By: Robert M. Blair, Ph.D.
Fatigue has become one of the most prevalent medical complaints in the general population. In one Japanese investigation , the prevalence of fatigue in the study population was 17% overall with women showing a higher prevalence (21%) than men (13%). Another study reported that fatigue was the primary complaint of 5 – 10% of patients and a secondary complaint in another 5 – 10% of patients  in primary care offices. Overall, daily fatigue has clearly become an issue for many of us.
A recently published study reported that daily supplementation with astaxanthin reduced symptoms of both mental and physical fatigue .
In this study, volunteers were assigned to take either (1) 12 mg astaxanthin + 20 mg tocotrienols or (2) 20 mg tocotrienols alone daily for 8 weeks. The volunteers were given both a mental and a physical challenge designed to induce the fatigue and stress experienced in daily life. The mental challenge consisted of timed calculations, while the physical test was riding a stationary bicycle.
The results of the study showed that daily supplementation with 12 mg astaxanthin improved mental clarity and mood while reducing irritation and the feeling of body heaviness compared to the placebo group. Supplementation with astaxanthin also reduced the number of errors in the calculation test. Overall, perceived signs of fatigue, both mental and physical, were reduced with 8 weeks of astaxanthin supplementation.
While fatigue might not sound that critical to many of us, fatigue has been linked to stress, a decreased quality of life, depression and more. Finding ways to combat daily fatigue can be an important way to improve one’s overall quality of life.
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Sharpe M, Wilks D. Fatigue. BMJ 2002; 325(7362):480-483.
Hongo N, et al. Randomized controlled trial of the anti-fatigue effects of astaxanthin on mental and physical loads simulating daily life. Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines 2016; 32(7):277-291.