British campaign takes astaxanthin to the people

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

A Higher Nature astaxanthin-based product...set to receive marketing support from its supplier AstaReal
A Higher Nature astaxanthin-based product...set to receive marketing support from its supplier AstaReal

Related tags: Nutrition

Swedish-Japanese astaxanthin specialist AstaReal is working with its UK brand partners to push awareness of the carotenoid’s skin health benefits – even in the absence of approved health claims.

Food supplement brands like Higher Nature and Ingenious Beauty are part of the print and online campaign that will run for the rest of the year to “educate readers about the science behind astaxanthin.”

A nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer, has been engaged “for a series of media events and briefings.”

An AstaReal spokesperson told us other UK brands were expected to come onboard soon for the campaign that will also highlight differences in quality in the astaxanthin supply.

A similar campaign has been underway in Sweden for some time for AstaReal’s own-label Astaxin consumer brand but this UK effort will be the “first campaign that will link manufacturers and promote the ingredient itself.​ 

We are seeing a growing trend for ‘beauty from within’,”​ the spokesperson said, adding, “Brexit means nothing.”

Science for & against

astaxanthin powder
Astaxanthin powder. ©iStock

Science has linked the typically algae-sourced carotenoid to skin health, anti-ageing, muscle performance, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, vision and immunity but that 400-paper body of science has to date failed to impress the health claims panel at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Under the strict EU nutrition and health claims regulation (NHCR) 15 astaxanthin applications have been rejected​ by EFSA scientists.

AstaReal harvests its astaxanthin from the microalgae Haematococcus pluviailis ​at closed photobioreactor sites in Sweden and the US.

The firm said it is no longer a member of the recently formed Natural Algae Astaxanthin Association (NAXA)​ "over concerns about the association’s ability to affirm the quality of its membership’s astaxanthin ingredients."

At the time, Joe Kuncewitch, national sales manager for AstaReal, said “NAXA membership may give the false impression that all members are offering astaxanthin of equivalent quality. However, NAXA only confirms that member companies are producing astaxanthin from algae. They don’t perform extensive quality testing.”

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