astaxanthin, you get a naturally-occurring blend of mixed carotenoids from the algae – with lutein, beta-carotene and canthaxanthin combined with astaxanthin – just the way nature intended it. This is the only kind of astaxanthin for human consumption.

Are you eating toxic salmon?

Almost 90% of the salmon sold – in supermarkets – come from farmed raised salmon. What’s the big deal? That pink color – in farm raised salmon – is created when the fish consume lots of adulterated (toxic) astaxanthin.

Farmed salmon are raised on a wholly unnatural diet – which leaves the fish with an unappetizing grayish color. To compensate, for its sickly look, they feed synthetic astaxanthin – made from petrochemicals or genetically modified yeast. I know – it’s crazy.

Since we are getting a daily ration of coal tar from artificially colored foods, there is no in-depth analysis of the amount each individual consumes. This means that astaxanthin – considered by many health experts (in its natural state) to be one of the healthiest substances on Earth – could add to our toxic burden, if we’re not careful in our purchasing decisions.

Astaxanthin, from genetically mutated yeast – known as Phaffia, has not established sufficient safety standards and is not allowed by the Food and Drug Administration to be consumed by humans above 2mg per day; not recommended for long-term use or for children. These restrictions show some serious safety concerns.

Synthetic astaxanthin, from petrochemicals, dominate the market. Phaffia, is a distant second, and natural astaxanthin from microalgae or krill together has about 1% of the market.

Why should I consider eating natural astaxanthin?

This remarkable extract, used in nutritional supplements, can dramatically improve the health of your joints and tendons, skin and eyes plus enhance brain power.

A 2007 study analyzed several popular antioxidants and their antioxidant power. This study found astaxanthin was 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times stronger than green tea catechins and 75 times stronger than alpha lipoic acid.

Astaxanthin corrects DNA-related aging damage in the body. It has been shown to prevent damage to the fatty outside layer of cells called the cell membrane – which is particularly vulnerable to damage from free radicals. Of course, we all know that free radicals threaten the health of our cells and organs. Simply put, to prevent, even reverse disease – eat lots of antioxidants.

The only form of astaxanthin that has hundreds of medical research experiments showing health benefits as well as extensive safety trials and fifteen years of safe use in humans is Hawaiian astaxanthin.

Editor’s note: I, personally, use BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin – produced by Nutrex-Hawaii. Click here to save 25% off your order.

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Jonathan LandsmanAbout the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of, the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.

Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.


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  • Eugenia

    I lived on Hawaii for 6 years and I know many secrets about Hawaii from back doors. I am sure I will not purchase anything from Hawaii. There are fife biggest
    scientific companies who are genetically modify food. All chemicals used for
    spray the field are washed to the ocean plus radiation from Japan.
    Are you real circle promoting and educating natural health of living?
    This article is very educational but advertising astaxanthin from Hawaii and only
    beneficial is very doubtful.

  • Susan Crawford

    I appreciate the nature of this problem. Astaxanthan is also useful in radiation mitigation (Fukushima). I am concerned that Hawaii is receiving such increased exposures from this ongoing disaster and how this impacts the manufacture of any consumables.

  • Marty

    Terrific! How do I tell which is natural and which is synthetic??

  • Nutrex Hawaii

    Fortunately, Fukushima has not affected our spirulina or Astaxanthin. Though we haven’t had any problems with radiation, we do testing in our labs and we send samples to an outside lab for radiation testing. Each test has come back negative for radiation. We also want to note that our spirulina and astaxanthin products are not grown in the ocean- they are grown in lined, fresh water ponds. The 5% sea water mixture in the spirulina is pumped from 2000 ft below the ocean surface and has not seen the surface in over 2000 years. It pretty much some of the purest water you can get.

    We also want to note that Spirulina is actually quite beneficial to people who have radiation poisoning. It is given to people in Chernobyl for nutrition and has
    had fantastic results with healing the damage. If you have any more questions or concerns on this matter, please feel free to email for more information.