Astaxanthin - Research in Eye Fatigue

The use of computers, and various small visual screens in everyday life, such as mobiles and notebooks, more and more in our everyday life, means that eye fatigue has become a much more prevalent problem than ever before.

The symptoms of asthenopia include sensitivity to glare, headaches, sore eyes, and blurred vision. General eye fatigue symptoms are in most cases mild, but symptoms get progressively worse if the causes and symptoms are not rectified.

From our prior research, we already know that astaxanthin has profound properties to help with anti-aging, but its other positive effects now show that it helps to reduce eye fatigue and asthenopia.

Recently several published clinical studies have shown a positive link between astaxanthin intake and the reduction of eye fatigue.

So far, nine Japanese clinical studies conducted by six independent ophthalmological establishments were able to conclude the efficacy of astaxanthin to alleviate visual asthenopia by observing improvements in the accommodation function and recovery of the ciliary body, retinal blood flow, and inflammation markers.

A study by Nakamura (2004), demonstrated significant improvements in reducing asthenopia and positive accommodation in 4 mg per day and 12 mg per day groups. However, Nitta et al., (2005), established the optimum daily dose at 6 mg for a period of 4 weeks by comparing eye fatigue using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and accommodation values.

Furthermore, results obtained by Shiratori et al., (2005) and Nagaki et al., (2006), also confirmed the previous findings that astaxanthin supplementation at 6 mg for 4 weeks improved symptoms associated with tiredness, soreness, dryness, and blurry vision; and another study by Takahashi & Kajita (2005), also demonstrated that astaxanthin treated groups were able to recover quicker than control groups after heavy visual stimulus.

Japanese ophthalmology researchers also further concluded that in supplemental terms this equated to 4 mg astaxanthin per day potentially delivering the same benefits as 4 mg prednisolone without the side effects of intraocular pressure build-up.

For astaxanthin to work it has to pass through the human blood-retinal barrier (BRB). This is similar to the blood-brain barrier (BBB), so astaxanthin is expected to pass through because its molecular size is able to accommodate this transfer.

Eye fatigue or asthenopia is a common problem, and now a potentially resolvable one with such findings as those above. If current improvements tend to be only 50% successful and other factors are likely to be involved, based on the current clinical evidence, astaxanthin offers a complementary alternative by reducing inflammation, improving accommodation, and increasing blood flow.


  1. Iwasaki & Tawara, (2006). Effects of Astaxanthin on Eyestrain Induced by Accommodative Dysfunction. Journal of Eye (Atarashii Ganka) (6):829-834.
  2. Suzuki et al., (2006). Suppressive effects of astaxanthin against rat endotoxin-induced uveitis by inhibiting the NF-kB signaling pathway. Exp. Eye Res., 82:275-281.
  3. Nagaki et al., (2006). The supplementation effect of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 22(1):41-54.
  4. Miyawaki et al., (2005). Effects of astaxanthin on human blood rheology. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(4):421-429.
  5. Nitta et al. (2005). Effects of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia – Dose finding study in healthy volunteers. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(6):637-650.
  6. Shiratori et al. (2005). Effect of astaxanthin on accommodation and asthenopia – Efficacy identification study in healthy volunteers. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(5):543-556.
  7. Takahashi & Kajita (2005). Effects of astaxanthin on accommodative recovery. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(4):431-436.
  8. Nagaki et al. (2005). The effects of astaxanthin on retinal capillary blood flow in normal volunteers. J. Clin. Therap. Med., 21(5):537-542.
  9. Nakamura et al. (2004). Changes in Visual Function Following Peroral Astaxanthin. Japan J. Clin. Opthal., 58(6):1051-1054.
  10. Ohgami et al., (2003). Effects of astaxanthin on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo. Invest.
    Ophthal. Vis. Sci., 44(6):2694-2701.
  11. Nagaki Y., et al., (2002). Effects of astaxanthin on accommodation, critical flicker fusions, and pattern evoked potential in visual display terminal workers. J. Trad. Med., 19(5):170-173.
  12. Sawaki, K. et al. (2002) Sports performance benefits from taking natural astaxanthin characterized by visual activity and muscle fatigue improvements in humans. J. Clin. Ther. Med., 18(9):73-88.

4 Responses

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Aline Zeno February 01 2011

Hi Aline,

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Stacey Taylor February 08 2011

I’m missing a reference to xtend-life products. Does this mean that by taking TB Unisex, where I get 30mg of Astaxanthin per day, I’m ok? Does this 30mg pass through BBB?

I’m asking because I do sit everyday for 8-10 hours in front of the computer, and I do get dry eyes and occasionally blurry vision. I don’t need to wear glasses, but I’m looking at anything that can help me protect my eye sight, which I start to feel is worsening.

Do you suggest anything else in addition to TB?


Tomas Buday May 20 2010

Hi Tomas,

Yes, pure natural astaxanthin is able to pass through the BRB (blood retinal barrier). Although it wasn’t known in studies how to measure the BRB, it is known that the BRB is the same as the BBB (blood brain barrier) and experts know how to measure this accurately. Hence they were able to measure the BRB for astaxanthin absorption.

So it is confirmed that natural astaxanthin can cross the BRB. The astaxanthin used is in our Total Balance, along with other ingredients including Bilberry, Zeaxanthin, Lutein, vitamin A (mixed), and more are all helpful ingredients to help keep the eyes healthy and even help to improve current conditions, such as AMD, cataracts, general vision degeneration, weak eyes, and more.

So this would be good for you to take. Additionally, try adding our Omega 3/DHA Premium, as this contains further astaxanthin. This is totally compatible and completely within safety dose limits with the Total Balance amounts, and as fish oil is proven helpful for eye health, including retinal health, this will add to your eye strengthening needs. Just as a side note, if you do find you need to, or wish to, you can also add a separate Eyebright formula.

Eyebright is helpful for the eyes to help with things such as photophobia or photosensitivity, dry eyes, and so on. It can be taken in oral, tincture, or even eyedrop form where needed. I hope this helps.

Xtend-Life Expert May 24 2010

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