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Astaxanthin May Help Improve Overall Mood and Cognitive Function

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid found in certain algae that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Two new studies have found that supplementation with astaxanthin may help improve depression, stress, and cognitive function.

The first study was conducted by researchers from EQQIL and included 28 participants between the ages of 26 and 63. Half of them took 12 milligrams of natural astaxanthin daily for 8 weeks, while the other half took a placebo. They all completed a psychological mood state survey at baseline and at the end of the study. The survey was administered to assess global mood state, vigor, tension, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion.

Participants in the astaxanthin group saw a 57% decrease in feelings of depression, a 36% decrease in mental fatigue, a 28% decrease in confusion, and a 20% decrease in tension. They also saw an 11% improvement in overall mood state and a 5% improvement in vigor.

In the second study, researchers from the University of Tokyo recruited 44 participants with mild cognitive decline. They took 9mg of astaxanthin or a placebo daily for 12 weeks. Cognitive function and memory were tested at baseline and after 12 weeks. 

The researchers found that participants in the supplement group had significant improvements in both cognitive function and memory compared to the supplement group. Specifically, composite memory increased by 22.3%, change in reasoning increased by 48.2%. Participants self-rated their improvements in both areas as increasing by an average of 25%.

The first study was published on February 26, 2019 in the journal EC Nutrition. The second study was published in the journal Pharmacometrics.

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