Astaxanthin And Mental Wellness
The pressures of modern life have soared in recent years, and with it, risks to our mental wellness have also increased. With depression, anxiety, burnout, and even suicide becoming more prevalent, especially among young people, it is imperative to find solutions that alleviate the ever-increasing problem of mental wellness issues.
A report by Mental Health America has shown that nearly 20% of Americans (almost 50 million people) experienced a mental illness in 2019, with 5% having serious thoughts of suicide. (1)
Oxidative Stress And Mental Wellness
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body.
Under normal conditions, the body can maintain a balance by producing antioxidants that counteract free radicals. When the body can not produce enough antioxidants, an increase of free radicals causes oxidative stress, causing a worsening of certain health conditions, including a deterioration of mental wellness.
The brain is susceptible to oxidative stress due to insufficient antioxidant defenses to fight free radicals. As a result, there is an increased risk of psychiatric disorders. (2)
Several factors can contribute to an overloading of oxidative stress, including:
- Poor diet
- Lifestyle factors such as smoking
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Environmental factors such as air/soil pollution and water contamination
The body’s natural immune response can also trigger oxidative stress causing mild inflammation that usually dissipates after the immune system fights off infection or injury.
Mental Health; A Looming Epidemic
As the surge in mental health issues looms over society, managing the problem has become a priority for health professionals. But what can be done to prevent us from being overwhelmed and realign our focus? As the pressures of life weigh heavy on our collective mental wellness, it is essential to show empathy and relate to those around us.
Simply listening to the difficulties of others, empathizing with their problem(s), and understanding their position, can go a long way to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Practicing mindfulness may also help restore focus and banish overthinking from our lives while boosting cognitive energy, self-awareness, emotion adjustment, and attentional control. (3)
Supplements can also help play a defining role in the healing process of mental wellness and the re-alignment of the body’s equilibrium. One such supplement is astaxanthin, one of the most potent antioxidants known.
Antioxidants may help patients with anxiety or depression shown in a recent study. (4)
What Is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a naturally produced carotenoid most commonly found in marine organisms such as microalgae, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, and crustaceans.
Carotenoids are the yellow, orange, and red pigments naturally found in plants, algae, and some bacteria and fungi. Many carotenoids found in the human diet come from fruit, vegetables, and seafood. (5)
- Shrimp and other crustaceans
Astaxanthin is also an active component found in propolis, a resinous substance collected by honey bees, and has several health benefits, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. (6)
Astaxanthin Health Benefits, Including Mental Wellness
Scientific research has shown that natural astaxanthin has many potential preventive and therapeutic health benefits.
Natural astaxanthin has been shown to be 20 times more potent than man-made astaxanthin in eliminating free radicals. (7)
Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, with research showing that antioxidants may be beneficial in the fight against depression and anxiety. (8)
Other studies have revealed that healthy adults taking a 12 mg daily supplement containing astaxanthin had improved their mental wellness significantly. (9)
Results showed a decrease in the following areas:
- Depression reduced by 57%
- Fatigue by 36%
- A reduction in tension by 20%
- Anger decreased by 12%
- Confusion showed a reduction of 28%
Other benefits associated with taking astaxanthin are:
- Eye health
- Cardiovascular function
- Exercise endurance
- Skin health
- Improved immune response
Astaxanthin also has bioactive compounds that may combat Helicobacter pylori (a bacteria that infects the stomach that may cause chronic gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcers, and gastric carcinoma). (10, 11)
Where To Find Natural Astaxanthin Supplements
Astaxanthin can reduce oxidative stress and boost mental wellness. In supplement form, it is available from Purity Labs. Antarctic Krill Oil provides 800 mcg per serving. Antarctic Krill Oil also contains Omega 3, Fatty acids, DHA, EPA, and Phospholipids, supporting joints, memory, and brain function.