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... 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.