Type 2 diabetes mellitus (“T2DM”) is a metabolic disorder characterized by chronic high blood glucose in the context of insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. The rate of T2DM has increased markedly over the last several decades in parallel with obesity.
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, which influence intracellular signaling pathways critical to normal metabolic function, have been shown to play an important role in the pathology of T2DM. Drugs including the highly prescribed Metformin are presumed to act via pathways that regulate glucose production, insulin signaling, and mitochondrial functionality, including AMPK (adiponectin pathway) and PI-3/AKT (insulin receptor pathway).
Astaxanthin has been shown to upregulate adiponectin levels in humans and animal models of metabolic dysfunction and thereby restore AMPK pathway functionality. Additionally, astaxanthin has increased insulin levels, decreased glucose levels, and elevated measures of insulin sensitivity in several animal models of disease.
Signaling pathways that regulate glucose and insulin signaling (PI-3/AKT) are often dysregulated and inhibited by oxidative stress and inflammation. Astaxanthin has been shown to upregulate and normalize these insulin and glucose pathways in animal models, resulting in restoration of metabolic homeostasis. The evidence to date supports the potential for astaxanthin to ameliorate causes and symptoms of T2DM in humans.