Astaxanthin for The Brain
Astaxanthin (pronounced Asta-zan-thin) is a supplement derived from micro-algae. It has the ability to protect the brain from harmful free radicals or oxidative stress (from pollution, smoking, stress, alcohol, chemicals or radiation) through its role as nature’s most powerful anti-oxidant; 6000 times stronger than vitamin C.
Unlike other anti-oxidant molecules, Astaxanthin also has the rare ability of being able to pass through the protective barrier between the blood and the brain (the blood brain barrier). This means that the anti-oxidant healing function of astaxanthin can benefit the brain directly, whereas most supplements can’t enter the brain. These features have led experts to label astaxanthin a “natural brain food.”
As our brains age, we become more vulnerable to the constant onslaught of free radicals. After the age of 40, the brain’s natural antioxidant enzymes, which protect us, progressively lose effectiveness. When there is an imbalance between free radicals and anti-oxidants, the result can be cell damage (brain damage on a cellular level) as well as chronic inflammation.
In fact, excessive and persistent oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the brain have been linked to poor memory, scatterbrain, depression, mood swings and lack of focus, It can lead to the development and progression of more serious neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Huntington’s disease (HD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS ) disease as well as cerebrovascular diseases, such as ischemic stroke and vascular dementia.