Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant and one of a group of natural pigments known as carotenoids. In nature, carotenoids are produced by plants and micro-algae. Animals such as land hermit crabs cannot synthesise carotenoids thus ultimately they must obtain these pigments from the plants and algae that support their food chains.
Astaxanthin is a red pigment naturally occurring in a wide variety of living organisms. Most crustaceans, including prawns, shrimp, crayfish or lobster and crabs, are tinted red by accumulated astaxanthin. The colouration of fish is often due to astaxanthin; the pink flesh of healthy wild salmon is a common example.
Astaxanthin is found naturally in its highest concentration in Wild Pacific sockeye salmon.
Proteins that are high in astaxanthin include:
- sockeye salmon
- red trout
- red seabream
- lobster, shrimp
- salmon roe.
Astaxanthin helps to give hermit crabs their rich colour but it also helps your hermit crabs with better health too.