Your brain needs oxygen. Without it your brain cells will start dying within minutes. But there is a downside to oxygen — it causes oxidation. You’ve witnessed oxidation at work when you’ve seen a sliced apple turn brown or metal get rusty. There is a very similar process constantly going on in your brain, too.
Oxidation is a major cause of aging but the process can be slowed down by antioxidants.
One of the most recent and exciting antioxidant discoveries you may not have heard of is astaxanthin (a-sta-ZAN-thin). It’s been found to be a whopping 6000 times more potent than vitamin C! (1) And it’s particularly brain-friendly since it can easily cross the largely impermeable blood-brain barrier.
Four Ways Astaxanthin Slows Down Aging
Here are four major ways astaxanthin has been found to slow the aging process:
Your Skin – It reduces age spots and wrinkles and protects your skin from future sun damage. This makes astaxanthin a perfect supplement for anyone who is seeking more sun exposure to prevent vitamin D deficiency.
Your Eyes – It decreases eyestrain and fatigue which is good for all of us computer users. It protects the eyes from UV light and significantly lowers risk of cataract formation. Studies show it improves vision of patients in early stages of macular degeneration.
Your Brain – Since it readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, it can easily neutralize free radicals and halt oxidative damage to your brain cells. It’s also been found to improve mood and memory and lead to clearer thinking. (2)
Your Joints – It’s highly effective for reducing joint pain and inflammation.
That is a lot of anti-aging power from one nutrient. Yet in spite of this, few people have heard of it!
Astaxanthin in Nature
Astaxanthin naturally occurs in algae and is a brilliant red, fat-soluble carotenoid. It’s what makes salmon and flamingos their distinctive pink color. A fun fact is that flamingos are born white but turn pink as they eat prawns, tiny shrimp, and algae!
Don’t count on salmon as a reliable source unless you know for certain that your salmon is guaranteed wild-caught. Most salmon at the supermarket, even if labeled as wild, is not only farm-raised but dyed pink and mislabeled as Atlantic salmon to fool the customer into thinking it’s fresh and healthy.
The best naturally occurring source of astaxanthin is krill oil. Krill are tiny crustaceans found in the cold, unpolluted waters of the Antarctic.
The Best Astaxanthin Supplement Source
Astaxanthin supplementation is the only real way to get enough to be therapeutic. Humans generally don’t eat krill … when was the last time you saw krill on a menu?
Supplements can be synthetic or extracted from algae using toxic chemicals as solvents. These are the kind of supplements you want to avoid.
Luckily for us, krill oil is not only an excellent source of astaxanthin, it is also the best source of brain-essential omega-3s.
Most people rely on fish oil supplements for their omega-3s, but krill oil is superior in several ways. According to the US National Institutes of Health, krill oil is better absorbed than fish oil. (3) Krill contain 48x more antioxidants than fish oil and has over 300x the antioxidant power of vitamins A and E. (4)
That’s why taking a krill oil supplement that contains naturally occurring astaxanthin makes so much sense — it gives you the benefits of omega-3s plus astaxanthin in one capsule.
My husband and I take Prograde EFA Icon krill oil supplement with astaxanthin. These tiny, highly-digestible capsules are easy to swallow and don’t leave an unpleasant fishy aftertaste. I feel confident that I’ve got my antioxidant and essential fatty acid bases covered!
If I were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could take only a supply of one supplement with me, this would be it!
Our Best Recommendations for Brain Health & Fitness
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Part of the ESSENTIAL BRAIN NUTRITION SYSTEM
Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics
Wild seafood & organic foods
Certified pure, premium quality wild salmon and seafood. Excellent source of quality omega-3 fatty acids for brain health. Endorsed by top doctors you know.