Does astaxanthin thin your blood?
Mar 09, 2021

Can astaxanthin thin your blood?

Astaxanthin is not a blood thinner, but it may increase the risk of bleeding or blood clotting when taken with drugs that increase such risks. So it would be a good idea to check with your doctor if astaxanthin could be interacting with any prescription medications you take.

Astaxanthin (ASTX) is a xanthophyll carotenoid that reduces hemostasis in hyperlipidemic organisms. Its antihemostatic mechanisms remain unclear.

Objective: The effects of Astaxanthin powder on coagulation, the fibrinolytic system and platelet aggregation were investigated in hyperlipidemic rats.

ASTX reduced blood coagulation and platelet aggregation and promoted fibrinolytic activity in hyperlipidemic rats. These activities were closely correlated with ASTX, maintaining the balance of t-PA/PAI-1, NO/ROS and TXA2/PGI2 in vivo.

Astaxanthin side effects

Astaxanthin side effects hormones

Some laboratory studies have shown astaxanthin may hinder an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase. As a result, it could keep testosterone from changing into the hormone DHT in the body. It's unclear what effect this may have, but prescription medicines that affect the same enzyme may cause side effects, such as:

Lower libido

Male breast growth

Erectile dysfunction

One small study showed astaxanthin combined with saw palmetto actually increased testosterone, which could help libido. More research is needed to better understand astaxanthin's effects on hormones.

Astaxanthin may also lower blood pressure and calcium levels.

Risks. Avoid taking astaxanthin if you're allergic or sensitive to it. Also avoid astaxanthin if you're allergic or sensitive to:

Similar carotenoids such as canthaxanthin

A source of astaxanthin, such as the algae that produces it

Drugs that inhibit 5-alpha-reductase like finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) or dutasteride (Avodart, Jalyn)

Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant should avoid astaxanthin.

Astaxanthin may increase your immune function, so use caution when taking it if you:

Have autoimmune problems

Are taking drugs to suppress your immune system

Also be cautious using astaxanthin if you have:

Low calcium

Low blood pressure


A problem with your parathyroid glands

Hormone problems

Interactions. Use with caution if you are taking a drug that affects hormones, such as a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, or if you are on a drug for high blood pressure.

Tell your doctor about any supplements you're taking, even if they're natural. That way, your doctor can check on any potential side effects or interactions with any medications.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does regulate dietary supplements; however, it treats them like foods rather than medications. Unlike drug manufacturers, the makers of supplements don’t have to show their products are safe or effective before selling them on the market.


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