Asthma, one of the allergic diseases, affects 300 million people worldwide. The prevalence of asthma in children and adults increases globally by 50% every decade in different countries. Especially, in developing regions such as Africa, Central and South America, Asia, and the Pacific, the prevalence of asthma continues to rise sharply due to the increasing urbanization and westernization. This increased incidence of asthma leads to an increase in the cost of the treatment. Asthma is a complex syndrome with many phenotypes in humans and is characterized by variable airflow obstruction, airway hyper-responsiveness, and airway inflammation, which cause wheezing, coughing, tightness of the chest, and breathlessness.
The following are signs that bronchospasm is occurring, and the person is having an asthma attack.
- Wheezing (a whistling sound) while breathing
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Difficulty talking
- Sweaty or pale face
- Signs of low blood oxygen such as blue fingernails or lips
- Panic or anxiety
Astaxanthin effectively suppressed AHR (Airway Hyperresponsiveness), the infiltration of inflammatory cells in the lung, mucus hypersecretion, lung fibrosis, and the expression of inflammation. Therefore, astaxanthin could be a promising protective agent for asthma patients.