Natural astaxanthin is produced by algae, bacteria, and phytoplankton. Some aquatic species, including crustaceans including shrimp, and crabs, eat these algae and plankton and store the pigment in their shells, giving them a reddish appearance.
Natural astaxanthin is the strongest antioxidant found in nature so far, and its antioxidant activity far exceeds the existing antioxidants.
The ability of astaxanthin to scavenge free radicals is 1000 times that of natural VE, 10 times that of natural beta-carotene, 17 times that of grape seeds, 200 times that of lutein, 150 times that of proanthocyanidin OPC, 60 times that of coenzyme Q10.
At present, astaxanthin is produced in two ways: artificial synthesis and biological extraction. Synthetic astaxanthin is not only expensive but also significantly different from natural astaxanthin in terms of structure, function, application, and safety.
There are also some foods containing natural astaxanthin in the daily diet. Among them, Haematococcus pluvialis is the most abundant organism containing astaxanthin in nature, and its astaxanthin content can reach 3.0% of the dry weight, or even higher, known as the "concentrate" of natural astaxanthin.