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October 2023

The Colorful World of Carotenoids

By The Algalif Blog

It’s all about carotenoids.

With more than 1,000 types of carotenoids described, it is safe to say they have a wide variety of functions. But what makes them similar among each other is their chemical structure, which consists of a long chain of conjugated double bonds and a series of isoprene units, giving them their characteristic color and properties. In addition, carotenoids may contain functional groups such as hydroxyl, keto, or epoxy groups, which can modify their properties and biological activity, dividing them into two groups: xanthophylls (oxygen present in the structure), and carotenes (no oxygen is present in the structure). 

The general structure of a carotenoid 


Traveling through the food chain 

Animals are not able to produce carotenoids by themselves, but they are able to modify the ones ingested through the diet in order to obtain useful substances; for example, most animals are able to synthesize vitamin A from carotenoids like β-carotene, α-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin. As mentioned before, in the case of flamingos, they feed on brine shrimp, which turns red as they graze upon microalgae, as a result, they get their characteristic pink color.  

Why astaxanthin?  

Well, it turns out that astaxanthin is not only a very powerful antioxidant and booster of immunity when consumed; it also has some impressive properties that set it apart from the rest of the carotenoid groups. What makes astaxanthin stand out is its unique ability to protect against stress produced by the environment. It is produced by a few species of bacteria, microalgae, fungi, and other microscopic organisms called thraustochytrids, but the freshwater algae, Haematococcus Pluvialis is the non-GMO organism with the greatest capacity for astaxanthin accumulation.   

What about us?  

You might be wondering if consuming astaxanthin will turn your skin red, just like a flamingo. The short answer is no, taking the recommended dose of astaxanthin will not make your skin turn red. However, consuming very high amounts of carotenoid-rich foods can cause a condition called carotenosis, which presents as an orange discoloration of the skin, especially in palm and soles. It can also be associated with a decreased carotenoid metabolism and hyperlipidemia – a condition in which people have higher than usual lipids in the blood.  Luckily, the only adverse effect of carotenosis is embarrassment, which arises when friends and family notice that you blend in well with the produce section! 

So go ahead and embrace astaxanthin as part of your daily routine. Our Icelandic astaxanthin, produced with pure water and manufactured sustainably, offers a multitude of health benefits. It supports cardiovascular health, improves skin radiance, enhances muscle performance, and boosts immune function. Incorporating Algalif’s natural Icelandic astaxanthin into your lifestyle will provide you with a holistic approach to wellness, ensuring a healthier and more vibrant you. 

An Algalif Blog by Ingrid Lazo and Francesco Golin, Cultivation Specialist  

The benefits of astaxanthin and beta glucan for humans will be explored in future blogs – keep up to date by following us at www.algalif.com and www.nutramunity.com.

Immunity for Life

By The Algalif Blog

Immune health is important for everybody, independent of lifestyle, age, or profession. Our immune systems face tremendous everyday challenges as a result of the fast-paced lifestyle of today. A strong immune system is becoming more and more important to consumers. The top 5 health concerns of supplement users in the US, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements (2013/2014), regularly include immune health.

Nutramunity™ Beta-Glucan (NBG®) is a versatile ingredient for functional food, beverages, nutraceuticals, and sports nutrition products that support healthy immune function.

We are the Experts

Nutramunity™ Beta-Glucan from Algalif comes with a 25-year heritage of unsurpassed yeast beta-glucan discovery and development. No other manufacturer has a stronger track record of scientific development, manufacturing expertise, and understanding of beta-1,3/1,6-glucan from baker’s yeast. This knowledge and capability are key throughout the manufacturing process to ensure that the molecular structure of the beta-glucan remains intact for it to deliver its full effect and the purity of the ingredient is delivered to a consistently high standard.

Clinical Research

Nutramunity™ is a potent and safe immune-enhancing component isolated from baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Clinical research has shown that beta-1,3/1,6-glucan:

  • Improves immune function* (oral intake)
  • Promotes healthy inflammatory response* (oral intake)
  • Supports mucosal immunity and promotes respiratory health* (oral intake)
  • Stimulates the skin’s ability to repair, renew, and protect itself (topical application)
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles (topical application)

Supplements, Food & Drinks

Nutramunity™ can be used in daily supplements, foods, beverages, medical foods, foods for special dietary uses, and personal care formulations. It is easy to incorporate Nutramunity™ into new and existing products. The beta-1,3/1,6-glucan molecule is stable and robust – it does not disintegrate with time, nor does it react or interfere with other ingredients. Since it does not turn rancid, no preservatives are needed. Yeast beta-glucan is highly bioactive; hence, small amounts are sufficient. These properties make incorporation of the ingredient into existing products easy, as it does not require major changes in the current formula.


It is Novel Food approved and kosher- and halal-certified. Nutramunity™ Beta-Glucan is non-allergenic and those components in yeast that may cause allergy (i.e., mannose-proteins) are completely removed during the production process.

Immunity for Everyone

Maintaining a robust immune system is crucial for individuals of all backgrounds, regardless of their lifestyle, age, or occupation. However, certain groups are particularly susceptible to infections:

  • Stressed people have higher levels of hormones that weaken their immune defense.
  • Families with kids are often troubled with colds, flu, and tummy bugs that kids get at nursery and school.
  • The elderly are more vulnerable to infections due to age-related deterioration of immune functions.
  • Healthcare professionals are in everyday contact with patients, many of whom carry contagious diseases.
  • People on travel encounter alien microbes and their immune systems often struggle to cope.
  • Athletes expose themselves to hard physical stress, leaving them more prone to diseases.


An Algalif Blog by Julia Gamaniek, Nutramunity Beta Glucan expert.


The benefits of astaxanthin and beta glucan for humans will be explored in future blogs – keep up to date by following us at www.algalif.com and www.nutramunity.com.

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