The Effects of Astaxanthin on Cognitive Function and Neurodegeneration in Humans: A Critical Review

Callum James Joshua Queen, S. Andy Sparks, David C. Marchant, Lars R. McNaughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Oxidative stress is a key contributing factor in neurodegeneration, cognitive ageing, cognitive decline, and diminished cognitive longevity. Issues stemming from oxidative stress both in relation to cognition and other areas, such as inflammation, skin health, eye health, and general recovery, have been shown to benefit greatly from antioxidant use. Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant, which has been outlined to be beneficial for cognitive function both in vitro and in vivo. Given the aforementioned promising effects, research into astaxanthin with a focus on cognitive function has recently been extended to human tissue and human populations. The present critical review explores the effects of astaxanthin on cognitive function and neurodegeneration within human populations and samples with the aim of deciphering the merit and credibility of the research findings and subsequently their potential as a basis for therapeutic use. Implications, limitations, and areas for future research development are also discussed. Key findings include the positive impacts of astaxanthin in relation to improving cognitive function, facilitating neuroprotection, and slowing neurodegeneration within given contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number826
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Early online date14 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2024


  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • nutrition
  • supplement
  • antioxidant
  • cognitive enhancement
  • executive function
  • cognition


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