A natural pigment and an oil that may decrease dementia

Photo: iStock/Thinkstock

It seems I have been reading more about a natural pigment called astaxanthin as an effective antioxidant and the benefits of coconut oil.  I began using coconut oil about 9 months ago for soothing my skin and reducing the appearance of a major scar.  I am sold on the value of coconut oil as a skin treatment and have introduced it into my cooking and diet.  I did not really know much about the value of astaxanthin nor what foods might contain the pigment until I started reading more about it.

I did not know that flamingoes were born with grey feathers that later turned pink due to a diet of crustaceans and algae.  Wild salmon contains a high concentration of  astaxanthin, but not farmed raised.  As a wild salmon lover I eat quite a bit of salmon on a weekly basis so I have been unknowingly consuming a healthy amount of astaxanthin.  Krill oil is also an excellent source of this antioxidant if a supplement is preferred.

So how does astaxanthin help prevent Alzheimer’s?  Apparently research has found abnormally high levels of erythrocyte (phospholipid hydroperoxide – PLOOH) compounds in the red blood cells of dementia patients.  According to the British Journal of Nutrition a study was performed giving dementia patients high concentrations of astaxanthin.  The results were decreased amounts of PLOOH compounds which appears to reduce the effects of dementia.

Now for coconut oil.  From USDA, non-hydrogenated coconut oil is about 60% medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), contains no cholesterol and also contains omega-6 fatty acids and some other short and long chain fatty acids of up to 18 carbon chains.  I read an incredible account by Dr. Mary Newport about her 58 year husband who was rapidly succumbing to the effects of dementia.  She researched clinical studies trying to find something that would help her husband and finally introduced coconut oil into his diet.  The results were amazing!  I think the bottom line is there are natural alternatives to introducing synthetic drugs into a “health” regime and should be investigated before filling that prescription your doctor gave you.

Read Dr. Mary Newport’s article… 

Read more about astaxanthin…

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