Astaxanthin ('11, '18, 2019) & Alzheimer's


Learn more about Alzheimers Disease.

Phospholipid hydroperoxides (PLOOH) is an enzyme that abnormally accumulate abnormally in the red blood cells of patients with dementia. Scientists studied whether powerful carotenoid antioxidants could be helpful. They conducted a double-blind, random, placebo-controlled trial in 30 patients to see whether astaxanthin would be helpful as a supplement. Patients were give either 6mg or 12mg of astaxanthin daily for 12 weeks. The researchers looked at astaxanthin and PLOOH levels in the elderly and middle-aged patients.

They found that astaxanthin was higher in the red blood cells (erythrocytes) of both groups who given that supplement than in the placebo group. At the same time they found that PLOOH levels decreased more strongly in the groups receiving astaxanthin. They also looked at plasma where PLOOH levels were also reduced, although less strongly.

The scientist felt that these results may indicate a valuable contribution to the prevention of dementia.

Nakagawa K, Kiko T, Miyazawa T, Carpentero BG, Kimura F, et al. (2011). Antioxidant effect of astaxanthin on phospholipid peroxidation in human erythrocytes. Br J Nutr. Jun;105(11):1563-71.

A combination of astaxanthin and DHA are more effective in reducing oxidative stress, enhancing learning, memory, and reducing tau hyperphosphorylation, and neuroinflammation than either alone.

Mattei R, Polotow TG, Vardaris CV, Guerra BA, Leite JR, et al. (2011). Astaxanthin limits fish oil-related oxidative insult in the anterior forebrain of Wistar rats: Putative anxiolytic effects? Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2011;99:349-355.
Che H, Li Q, Zhang T, Wang D, Yang L, et al. (2018). Effects of Astaxanthin and Docosahexaenoic-Acid Acylated Astaxanthin on Alzheimer's Disease in APP/PS1 Double-Transgenic Mice. J Agric Food Chem. May 16;66(19):4948-4957.

In animal models of AD, researchers find that astaxanthin, like bexarotene (which stimulates a retinoid receptor), is protective in Alzheimer's because it modulates amyloid-beta and improves cholesterol balance in the blood-brain barrier.

Fanaee-Danesh E, Gali CC, Tadic J, Zandl-Lang M, Kober AC, et al. (2019). Astaxanthin exerts protective effects similar to bexarotene in Alzheimer's disease by modulating amyloid-beta and cholesterol homeostasis in blood-brain barrier endothelial cells. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis. Sep 1;1865(9):2224-2245.

You can search the National Institutes of Health database for more research on Alzheimer's. There are a number of other studies which corroborate the above notes.