Cymbiotika, the company behind DHA & Astaxanthin, brings a product to market with two of the most trusted ingredients in the supplement world, DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid, and Astaxanthin, the world’s most potent antioxidant. Both ingredients have been clinically tested extensively and make broad structure-function (benefits) claims, supported by these clinical trials. We think you’ll be fascinated when we discuss the purported benefits of these two ingredients which come together in DHA & Astaxanthin.
Our focus in this review will be to determine if the dosages in the Cymbiotika product meet or exceed the dosages employed in the clinical trials and if there have been clinicals on the finished product. Simply combining two great ingredients does not guarantee the finished product is as good as or better than purchasing the ingredients separately.
We’ll also delve into the pricing model of this product and the recommended dosages. If one were to follow the recommendations for maximum efficacy as detailed by Cymbiotika, this could very quickly become the most expensive supplement in your regimen.
What is DHA & Astaxanthin
Cymbiotika’s DHA & Astaxanthin is a DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) omega-3 fatty acid supplement. The Astaxanthin in this application is sourced from one of the most pristine places on earth, Iceland. The manufacturer speaks of the synergy of a DHA and Astaxanthin blend. They go on to state that the Astaxanthin places itself next to DHA in the body’s tissue and will sacrifice itself to protect the DHA.
Key Ingredients – DHA & Astaxanthin
DHA is the healthy omega-3 fatty acid. DHA can be sourced from fish, krill, or algae. Cymbiotika sources their DHA from Canadian, indoor-grown, non-GMO, wild strain microalgae. The manufacturer states that they use algae as that is what the fish and krill feed on. Their marketing states theirs is the “purest source of DHA on the planet [and] the most potent due to the high bioavailability.”
Astaxanthin is known as the most potent antioxidant in the world; 6,000 times more potent than Vitamin C, and 550 times stronger than Vitamin E.
The only other ingredients in the product are organic lemon oil and organic stevia for flavoring.
DHA & Astaxanthin Dosages
Here is the section where this report begins to get very interesting. In the FAQ section of the site, the question is posed, “What is the dosage?” We concur with the response, “Consult with your healthcare practitioner, but the general recommendation is 500 – 1,000mg per day. That is a maintenance dose.” Other industry experts recommend 1, 000 mg per day.
The more interesting part of the dosage question is contained in the SHOP segment of the site. To quote:
DHA and Astaxanthin are accumulated and stored by the body over time. So, initially, more is recommended and over time, the dosage can be reduced.
Most of the population is DHA deficient and overly exposed to inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids. The minimum recommended dosage is 2 mL (2 grams/1,000 milligrams/ 2 droppers per day)
Children can take half that amount per day (1 mL/1 gram / 500 mg / 1 dropper).
At 2 mL/day, the bottle is a 25 day supply.
Consuming a bottle every 12 days is the best way to build DHA stores (4 mL/ 2,000 milligrams/ 4 droppers per day). Doing so for 3 months will raise the blood levels, while doing it for 12 months will raise it in the tissues.
After the building dose, consumption can be reduced and the body will still maintain its necessary levels.
My math may be failing me, but I believe 1 gram is equal to 1,000 mg. The math in the recommended dosages simply doesn’t hold together, which is very concerning.
Perhaps more distressing, consuming a bottle every 12 days for a year equates to over 30 bottles. Even at the reduced Auto-Ship price of $48.00 per bottle, that is a significant investment, $1,460.00.
Benefits of DHA & Astaxanthin
As stated, we are major proponents of both DHA and Astaxanthin. Below is a list of the most important benefits attributable to DHA. For an even more robust list, in fact an exhaustive list, you may refer to the Cymbiotika site:
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Addresses inflammation
- Vision health
- Brain support and mental health
- May lower blood pressure and improve circulation
There are several patented and trademarked Astaxanthin products, supporting an impressive list of structure-function claims. It should be noted the dosages tested in these clinicals will vary dramatically. Below we’ll provide a list of the branded ingredients and the benefits studied in these clinicals.
For an even more comprehensive list of potential benefits we suggest you visit the Cymbiotika site.
Bioastin, from Nutrex Hawaii:
- Supports joint and tendon health
- Cardiovascular health
- Recovery from strenuous exercise
- Supports health vision
- Protects skin during exposure to the sun
- Prevention of sunburn
- Muscle endurance and recovery
- Eye health
- Skin health
- Immunity support
- Gastric health
We believe DHA and Astaxanthin are two of the most efficient supplements on the market – however, the sheer number and extent of the benefits claimed on the Cymbiotika site creates a credibility issue in our minds.
Does DHA & Astaxanthin Actually Perform – the Claims versus the Reality
We do not doubt that both ingredients work – both deliver significant benefits. In supplementation, the FDA is a stickler that structure-function claims, the purported benefits, must be supported by clinical studies. Many companies will use these structure-function claims for an ingredient, although the dosages are less than those used in the clinical studies.
We have ascertained that the DHA in this product is at the generally accepted 1,000 mg per day. What is impossible to validate is if the clinical trials support all the claims, and if so at what specific dosage.
Astaxanthin dosage guidelines recommend taking between 4-8 mg, two to three times per day with meals. In some research studies, dosages of up to 40 mg have been used safely.
Cymbiotika’s product contains 4 mg per serving. On a maintenance dosage, it would appear the DHA & Astaxanthin product is somewhat deficient in delivering all the benefits.
Ironically, there are only four reviews on the company’s website and three reviews on Amazon. Far too small of a sample to validate product performance.
Potential Side Effects of DHA & Astaxanthin
The highest potential for side effects from the product would appear to be when using the loading dosages. Too much DHA is known to cause severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizzy spells, and fainting.
Not surprisingly, one of the potential side effects of Astaxanthin is increased pigmentation. Note: astaxanthin is responsible for the pink coloration in salmon and flamingos and the red in lobsters.
Best Places to Buy Cimbiotika’s DHA & Astaxanthin
Although the primary location for buying Cimbiotika’s product is its web site, the product is also available on Amazon.
The price for a one-time purchase is $67.00 per bottle. Their recurring ship price (auto-ship) is $48.00. Amazon also lists the cost at $67.00 per bottle.
Cymbiotika does some things very well. The product is manufactured in a cGMP facility and is organic, non-GMO, soy-free, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. The product is also free of chemicals, animal products, fish, soy, seed oils, wheat, gluten, corn, nuts, dairy, lactose, eggs, yeast, sugars, solvents, alcohols, fillers, binders, flavors, additives, preservatives, coloring, fragrance, silicone, BPA.
This is a young company, but we find the list of benefits and the dosage confusion, concerning. All that said, if you can afford it, we believe there are genuine benefits to the product.