Can Astaxanthin Slow the Aging of Your Brain?

Astaxanthin is a natural carotenoid with documented protection against numerous diseases. It has a red-orange pigment that belongs to a group of phytochemicals called carotenoids. Also functioning as an antioxidant, astaxanthin has a wide range of benefits for your vision, skin, and heart health as well as advantages against tumors. In addition, new research indicates that astaxanthin, already a superstar, can also help slow the natural aging process of your brain.

What the Big Deal About Antioxidants? 

You want and need lots of antioxidants in your diet! These substances that can slow down and even prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that are generated in response to environmental or dietary stressors. Antioxidants help to quench and neutralize free radicals before they cause damage. Many plant-based foods contain high amounts of antioxidants which can help reduce the oxidative stress that is linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis, strokes, respiratory diseases, and immune deficiency.

Astaxanthin is one of these stellar free-radical scavenging antioxidants. Among all carotenoids, astaxanthin was found in one study to have the highest antioxidant activity against free radicals.1 This carotenoid has been linked to improved blood flow and a lower oxidative stress level when consumed by smokers and overweight people.

How Does Brain Aging Deteriorate Your Mental Function? 

Cognitive changes, such as finding it difficult to remember words, recall names, struggling to multitask, or having trouble paying attention, are common signs of brain aging. These symptoms are most often caused by a loss of brain volume, decreased blood flow, inflammation, and a reduced effectiveness in communication between neurons.

After humans reach the age of 40, brain volume can decline at a rate of 5% each decade, and can decline even faster after the age of 70. While these changes might seem scary, other factors such as brain exercises (including reading, vocabulary, and verbal reasoning) may help improve cognitive function as a person ages. Sadly, severe cognitive impairment can occur as a result of diseases such as Alzheimer's’ and dementia that worsen mental function, including memory, behavior, and problem-solving abilities.

Can Astaxanthin Slow Brain Aging? 

Recent studies have examined the relationship between the neuroprotective properties of astaxanthin and brain aging. In a literature review, researchers determined that astaxanthin can influence several pathways that might be able to slow brain aging in both disease and disability.2  

They found that astaxanthin had the ability to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the brain. BDNF levels are directly tied to the plasticity of the brain in relation to learning and memory. The researchers concluded that astaxanthin could promote whole body longevity and also slow the rate of aging. This mighty nutrient also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation as well as helps improve the dysregulation of gene expression.

The Bottom Line 

The outstanding range of benefits from astaxanthin tick off many boxes in a health support routine, from brain health and cognitive benefits to solid antioxidant support and potential longevity. Consider adding this amazing carotenoid to your daily nutritional routine – your whole body will thank you! 

Resources

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10775364/ 
  2. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/how-aging-brain-affects-thinking