Combination of Astaxanthin and Sesamin May Help Reduce Fatigue
A recent study suggests that taking a combination of astaxanthin and sesamin may help with recovery from fatigue. The researchers believe that it may be particularly helpful for people suffering from “urban fatigue,” which they define results from a combination of mental stress and short bursts of physical activity typical of urban life.
Participants in the study included 24 healthy adults between the ages of 30 and 60 who were divided into two groups. Half of the group took soft gel capsules containing 3 mg of astaxanthin derived from Haematococcus pluvialis and 5 mg of sesamin derived from Sesamum indicum L., while the other half took a physically identical placebo. The participants took two capsules per day for four weeks. On the test day they also took two after breakfast before either physical or mental tasks. Each study period was followed by a four-week washout period, after which participants switched interventions.
For the mental task, the participants performed four hours of visual display terminal-based mental exercises, including four sets of 30-minute simple working memory tests and four 30-minute sets of selective attention and spatial working memory tasks. For the physical tests, the participants spent four hours on an ergometer bicycle at 80% of target heart rate. The researchers used participants’ subjective feelings, work efficiency, autonomic nerve activity, and levels of plasma phophatidylcholine hydroperoxide to measure results.
The subjective fatigue score increased four hours after the mental tests, then decreased through the recovery period in both groups. However, the supplement group recovered from mental fatigue more quickly than the placebo group. While a reduction in oxidative stress was seen in the supplement group, the results for physical recovery were inconclusive.
Researchers from FUJIFILM Corporation and Tohoku University in Japan conducted the study. It was published on February 28, 2018, in the journal Nutrients.
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid found in red-colored vegetables and fruits. It 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.
Sesamin is one of the two lignans found in sesame seeds. Previous studies suggest that it may help lower cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory effects.