Many refer to the antioxidant Astaxanthin as the world’s best when it comes to protecting you’re your brain as well as your eyes. It is recognized by researchers such as Rudi Moerck, an expert in fats and antioxidants, as “one of the most potent and exciting antioxidants to emerge, and is backed by extensive and compelling evidence.”

According to research, Astaxanthin is important to help your body in the following ways:

Protection from inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease

In eye health to fight against cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and other causes of blindness

  • Prevents Wrinkles and sunburn
  • Promotes better brain health
  • Improves athletic performance

A member of the carotenoid family (which includes beta-carotene and lutein), Astaxanthin is extracted from ocean algae. It is what gives the salmon and flamingos their pink coloration.  You get most of your carotenoid antioxidants from your regular diet, and it furnishes your Vitamin A. Since too much vitamin A can be toxic to humans, there is no real need to take a supplement for it since it is found in sufficient amounts in your diet in such vegetables as broccoli and carrots. Astaxanthin does not cause harm to the body, even in large amounts.

Astaxanthin, on the other hand, is not found in much of your diet unless you eat a lot of salmon or red fish. It also is lower in toxicity than vitamin A, and is far more effective than other carotenoids in providing oxidation to the blood, and is “550 times more powerful than vitamin E, and 11 times more powerful than beta-carotene.

When it comes to free radical scavenging, Astaxanthin is “65 times more powerful than vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene, and 14 times more powerful than vitamin E.” Astaxanthin crosses the “blood-brain barrier,” a cellular and metabolic barrier located in the capillaries in the brain that restricts the passage of certain toxins, bacteria and red-blood cells objects from the bloodstream, while allowing other substances to pass into the brain. The blood-brain barrier allows antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection to your eyes, brain and central nervous system, reducing the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, blindness, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

What sets Astaxanthin apart from other antioxidants is that it is able to be absorbed either in water or in fat – whereas others are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. Water-soluble antioxidants need to be taken every day because they pass quickly through your body. Fat-soluble ones do not need to be taken daily, but you may want to. The problem is that fat-soluble is that they will not release as quickly and will tend to accumulate in your fat tissues.

Astaxanthin is often compared to vitamin E, although it is hundreds of times more potent. Although similar, their chemical structure is totally different. You still need to take in Vitamin E.

Researchers have discovered a number of areas where astaxanthin appears to be particularly helpful. I’ve previously discussed these health benefits in great depth, so for more information about its use for the following health problems, please see the hyperlinks provided:

Dietary sources of astaxanthin include (all wild-caught) salmon, shrimp, lobster and crab. Farm raised fish typically will not contain natural astaxanthin. In addition, wild salmon have much higher levels of beneficial omega-3 fats than the farmed version. Natural astaxanthin is also more than 20 times stronger as an antioxidant than synthetic version. According to Dr. Moerck, “When you look at a salmon you see that redness in a salmon. That color is really in the membranes and in the fat portion of the salmon associated with omega-3 DHA. They’re right next to each other. That actually keeps the DHA from oxidizing. DHA is an unsaturated fatty acid. If you just leave it exposed to oxygen, it goes rancid. … And in krill, one of the reasons why krill is so incredibly stable is it has astaxanthin in it. That keeps it from oxidizing.”

About the author:

Ron White is a memory keynote speaker interested in anything to do with the brain and its functions.


Sources: – Some Call It the World’s Best Antioxidant — Protecting Your Eyes, Brain, and Preventing Wrinkles:

New World Dictionary – Blood-Brain Barrier: