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Astaxanthin May Boost Immunity, Reduce Muscle Inflammation in Athletes

A recent study suggests that the carotenoid astaxanthin may help reduce muscle inflammation that occurs as a result of intense athletic training as well as boost immunity in serious athletes.

Participants in the study included 40 young, trained Serbian soccer players who were given 4 mg of astaxanthin or a placebo daily for 90 days. The researchers collected saliva and blood samples at the beginning of the study and at the end of the trial.

After 90 days, the astaxanthin group had higher levels of salivary IgA (sIgA), which is an immunoglobin that is essential for muscle function and for immune system health. Previous research has found that lower sIgA levels are associated with increased upper respiratory tract infection occurrence and lower immunity protection against some infections.

The researchers also found that the supplement group had less muscle damage, which they connected to reductions in inflammation that can occur with rigorous physical training.

Researchers from the Sports Medicine Association of Serbia conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on June 18, 2015, in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Astaxanthin has been shown to improve eye, skin and joint health and boost cognitive function. If you’re looking to increase your dietary intake of astaxanthin, consider consuming more salmon, rainbow trout, krill, and red-pigmented vegetables and fruits.

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