We continue to hear good news about the ability of natural treatments to prevent—and even reverse—age-related cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia. In fact, a new study found that men with memory concerns who took a little-known, but potent plant pigment experienced “significant” improvements in memory in just 12 weeks.
I’ll tell you all about that exciting new study in just a moment. But first, let’s talk a bit about these remarkable plant pigments…
What are carotenoids?
Carotenoids are plant pigments that you can find throughout the natural world. In fact, in the mid-1980s, while a young research investigator at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), I helped discover their presence in different healthy fruits and vegetables (like broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, as well as red palm fruit from West Africa), and their role in human nutrition and metabolism.
Interestingly, you can also find carotenoids in marine life and seabirds. For example, salmon actually get their pink–colored flesh by eating carotenoid-rich crustaceans and algae. You also find them in the beautiful petals of flowers, like roses, which can mimic all the subtle shades of a ripening peach.
In recent years, scientists began to zero in on one lesser-known carotenoid, called astaxanthin (pronounced asta-ZAN-thin). It seems to work like a powerful antioxidant by protecting cells from free radicals damage and reducing oxidative stress. And science shows it can help improve skin health, heart health, pain, and now, even your memory…
Astaxanthin tied to “significant” improvements in memory
In the new study, scientists investigated the effect of supplementing with astaxanthin in combination with tocotrienols, which belong to the vitamin E family and are found in the oils of barley, red palm fruit, rice bran, and wheat germ.
In fact, the tocotrienols used in the study came from red palm oil, a cooking staple that also contains carotenoids. (I’m actually very impressed that the researchers chose to combine astaxanthin with tocotrienols, as previous research shows that supplementing with 2,000 IU of natural, mixed vitamin E [which contains tocotrienols] slowed the progression of mild–to–moderate AD by almost 20 percent a year.)
The researchers started by surveying 44 participants about their working memory. Specifically, they asked participants if they had trouble remembering people’s names or the names of household items during the week. The participants also took standard cognitive tests at the study’s outset and after 12 weeks—to get a more objective assessment of memory.
Next, the researchers randomly divided the participants into two groups. The first group took just 9 mg of astaxanthin and 50 mg vitamin E for 12 weeks, and the other group took a placebo.
After 12 weeks, the astaxanthin-tocotrienol group said they felt like they had better recall of names of people and things during the week. And they showed “significant improvement” in their cognitive testing compared with the placebo group.
So—while the mainstream continues to pour time, money, and energy into flawed theories and failed, useless drugs to treat AD, here we see how a small dose of astaxanthin along with a moderate dose of vitamin E work synergistically to improve objective and subjective functioning of memory…and, in just 12 weeks!
You can find astaxanthin, together with vitamin D, in easy-to-take liquid form. (All you need is 4 mg of astaxanthin daily!) And when it comes to vitamin E, make sure you find a brand that includes all the mixed, natural forms of the nutrient…including tocotrienols. I recommend 50 mg per day, along with following a healthy, balanced diet.
(Look for a supplement that ideally contains the eight active compounds that make up vitamin E—four tocopherols [alpha, beta, delta, and gamma] and four tocotrienols [also called alpha, beta, delta, and gamma].)
In addition to supplementing with astaxanthin and vitamin E, there are many other ways to naturally protect your brain against AD, all of which I discuss in my Complete Alzheimer’s Prevention and Repair Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool discusses natural medicine’s most cutting-edge treatments to protect and restore brain health and fight memory loss. So, what are you waiting for? Click here to learn more or to enroll today!
“Cognitive function improvement with astaxanthin and tocotrienol intake: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.” Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, Nov 2020; 67(3): 307–316. doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.19-116