Astaxanthin... Confusing Figures!

A customer contacted me recently with a question about the actual amount of astaxanthin in our Total Balance. He pointed out that we say on the label.  Astaxanthin - 800mcgs from 40mgs of Haematococcus pluvialis which is confusing.

Other customers have asked similar questions... o, here is the answer that I gave to Adam:

Hi Adam

Yes, it is confusing. The algae extract from which the astaxanthin comes from is called Haematococcus pluvialis. However, only 2% of the extract is actually astaxanthin. The rest are other components including other carotenoids. This is why we have to use 40mgs to get 800mcgs of NET astaxanthin.  This source of astaxanthin is quite different from the type of astaxanthin that is fed to farmed salmon.  They use a synthetic astaxanthin which is 99% astaxanthin... but, the synthetic version which is very cheap is not suitable for human consumption.

It is quite difficult to get genuine natural astaxanthin.  We checked out many sources throughout the world and purchased material from a number of suppliers for testing.  The overwhelming majority of the ingredients did not meet their claimed CoA,s.  For example, one supplier who claimed a 2% astaxanthin also from Haematococcus pluvialis actually had none.  There were other carotenoids present (mainly lutein) but no astaxanthin.  They were using an obscure method for testing.

We send the ingredients we use to various labs around the world depending upon the ingredient and what that lab specialises in.  For the astaxanthin and most of our herbal extracts we use Alkemists Inc in the USA.

We ended up sourcing our astaxanthin from a grower in Israel that also does the extraction.  We use both the powdered form in our tablets and the liquid form in the DHA Plus or QH Premium CoQ10 versions of our Omega-3.  The liquid form is 10% astaxanthin.  These are all tested, and we can guarantee the amounts of astaxanthin that we quote on our labels are accurate.

10 Responses

Same apology to you Donna. This issue of absorption is something that is claimed by the marketers of krill but they have yet to provide any evidence that supports these assertions. Not sure why they suggest the Japanese are now using krill oil rather than fish oil. Once again there is no data to support that.

Warren Matthews May 19 2011

I wish to try a higher dosage of Astaxanthin. I’ve reserched this but I’m confused. I’d settled on "Astacran". But then, I wondered if this would interfere in any way, with the "Total Balance Unisex". or the "Omega 3" that I’m now taking?.

Barbara Weber March 30 2011

I noticed that in your fish oils you use soy as one of the ingredients. What is the reason for this and what do people
take if they are allergic to soy? There are other lecithin
derivatives such as sunflower lecithin and fish meal lecithin. I know soy is a more reasonable indredient to purchase and
maybe that is why it is used so often in products.

Have you also thought of using krill oil in your Omega 3’s.

I also noticed you have to take up to 6 tablets in many of your
products and a bottle won’t even last 3 weeks. This could get
very expensive for the consumer. You should at least produce
a months worth.

Rita January 24 2011

All good points Rita. There is no soy added into our fish oil. It is just that the Vitamin E is extracted from soy but we have to make reference to it on the label. There are many nutrients that are extracted from soy but do not present a problem for anyone allergic to soy as they are so far removed from the soy itself.
Krill oil is really not a practical alternative to fish oil. Environmentally we have a problem with using it as it is the source of the food chain in the oceans.
All of our products are designed to have a bottle last a month unless there is a short term need to take a higher dosefor example, the Cardio-Klenz in which some customers may take 6 a day for a few months and then drop it back to the maintenance dose of 4 per day. We assess the size of the bottle based on the normal dose. We will look at the viability of offering different sized bottles in the future.

Thanks for raising this.


Warren Matthews February 02 2011

You said that Krill oil is not practical and  I do agree because it is the oceans food chain, however I’ve also read that even in Japan they are not using fish oil but the Krill oil because they body doesn’t absorb a good 50% of it where as the Krill oil is absorbed into the body.

Donna Ferro April 20 2011

We have just started taking your Omega 3/ QH ULTRA. We have been taking fish oil,ubiquinol and astaxanthin separately  and thought that it would be more economical and easier to take your product instead. However, reading the label, the amount of astaxanthin in your capsule is only a fraction of what we have been taking ( 8 mg ). Could you please advise us whether we should continue taking the astaxanthin as well as your product or is the amount in your capsules is an adequate amount daily.

Jim May 27 2013

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your question.

It is important to look into the form of Astaxanthin that you are currently taking and find out if the 8mg is of a gross or active amount.

We use an exceptionally high quality natural Astaxanthin in our fish oil. The actual quantity used is AstaPure (10% Astaxanthin Oleoresin) – 5.7mg. This is a very effective combination which works synergistically with the fish oil and Lycopene to provide skin health benefits.

If you did want to take your astaxanthin supplement alongside our product that is perfectly fine – however, you are also most welcome to increase the dosage of our fish oil to 4 soft gels a day if you did feel you needed that additional support.

I would be happy to give you a call and further discuss this; as it is helpful for me to get a bigger picture of your health concerns and resulting needs. If this is something that you would like, please email through your contact details to
<a href= >, or alternatively you could give us a call on our toll-free number and one of us will be able to help you.

Our free phone numbers are USA and Canada: 1888 487 9304, UK 0 800 520 0311, Australia 1 800 983635, New Zealand 0508 983635. The rest of the world is 0064 03 384 5574. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Kind regards,


Madelynn Loo

Online Nutritionist

Customer Relations June 04 2013

Hi Barbara,

I am so sorry but your comment ‘slipped through the cracks’ in the aftermath of our earthquakes. There is no problem with taking additional Astaxanthin when you are taking Total Balance.

Warren Matthews May 19 2011

Hi Eileen,

Thank you for your question.

No we do not offer our fish oil in liquid form. This is primarily because it is concentrated. You only need a total of two grams (2000mg) a day which is well less than a teaspoon full.

The oil supplied in liquid form is generally less concentrated than oils in capsule form and is unlikely to be molecularly distilled and therefore much more likely to contain contaminants such as mercury.

If you are happy to pierce the soft gel you still only need two soft gels per day.

I hope this helps Eileen, if you have further questions you are most welcome to contact our customer service team on
<a href= >

Customer Relations October 02 2012

I puchased emega 3 fish oil capules recently and I have to cut them to get a liquid form because I am not able to digest the caplets do you sell liquid form if not why not? If not how many capsules do I have to cut to receive the correct dosage daily? Thank you .

Eileen September 30 2012

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