Nature is full of health-boosting ingredients that help your dog to feel his best.
But there’s one super ingredient that can help your dog with all sorts of issues from joint pain to cancer. And that’s astaxanthin.
I may surprise you with some of the many ways astaxanthin can help your dog. And I’ll share some common ones with you today.
But before we jump into how astaxanthin can help your dog, let’s talk about what astaxanthin is …
What Is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid (or an organic pigment). It occurs in algae and turns it a reddish color. It’s why salmon, lobster, shrimp and other seafood are pink in color. When they eat the algae, the astaxanthin changes their color.
More importantly, it’s also an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Why Antioxidants Are Important
Antioxidants like astaxanthin help prevent oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress happens when there are too many free radicals in your dog’s body...
Free radicals develop when toxins get introduced to your dog’s system. Toxins like …
- Second-hand smoke
- X rays
- Air pollution
Free radicals are damaged cells that are missing a critical molecule. They steal that molecule from other cells … and that damages the DNA in those cells. This can cause many problems for your dog … from premature aging to chronic illness and disease.
How Astaxanthin Helps Your Dog
Experts believe astaxanthin is one of the strongest antioxidants found in nature.
It’s up to 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C. And 800 times stronger than CoQ10.
Here are some of the ways astaxanthin can help your dog …
1. Joint Health
25% of dogs suffer from arthritis and 22% of those dogs are under one year of age …
It’s no wonder so many dog owners want to find ways to help their dog’s joints.
While you could try vet prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) … they can actually make the problem worse.
That’s right, prescription medication for joint problems can make joint pain worse.
Dr Ross Hauser says that one of the most serious side effects of NSAIDS is … “they cause the breakdown of articular cartilage, thereby accelerating osteoarthritis, the very disease for which they are most commonly prescribed! The pathogenesis of osteoarthritis is accelerated by NSAIDs.”
Astaxanthin is a natural supplement that can ease joint pain and inflammation. It blocks some of the chemicals that cause your dog to feel pain. These anti-inflammatory properties can also work long term to prevent chronic diseases.
2. Immune System
Your dog’s immune system is important to his long-term health. If you take care of it, it will give your dog more strength to fight disease and illness.
But immune cells are more easily affected by oxidation. That’s why the antioxidative properties of astaxanthin help improve the immune response.
Astaxanthin not only boosts the production of antibodies … it’s more powerful than beta-carotene to protect the immune system.
3. Eye Health
There’s a blood-retina barrier in the eye. It regulates the nutrients and other substances that can pass through to the retina.
This prevents the free entry and exit of cells to protect the eye from inflammation … which could damage the organ.
While few substances are able to pass through the barrier, astaxanthin can. It crosses the barrier to reduce damage to the cells of the eye.
It can also treat dry eye.
Dry eye is when the cornea and tissues swell from dryness. It’s often a side effect of conditions like …
- Autoimmune diseases
- Reactions to drugs
4. Brain Health
I mentioned before that astaxanthin prevents oxidative stress. This alone helps maintain healthy brain function.
But recent studies show that astaxanthin does even more.
As with the blood-retinal barrier, astaxanthin can also cross the blood-brain barrier.
That means antioxidative properties can interact with the brain’s nerve cells. And it can provide protection for the brain against ...
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Cerebral Ischemia/Reperfusion (IR)
5. Heart Health
When your dog’s body becomes inflamed he has a greater risk of heart disease.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a key indicator of inflammation and heart health. Those with high amounts of CRP are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
Astaxanthin can reduce CRP. Experts like Dr Deva Khalsa VMD recommend astaxanthin over CoQ10 for heart health.
Free radicals damage cells. When this happens, it can lead to cancer.
Because antioxidants like astaxanthin scavenge free radicals … they can help prevent and slow the disease.
Studies have also linked chronic inflammation to cancer. That makes the anti-inflammatory properties of astaxanthin act as another defense against cancer.
How To Add Astaxanthin To Your Dog’s Diet
I mentioned earlier that astaxanthin is what makes certain seafood pink in color. If you want to add astaxanthin-rich food to your dog’s diet the best choice is wild Pacific sockeye salmon. It contains the most astaxanthin at 4 to 40 mg/kg.
But there are some cautions.
First, you want to be sure the salmon is wild. Farmed fish are usually fed synthetic astaxanthin.
Second, the oceans become more polluted every day. That means that wild salmon can contain the toxins that are in the oceans. Ones like ...
- Heavy metals
- Dioxins and furans
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
And lastly, raditation is starting to show up in Pacific coast salmon as a result of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.
Supplements can be an easy way to add astaxanthin to your dog’s current diet.
Supplements are available for dogs, but you can also use human supplements.
If you use a supplement made for pets, follow the label directions.
If you use a human supplement, you can give your dog 1 to 1.6 mg per 20 lbs daily.
When you source a supplement, you want one that’s natural. Like synthetic vitamins and minerals, synthetic astaxanthin won’t be as effective.
The Problem With Synthetic Astaxanthin
Synthetic astaxanthin has stereoisomers. They have the same molecular formula as natural astaxanthin … but they have a different atom arrangement.
This may not sound like a huge issue but …
Stereoisomers affect digestibility and how much astaxanthin gets absorbed. If your dog can’t absorb the astaxanthin, it’ll be less beneficial.
To be sure your dog gets the most from his astaxanthin … feed him seafood and supplements that use natural sources of astaxanthin.
Then he can take advantage of all the benefits this incredible antioxidant offers.