A study of Serbian soccer players has found that astaxanthin can significantly decrease inflammation and improve the rate of muscle recovery. Astaxanthin supplements are derived from golden microalgae such as Haematococcus pluvialis.
Conducted by researchers from the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, the double-blind study tested 40 young athletes for 90 days. The players were recruited from a Serbian soccer club and split into two groups. Half were given four milligrams of astaxanthin per day, while the control group received a placebo. After three months of astaxanthin supplementation, the researchers found that muscle enzymes had decreased, indicating the rate of players’ muscle recovery had improved. They also found decreased neutrophils and C-reactive protein (CRP), both markers for inflammation, signifying a corresponding reduction.
In addition, the group taking astaxanthin showed significantly higher levels of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), an immunity defense system in the mucosal membranes of the mouth, digestive system, lungs and other regions. Increases indicated a rise in first-defense immunity among these athletes. This same group also showed significantly lower oxidative stress levels, contributing to an improvement in exercise recovery