Astaxanthin found in salmon, shrimp, lobster, crayfish and krill belongs to the family of xantophil of carotenoids. Astaxanthin is produced from many microorganisms such as microalg Haematococcus pluvialis and red yeast Phaffa rhodzyma. Astaxanthin is also used for coloring agent in fish feed. Apart from coloring agent astaxanthin has many positive effects on health. Astaxanthin has been shown to be 100 times stronger than vitamin E against lipid peroxidation and 40 times effective than carotene on scavenging singlet oxygen. It has been demonstrated that astaxanthin has protective and therapeutic effects on mainly including oxidative stress, many cancer types, diabetes mellitus, cardiovasculer diseases. In this article, the last available scientific literature regarding astaxhanthin chemistry, sources and its health effects are reviewed.