Asta Zan-14 | BioStar US

Asta Zan 14: Super Antioxidant Recovery Supplement for Dogs

Asta Zan-14™ combines astaxanthin, the antioxidant powerhouse from microalgae, and the Ayurvedic herb turmeric, with additional high antioxidant ingredients to provide a multifaceted supplement for working, sporting, and performance dogs as well as companion dogs, and those needing extra antioxidant support.

Asta Zan-14 K9 | BioStar US

Antioxidants are essential to health and longevity. Performance dogs and sporting dogs can have greater antioxidant needs due to aerobic energy metabolism. Increased antioxidants can help endurance, stamina, as well as recovery.

Free Radicals

Free radicals are the naturally occurring consequence of using oxygen to generate energy. Oxygen is essential for aerobic metabolism. As endurance and aerobic metabolism increases, so do oxygen free radicals. If the free radicals are left unchecked, they can attack and damage cells and DNA. Increased levels of free radicals are present in environmental pollutants, as well as from the reactions of engineered compounds in processed foods. Free radical production can also be caused by stress, as well as physical exercise.

Oxidative Stress

Oxidative Stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and reactive metabolites, known as oxidants or reactive oxygen species (ROS). Their elimination by protective mechanisms is known as antioxidants (S. Reuter, SC Gupta, et al. 2010).

Proteins and fats are significant targets for oxidative attack, which can increase the risk of mutagenesis. Cancer initiation and progression have been linked to oxidative stress by increasing DNA mutations, DNA damage, genome instability, and cell proliferation (R. Visconti, D.Gruco, 2009).

The aging process increases the accumulation of molecular damage in DNA, proteins, and lipids and is characterized by an increase in intracellular oxidative stress.

Extensive research over the past 20 years demonstrates how oxidative stress can lead to an imbalanced inflammatory response (S. Reuter, SC Gupta, et al. 2010).

Long term inflammation is a prolonged pathological condition that includes tissue destruction, fibrosis, and mononuclear immune cell infiltration (N. Khansari, Y. Shakiba, et al. 2009). Inflammation exerts its effects through excessive production of free radicals and depletion of antioxidants (GL Hold, ME. El-Omar. 2008).


Antioxidants help to prevent oxidative damage. Common antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and various polyphenols from blueberries, pomegranates, apples, cruciferous vegetables, and acai berries.

Under normal conditions, antioxidants outbalance the pro-oxidants but under oxidative conditions, pro-oxidants prevail over antioxidants, which can lead to many inflammatory diseases including cancer (S. Reuter, SC Gupta, et al. 2010).


Astaxanthin is a carotenoid found in micro algae (Haematococcus pluvialis), plankton, and krill. The microalgae and the krill are eaten by crustaceans, which in turn are eaten by salmon and trout. Astaxanthin is found in high concentrations in the muscles of salmon, which scientists theorize is what helps the salmon complete their epic yearly swim.


Like other ingredients in whole food, astaxanthin from a food source comes with other carotenoids like beta-carotene, lutein, and canthaxanthin. Astaxanthin in algae and krill is in an ester form, connected to one or two fatty acids, which is a structure that supports bioavailability.

Although astaxanthin is a carotenoid like beta-carotene, it is not converted into vitamin A (Retinol) like beta-carotene.

Carotenoids are divided into 2 groups: Carotenes including beta-carotene, lycopene, and alpha-carotene; the second group is called Xanthophylls (pronounced Zan-tho-fils) that include astaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Unlike beta-carotene and other carotenes, astaxanthin can cross the blood-brain barrier to bring antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection to the brain and central nervous system. Astaxanthin can cross the blood-retinal barrier and bring antioxidant and anti- inflammatory protection to the eyes. Astaxanthin can span cell membranes, and bond with muscle tissue (B. Capelli, GR Cysweski. 2007).

Astaxanthin has a long chain structure so it can span the bilateral membrane thus incrementing resilience against oxidative stress. It can quench free radicals in both water and fat zones of the membrane; in contrast to other antioxidants which work in the inner (vitamin E, and beta-carotene) or outer (vitamin C) portion of the membrane.

A study published 2010, conducted at the School of Food Science, Washington State University, demonstrated that daily doses of astaxanthin in humans decreased a DNA damage biomarker, acute phase protein, and enhanced the immune response (JS Park, JLT Chuyun, et al).

Research has demonstrated that astaxanthin can suppress certain inflammatory mediators, such as prostaglandin E-2, COX-2 enzyme, and the nuclear factor kappa-B (SJ Lee, SK Bai, et al. 2003).


Used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years, this spice, which is a member of the ginger family, contains the antioxidant compound curcumin. Like astaxanthin and vitamin E, curcumin is a fat soluble antioxidant. Many studies have shown that curcumin has low bioavailability due to factors such as poor absorption, rapid metabolism, and rapid systemic elimination. Recent research has shown that phospholipids combined with curcumin show improved bioavailability (P. Anand, AB Kunnumakkara, et al. 2007). This supports the traditional use of turmeric in curry because it is mixed with milk or ghee (high in fat) which then increases bioavailability.

turmeric | BioStar US

Used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years, turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family, contains the antioxidant compound curcumin.

Curcumin can not only act as an antioxidant, but may also indirectly balance the inflammatory response, and increase the synthesis of glutathione, which plays a critical role in cellular adaptation to stress (Curcumin. 2016).

Maintaining healthy dogs

Antioxidants are essential to health and longevity. Performance dogs and sporting dogs can have greater antioxidant needs due to aerobic energy metabolism. Increased antioxidants can help endurance, stamina, as well as recovery. Older dogs have a higher antioxidant need because of the aging process. Dogs facing long term health issues also have a greater antioxidant requirement because the free radicals are already in the oxidative stress cycle. Young dogs can benefit from antioxidant support to maintain a healthy inflammatory response.

BioStar’s Asta Zan-14 Ingredients

AstaxanthinGrown in Japan in special tanks, our astaxanthin is not harvested from the oceans. This microalgae is one of the most potent antioxidants ever discovered. Its oxygen free radical scavenging ability is greater than vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Because of its activity, it is fed in small (milligram) amounts. For dogs under 25lbs, Asta Zan-14 provides 12 milligrams of astaxanthin. For dogs over 25lbs, Asta Zan-14 provides 35 milligrams of astaxanthin, and for dogs over 50 pounds, Asta Zan-14 provides 75 milligrams of astaxanthin.

TurmericOrganic turmeric powder: Provides naturally-occuring curcumin, plus manganese, iron, copper, zinc, chromium, B-3, B-6, and folic acid.


SunflowerSunflower lecithin: This phospholipid from sunflower seeds is important for astaxanthin and the curcumin in turmeric. Both astaxanthin and curcumin need phospholipids for bioavailability. Since most commercial phospholipids are from soy, and genetically modified, sunflower phospholipids provide an excellent alternative that is GMO free.

KaleOrganic, freeze-dried kale: Provides the antioxidants: lutein, and beta-carotene, plus the flavonoids: kaempferol and quercetin, and vitamin K, which among other actions serves as a cell-signaling nutrient that may help to prolong cell life. Kale is a rich source of organosulfur compounds that have shown anti inflammatory activity by inhibiting prostaglandin PGE-2, and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Organic, freeze-dried blueberries: This phytonutrient powerhouse includes: anthocyanins, flavonols, coumaric acids, ferulic acids, and resveratrol. These phytonutrients function both as antioxidants and as anti inflammatory compounds in the body.

beef liverDesiccated beef liver powder: Supports energy, provides essential amino acids including taurine, and provides CoQ10 for healthy heart function.



Asta Zan-14 is free of fillers, binders, excipients. It is safe to feed with medications, including NSAIDS and antibiotics.

Directions for Use

Dogs under 25 pounds ½ teaspoon once per day, mixed with food
Dogs 25-50 pounds 1 teaspoon once per day, mixed with food
Dogs over 50 pounds 2 teaspoons once per day, mixed with food

Asta Zan K9 | BioStar US
Tigger Montague | BioStar USAbout the Author: With over 30 years experience in the equine and human supplement industry, Tigger Montague knows nutrition from the synthetic side as well as the whole food side. She started BioStar US in 2006 with formulas she created in her kitchen.  Before she started the company, she was an avid rider and competitor with eventing and show jumping, until she got hooked on dressage in the late 1980’s.  She has competed on horses she’s owned and trained all the way from training level to Grand Prix.


S. Reuter, SC Gupta, et al; Oxidative stress inflammation and cancer: how are they linked? Free Radical Biology and Medicine, vol 49, issue 11, Dec 2010, pages 1603-1616

R. Visconti, D.Gruco: New insights on oxidative stress in cancer; Curr.Opin, Drug Discov, Dev., 12 (2009), pp 240-245

JS Park, JLT Chuyun, et al; Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans; Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010. Mar 5; 7:18

SJ Lee, SK Bai, et al; Astaxanthin inhibits nitric oxide production, and inflammatory gene expression by suppressing I (kappa) B kinase- dependent NF-kappa B activation. 2003. Mol Cells. August 31; 16 (1): 97-105

B. Capelli, GR Cysweski: Astaxanthin, King of the Carotenoids, 2007, Cynotech Corporation

N. Khansari, Y. Shakiba, et al. Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress as a major cause of age-related diseases and cancer; Rec Pat Infl & Allergy Drug Discovery. 2009. Vol 3, 74-80

GL Hold, ME. El-Omar. Genetic aspects of inflammation and cancer. Biochem J. 2008; 410 (2); 225-235

P. Anand, AB Kunnumakkara, et al. Bioavailability of curcumin: problems and promises. Mol. Pharmaceutics, 2007, 4 (6), 807-818

Curcumin, Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information center. Reviewed 2016.

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