Japanese-based Astareal has reported positive results from its study of astaxanthin in treating mental and physical fatigue.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, individuals were treated with AstaReal astaxanthin for eight weeks.

This trial was designed to induce fatigue and stress, similar to that encountered in daily life. For the mental challenge, individuals were subjected to a battery of timed calculations known as the Uchida-Kraepelin test, which requires intense concentration.

The physical component was performed using a bicycle ergometer. Metrics of fatigue were analysed both before and after the stressor tests.

"The results show that AstaReal astaxanthin suppresses and fights both types of fatigue and improves performance."

Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) analysis showed that AstaReal astaxanthin significantly reduced perceived symptoms of mental and physical fatigue compared to the placebo. These included improvements in clarity of thinking, concentration, motivation, and mood. Irritation and feeling of body heaviness were reduced.

In the calculation test, an increase in errors observed in the placebo during the second half of the test was almost eliminated in the astaxanthin group.

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Supplementation with astaxanthin also significantly reduced salivary cortisol, a biomarker for stress.

AstaReal medical advisor Dr Robert Corish said: “This trial evaluated the most common type of fatigue that most of us experience during our daily routines, both mental fatigue and physical fatigue.

"The results show that AstaReal astaxanthin suppresses and fights both types of fatigue and improves performance.

"Fatigue is the most common complaint heard by physicians today, and in my experience, this is the first time that a natural ingredient has been shown to improve this common condition.”

Astaxanthin is derived from the microalgae, Haematococcus pluvialis.