With the deepening of consumers' health awareness, in addition to low-sugar, low-fat, low-calorie and other products, the demand for products with specific functions is also increasing. According to Bloomberg data, the size of my country's health food market is expected to reach 1,140.8 billion yuan in 2025, a year-on-year increase of 5.6%; data from the China Business Industry Research Institute predicts that my country's functional food market will exceed 600 billion yuan in 2022.
In terms of specific functions, health problems such as improving immunity, delaying aging, brain and emotional health, bone and joint health, cardiovascular health, oral beauty, sports nutrition, eye protection, etc. have been in the forefront of various surveys all year round. It is a health issue that consumers pay more attention to. And there is such a magical raw material, which has been proved to be effective in the above fields, and has become a new hot raw material in the market, which is astaxanthin.
Current Market of Astaxanthin
According to grandviewresearch, the global astaxanthin market size was valued at USD 1,371.24 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.8% from 2021 to 2028, mainly due to the growing demand in the dietary supplement industry, and There is a growing awareness of the health benefits of this ingredient. Among them, astaxanthin from natural sources is growing faster and is expected to register a CAGR of 19.3% during the forecast period.
Wide availability of natural source astaxanthin, increasing consumer demand for natural food supplements, and higher bioavailability compared to synthetic sources are the key factors driving the growth of this segment. At present, major astaxanthin manufacturers have widely used Haematococcus pluvialis as an extraction source. Krill.
In the past, natural astaxanthin mainly claimed "anti-oxidant, improve immunity" as its main function, but its role in emerging fields (improving cognition, protecting heart, muscle, vision, sports nutrition) is emerging. According to Innova Market Insights market data, from April 2014 to April 2019, for the anti-aging market, North America (46%), followed by Europe (26%), Asia Pacific (24%), South America and South America had the most astaxanthin products launched. (2%), with a compound annual growth rate of 18%. For Asia Pacific, the focus is on heart health, skin health, joint health, eye protection and overall health.
Comprehensive functions and applications of astaxanthin
1. Improve immunity
Astaxanthin is extremely antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory and organ-protecting properties. In addition, astaxanthin may also play a role in regulating immunity, because it can protect immune cells, increase the number of immune cells, promote the production of immunoglobulin or the secretion level of cytokines, and inhibit the cytokine storm caused by the overreaction of the immune response or inflammatory storm.
2. Delay aging
As a member of the carotenoid family, astaxanthin has its own antioxidant properties. Its antioxidant capacity is more than 100 times that of vitamin E, and it is known as a "super antioxidant". In recent years, astaxanthin has received a lot of attention in anti-aging. Previous studies have found that astaxanthin can promote autophagy in multiple organs such as the kidney, liver, and lung, and play a role in delaying aging.
Studies have reported the effect of astaxanthin on human skin, and found that it can improve skin wrinkles and aging pigment spots, skin texture, elasticity, moisture of the stratum corneum and other indicators.
3. Brain and Emotional Health
Brain health is an area where astaxanthin has been researched more in recent years. The brain health benefits of astaxanthin are primarily due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels within the brain, and reduce oxidative damage to DNA, lipids and proteins, thereby delaying brain aging .
According to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 3 months of natural astaxanthin supplementation (12mg per day) improved memory, mental agility, and multitasking in elderly subjects with memory problems. Further research found that, Astaxanthin reduces mental fatigue and improves cognitive performance in healthy men aged 20-64. Another study published in 2019 showed that when healthy people supplemented with natural astaxanthin for 8 consecutive weeks, people's mental state improved significantly. The results showed a 57% reduction in depressed mood, a 36% reduction in mental fatigue, and an 11% improvement in overall emotional state.
4. Bone and joint health
Astaxanthin has been proven to reduce the production of reactive oxygen species in waste muscles, improve skeletal muscle fibrosis caused by ankle joint fixation, and also have a certain effect on oxidative damage to cartilage cells in osteoarthritis, which can relieve joint discomfort to a certain extent. .
One study randomly divided 60 patients with knee osteoarthritis into a treatment group (30 cases) and a control group (30 cases). The treatment group was given astaxanthin capsules, and the control group was given Fenbid. The results showed that the duration of pain relief in the treatment group was shorter than that in the control group, and the joint function in both groups after treatment was improved compared with that before treatment, and the treatment group was better than the control group, indicating that astaxanthin can relieve and improve bone joint pain to a certain extent. effect.
5. Cardiovascular health
Natural astaxanthin has antioxidant properties and reduces asymptomatic inflammation, both of which are useful for cardiovascular health. In addition to this, natural astaxanthin can help improve blood lipids, prevent and improve atherosclerosis by lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides, and increasing HDL (good cholesterol).
6. Whitening sunscreen
The strong antioxidant properties of astaxanthin make it a potential photoprotectant, scavenging free radicals that cause skin aging, protecting cell and mitochondrial membranes from oxidative damage, and preventing skin photoaging. Multiple studies have confirmed that daily supplementation with natural astaxanthin increases skin protection.
7. Sports nutrition
The role of astaxanthin in sports nutrition is mainly achieved by enhancing muscle endurance, reducing muscle damage and improving lipid metabolism. Astaxanthin protects skeletal muscle from oxidative stress during activity and protects carnitine palmitoyltransferase-I (CPTI, a lipid transferase) involved in fatty acid transport to mitochondria, thereby enhancing fat metabolism and enabling The body produces more energy, which helps increase endurance and fight fatigue.
In addition, when people exercise or exercise, a large amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is produced in the body. If these ROS are not removed in time, they will damage the muscles and affect physical recovery. The strong antioxidant function of astaxanthin can remove ROS in time and repair damaged muscles faster.
8. Eye protection
As a carotenoid, astaxanthin, like lutein & zeaxanthin, also has a strong vision-protecting effect. Japanese scholars used Astaking astaxanthin as a research sample and found that astaxanthin can easily pass through the blood-brain barrier and cell membrane, and can effectively prevent retinal oxidation and photoreceptor cell damage. And improve the focusing function of the eyeball, enhance the blood circulation in the eyeball, and promote the delivery of more nutrients to the ciliary body and retina, thereby relieving visual fatigue.
9. Pet nutrition
Based on the comprehensive and powerful functions of astaxanthin, many pet foods also use astaxanthin as the main ingredient to improve cardiovascular, hair, joint and vision problems that are prone to occur in middle-aged and elderly pets.