Astaxanthin is a Rising Star in Alzheimer’s Prevention
Source: Dr Mercola
Astaxanthin is a natural pigment with unique properties and many clinical benefits, including some of the most potent antioxidant activity currently known. It is the same pigment that makes flamingos pink.
These birds are born with grey feathers—and after consuming their natural diet of astaxanthin-containing algae and crustaceans, they turn pink! It has been found to reduce the accumulation of phospholipid hydroperoxidases (PLOOH)—compounds known to accumulate in the red blood cells of people who suffer from dementia—and scientists now believe astaxanthin could help prevent dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
As a fat-soluble nutrient, astaxanthin readily crosses your blood-brain barrier. One study2 found it may help prevent neurodegeneration associated with oxidative stress, as well as make a potent natural “brain food.”
The molecules of astaxanthin neutralize free radicals and other oxidants without being destroyed or becoming pro-oxidants themselves in the process. It’s is a unique molecule whose shape allows it to precisely fit into a cell membrane and span its entire width. In this position, astaxanthin can intercept potentially damaging molecules before they can damage your cells.
In fact, astaxanthin is hundreds of times more effective than vitamin E in squelching singlet oxygen free radicals, and far exceeds the free radical scavenging power of vitamin C, CoQ10, beta-carotene, and green tea. According to a recent article in the Alternative Medicine Review3:
“Astaxanthin improved cognition in a small clinical trial and boosted proliferation and differentiation of cultured nerve stem cells… Astaxanthin’s clinical success extends beyond protection against oxidative stress and inflammation, to demonstrable promise for slowing age-related functional decline.”
This supports the findings of a prior 2011 study in the British Journal of Nutrition that showed taking 6 mg or 12 mg of astaxanthin daily for 12 weeks lowered levels of PLOOH by 40 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
It is unlikely you will be able to obtain enough astaxanthin from diet alone… unless you are a flamingo. You can get some astaxanthin by taking krill oil, which is a fantastic omega-3 fat supplement. But you can boost your astaxanthin even MORE by adding a pure astaxanthin supplement to your nutritional regimen. For optimal absorption, make sure to take krill oil and/or astaxanthin with a fat-containing meal, since both are fat-soluble.