Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the fastest growing areas of health concerns for today’s health practitioners; for example, there are no known cures for Alzheimer’s or senility, both of which are becoming prevalent as the world’s population ages. Fortunately, both Spirulina and Astaxanthin have shown great promise as potential aids in supporting cognitive health.
Spirulina: Dr. Paula Bickford of the University of South Florida is one of the most respected researchers on age-related neurological issues. She has held a variety of leadership positions in her field, and now serves as President of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair. Dr. Bickford had been responsible for a great deal of the research showing health benefits for blueberries, which subsequently led to a huge increase in blueberry consumption. But over the last few years, Dr. Bickford has turned her sights to Spirulina as a potent neuroprotective agent. In a series of four rodent studies, Dr. Bickford found that Spirulina:
· Reduced brain damage from strokes by 70%
· Reduced degeneration of the brains of aging animals
· Enhanced dopamine neuron recovery
· Gives neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons
The last of these studies was of particular interest in that the research led Dr. Bickford’s Team to conclude that “A Spirulina supplemented diet may be a potential alternative or adjunctive treatment for ALS [Amiotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease,’ an incurable, fatal neurodegenerative condition].”
Astaxanthin: There have also been several animal research models showing that Astaxanthin serves to protect the brain and potentially improve memory in rodents. One of these studies concluded “The current result indicates that Astaxanthin may have beneficial effects in improving memory in vascular dementia.” It appears that Astaxanthin actually made the mice in this study smarter!
Fortunately, there is now a human clinical trial on thirty middle-aged and senior subjects which corroborates these animal study results. In this groundbreaking study, the superior antioxidant status of Astaxanthin was hypothesized to be the mechanism of action, and the researchers concluded that Astaxanthin may help prevent dementia.
With the huge increase in PR and press coverage of both Astaxanthin and Spirulina, the time is now to launch a brain health supplement featuring these nutrients.
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