Flush These 'Dementia Markers' Out of Your Bloodstream
by Joseph Mercola: The
Food That Strengthens Your Muscles...
using a natural pigment called astaxanthin the same coloring
that gives flamingos their pink appearance can reduce the
accumulation of phospholipid hydroperoxides.
accumulate in the red blood cells of people who suffer from dementia,
and scientists now believe that astaxanthin could help prevent dementia,
About 5.4 million
Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and that number is only
expected to go up in coming years.
a study in the British Journal of Nutrition:
12 weeks of treatment, erythrocyte astaxanthin concentrations were
higher in both the 6 and 12 mg astaxanthin groups than in the placebo
group. In contrast, erythrocyte [phospholipid hydroperoxide] concentrations
were lower in the astaxanthin groups than in the placebo group ...
suggest that astaxanthin supplementation results in improved erythrocyte
antioxidant status and decreased [phospholipid hydroperoxide] levels,
which may contribute to the prevention of dementia."
Journal of Nutrition January 31, 2011
are born with grey, not pink, feathers. It's only after eating their
natural diet of algae and crustaceans, which are loaded with naturally
occurring pigments called carotenoids, that they turn the pink color
they're known for.
What does this
have to do with you and your future health?
One of these
very same pigments that give flamingoes their color is making a
name for itself in the research arena as one of the most powerful
"supernutrients" out there. That carotenoid is astaxanthin, and
it's one I suggest you become familiar with sooner rather than later
Way to Prevent Dementia?
exhibits exceptionally potent free-radical scavenging activity,
and protects your cells, organs and body tissues from oxidative
damage. In this way it impacts many aspects of health,
but one of the most exciting could be its impact on your brain.
In fact it is hundreds of times more effective than vitamin E in
squelching singlet oxygen free radicals.
dementia tend to accumulate abnormal levels of phospholipid hydroperoxides
(PLOOH) in their red blood cells. But new research published in
Journal of Nutrition found that taking 6 mg or 12 mg of astaxanthin
daily for 12 weeks lowered blood levels of PLOOH by 40 and 50 percent,
concluded that the improved antioxidant status and decreased PLOOH
levels in the red blood cells may contribute to the prevention of
is a fat soluble nutrient and readily crosses your blood-brain barrier,
and a past study found it may
help prevent neurodegeneration associated with oxidative stress
as well as make a potent natural brain food.
Antioxidant Powers Blow Away Vitamins C and E
aware of the value of antioxidants for health protection, but you
may not realize that an antioxidant is only as valuable as its concentration
allows. In some cases, you may need to consume massive amounts of
an antioxidant to get the real health benefits, and this may not
be practical or even possible.
In the case
of astaxanthin, it is by far the most powerful and concentrated
carotenoid antioxidant when it comes to free radical scavenging.
- 65 times
more powerful than vitamin C
- 54 times
more powerful than beta-carotene
- 14 times
more powerful than vitamin E
is also far more effective than other carotenoids at "singlet oxygen
quenching," which is a particular type of oxidation. The damaging
effects of sunlight and various organic materials are caused by
this less-stable form of oxygen. Astaxanthin is 550 times more powerful
than vitamin E, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times more powerful
than green tea catechins, and 11 times more powerful than beta-carotene
at neutralizing singlet oxygen.
As you might
suspect, an antioxidant with this kind of power can have an extraordinary
impact on health; more studies are being published all the time
about this incredible nutrient. Here are just some of the ways astaxanthin
can positively impact your health, according to the latest research:
your immune function
endurance, workout performance and recovery
cardiovascular health by reducing C-Reactive Proteins (CRP),
reducing triglycerides, and increasing beneficial HDL
to stabilize blood sugar, thereby protecting your kidneys
protecting your eyes from cataracts, macular degeneration,
indigestion and reflux
your brain from dementia and Alzheimer's
fertility by increasing sperm strength and sperm count
your risk for many types of cancer (including cancers of the
breast, colon, bladder and mouth) by stimulating apoptosis (cancer
cell death) and inhibiting lipid peroxidation
helping to prevent sunburn, and protecting you from the damaging
effects of radiation (i.e., flying in airplanes, x-rays, CT
recovery from spinal cord and other central nervous system injuries
oxidative damage to your DNA
inflammation from all causes, including arthritis and asthma
symptoms from pancreatitis, multiple sclerosis, carpal tunnel
syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, and Lou
Gehrig's disease, and neurodegenerative diseases
It May be
Impossible to Obtain Enough Astaxanthin from Diet Alone
are a flamingo or some other marine animal,, it is virtually impossible
to obtain enough astaxanthin from your diet alone because there
are only two prime sources: microalgae and sea creatures that consume
the algae (such as salmon, shellfish, and krill).
I have mentioned
astaxanthin in reference to krill oil, which has been my favorite
source of animal-based omega-3 fats for many years now, because
krill oil naturally contains astaxanthin. And our krill oil has
the highest concentration of astaxanthin of any krill oil supplement
on the market today.
So you can
get some astaxanthin in your diet by taking krill oil. You can also
get some naturally by eating wild salmon, which gets its pink color
from astaxanthin. (Do not confuse this with the pink color of farmed
salmon, which comes from synthetic astaxanthin made from highly
have to eat several ounces of wild salmon every single day to get
a high enough dose of astaxanthin, and this is not only expensive
but also puts you at risk of mercury and other toxins that may have
accumulated in the fish.
For this reason,
one of the best ways to get natural astaxanthin is through supplementation
with a high-quality source.
Keep in mind
when you take your supplement that astaxanthin is fat-soluble, and
is therefore best taken with a meal that contains fat. You can also
look for a supplement formula that contains some sort of natural
oil or fatty acid that will help maximize your absorption. Without
this additional ingredient, your absorption could be poor and not
Your Dementia-Fighting Arsenal
as astaxanthin appears to be, I do not recommend relying on it solely
to ward off dementia and Alzheimer's disease. There are a number
of other strategies that are also promising and, when used in conjunction
with a healthy lifestyle and also high-quality supplements like
astaxanthin, may give your brain the best level of protection.
to insulin resistance. Some are even referring to Alzheimer's
as the third form of diabetes, so one of the most important
efforts you can take is to keepi your insulin levels under control
with proper diet and exercise. There is no question that insulin
resistance is one of the most pervasive influences on brain damage,
as it contributes massively to inflammation, which will prematurely
degenerate your brain.
factor is vitamin
D deficiency, which is rampant across the world and underlies
many chronic diseases, including dementia according to recent
There is also
research showing that coconut
oil and vitamin
B12 may be important for warding off Alzheimer's as well, which
is why I stress that a multi-faceted approach will work best to
prevent this disease.
2011 Dr. Joseph Mercola
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