as·​ta·​xan·​thin | \ ˌa-stə-ˈzan(t)-thən How to pronounce astaxanthin (audio) \

Definition of astaxanthin

: a carotenoid pigment C40H52O4 found in red- or pink-colored aquatic organisms (such as shrimp, lobster, and salmon) and the feathers of some birds that is used especially as a food coloring and dietary supplement Wild salmon attain their color by absorbing a carotenoid called astaxanthin from their krill-based diet, while farmed salmon eat fish feed supplemented with various sources of astaxanthin to enhance their grayish color.Cook's Illustrated Astaxanthin is found in many marine animals, like shrimp and fish, and is also responsible for the pink color of flamingos that feed on crustaceans rich in the pigment.— C. Claiborne Ray

Examples of astaxanthin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The ingredient list also includes the antioxidant astaxanthin, which the brand claims (based on various studies) has stronger brightening effects than topical vitamin C. Andrea Navarro, Glamour, 23 May 2022 Pink seafoods like heart-healthy salmon and shrimp have high levels of a certain carotenoid with antioxidant properties known as astaxanthin. Kelsey Ogletree, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 Feb. 2022 Their color comes from a pigment molecule called astaxanthin, which binds to other proteins, according to Nicoletta Lanese for Live Science. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 Nov. 2021 Proteins that attach to astaxanthin, the base carotenoid pigment, give lobsters their brown and green colors, said Chris Cash, assistant director for outreach and communication at the Lobster Institute at The University of Maine in Orono. Megan Marples, CNN, 12 Nov. 2021 The color of a lobster can depend on what proteins interact with the astaxanthin. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 10 Nov. 2021 Studies have shown that long-term supplementation with astaxanthin may help slow skin aging via its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Allure, 17 Aug. 2018 Lobster coloring is all thanks to a pigment called astaxanthin. Robinson Russell, National Geographic, 19 June 2018 But inside the shell proteins bind the astaxanthin. Robinson Russell, National Geographic, 19 June 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'astaxanthin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of astaxanthin

1939, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for astaxanthin

borrowed from German, from Astacin, an oxidation product of astaxanthin (from New Latin Astacus, genus including Astacus gammarus, the European lobster—now Homarus gammarus— + German -in -in entry 1) + Xanthin "carotenoid pigment," from Greek xanthós "yellow" + German -in -in entry 1; Astacus going back to Latin, "lobster or crayfish," borrowed from Greek astakós, ostakós, of uncertain origin — more at xantho-

Note: The name Astacin was introduced by the German chemist Richard Kuhn (1900-67) and the Austrian-born French chemist Edgar Lederer (1908-88) in "Über die Farbstoffe des Hummers (Astacus gammarus L.) und ihre Stammsubstanz, das Astacin," Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft, 66. Jahrgang, Nr. 4 (April 5, 1933), pp. 488-95.— Greek astakós/ostakós has been traced to a hypothetical Indo-European derivative *h2osth1-n̥-ko- from the base *h2ost- "bone" (see osseous), supposedly comparable to Sanskrit an-ástha-ka- "without bones." The variant astakós is explained as either vowel assimilation or the outcome of an ablaut variant *h2est- (allegedly seen also in astrágalos "neck vertebra, ankle bone"; see astragalus). Beekes (Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2010), who reconstructs the "bone" base as *h3esth1-, objects that the formation *h3esth1-n̥-ko- is unparalleled in Greek, and that the a/o fluctuation (not to mention the semantic field) is indicative of substratal origin.

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The first known use of astaxanthin was in 1939

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Last Updated

4 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Astaxanthin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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