What do salmon, krill, and lobster all have in common? Yes, they all live in the ocean. Yes, they are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. And, yes, they are all GREAT sources of astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family, and is a fat-soluble pigment found in salmon, krill, and lobster, as well as shrimp, crayfish, and even the feathers of flamingos.
Like other carotenoids, astaxanthin is a good source of antioxidants. In fact, when compared to other members of this family—namely beta-carotene, lutein, alpha-carotene, and lycopene—astaxanthin had the highest antioxidant activity. And herein lies astaxanthin’s benefits for brain health, or more specifically, dementia.
According to a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study from a 2011 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers separated 30 people into three groups. One group took 6 mg of astaxanthin a day for 12 weeks. The second group took 12 mg a day, and the third group took a placebo.
At the end of 12 weeks, researchers discovered that phospholipid hydroperoxides were significantly lower in both astaxanthin groups than in the placebo group. This is important because phospholipid hydroperoxides are abnormally accumulated in people with dementia. By lowering their accumulation, researchers concluded that astaxanthin supplementation might contribute to the prevention of dementia.
If you want to try an astaxanthin supplement, aim for 6–12 mg a day.
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