Actually, they can teach you a thing or two about healthy eating, specifically about consuming powerful antioxidants. A lot goes on while these birds stand on one “stilt”, dipping into algae covered water bodies. They’re feeding on abundant sources of the deep red pigment, astaxanthin, which turns their feathers that gorgeous reddish pink hue. Born white, they change color because of their healthy eating habits.
“Just another antioxidant” you may be thinking, but “King Red’ reigns supreme.
Algae, tiny little astaxanthin containing plants, can thrive for years, in extreme temperatures, from direct sunlight to frigid winter conditions. How convenient for flamingos and for us humans, that a readily available food supply is so rich in antioxidants.
Chemically speaking, astaxanthin is far superior at maneuvering its way into your cells, guarding them, both inside and out. It’s both fat and water soluble, which allows it access to the entire cell, spanning the cell membrane and juggling multiple types of free radicals at the same time. This miracle pigment stays active longer than most antioxidants, not breaking down from chemical reactions, but continuing to contribute electrons to fight oxidative damage.
This is especially beneficial for the lining of your blood vessels, as it keeps them smooth and flexible.
That may mean healthy blood flow, good blood pressure and a well nourished heart. Better oxygen transport improves muscle function and endurance.
Experiments on human subjects resulted in higher HDL (good cholesterol), lower triglycerides and protected LDL. Protected in this case means “undamaged by oxidation”. Lowering oxidative stress helps prevent plaque formation, the stuff that clogs your blood vessels, impeding circulation and potentially causing heart attacks.
Then there’s the mitochondria, the tiny little furnaces that generate energy in your cells. It just so happens that they’re in high concentration in your heart muscle, and benefit immensely from astaxanthin’s membrane protective effects. Undamaged mitochondrial membranes means better energy generation, less fatigue and reduced muscle aging due to atrophy.
Astaxanthin offers a lot more than “heart smarts” and improved endurance. Your brain, composed of 60% fat, means it’s highly vulnerable to free radical damage, therefore, deeply in need of antioxidant protection.
To add insult to injury, your blood-brain barrier becomes more “porous” with age, allowing more toxins to “seep through”. Highly effective antioxidants, like astaxanthin help manage the assault on fragile brain tissues.
Studies done on mouse models, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine showed the introduction of this red pigment reduced free radical damage. Further research conducted at Nagoya University showed similar results when tested on human brain cells in the lab.
While scientists’ mantra is “we need further research”, there’s no arguing that this powerful antioxidant shows a lot of promise in protecting your heart and brain function. To make it easy for you to incorporate astaxanthin into your diet, we’ve launched our newest liquid fish oil, Dr. Dave’s Best Wild Red Fish Oil, made from Wild Alaskan Pollock, a deep water ocean fish that consumes astaxanthin as part of its routine diet.
As they say, “you are what you eat, eats”, so honor your body and brain with the protection it needs. Get on Dr. Dave's Best Wild Red Fish Oil and maintain your vitality now!