Super Nutritive Marine Astaxanthin, an Effectual Dietary Carotenoid for Neurodegenerative Diseases
The red-pigmented astaxanthin (3,-3’-dihydroxy-β,β-carotene-4,4’-dione) were commonly found in marine algae and aquatic animals such as shrimp, lobster, and trout. These pigments are produced as secondary metabolites which fall in arytenoids under class xanthophylls. Synthetic astaxanthin has a wide range of commercial applications such as color additives, usage in cosmetics and immune-boosters. In aquaculture, supplementing synthetic astaxanthin as feed, enhances skin pigmentation which possesses commercial importance. However, synthetic astaxanthin is not highly efficient compared to naturally derived counter forms. On the other hand, humans should only depend on microbial and aquatic sources for their dietary intake of natural astaxanthin. Being a powerful antioxidant, natural astaxanthin is called as king of antioxidants which has scavenging activity 6000 times stronger than vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E in protecting cell membranes. It also has a single oxygen quenching activity up to 800 times stronger than coenzyme Q, 550 times more powerful than green tea catechins, 4.9 times stronger than beta-carotene and three times stronger than lute in. Furthermore, researchers revealed that this carotenoid has the capacity to alleviate tumor activity, protecting against lipid per oxidation, free radicals, oxidative damage to LDL-cholesterol and UV light affects on cell membranes and tissues. Also, it is mainly recommended for curing the macular degeneration of cataracts. Anti-aging properties of astaxanthin improve skin health by reducing wrinkles and repairs the UV-induced DNA damage in human cells. Interestingly, the ability of astaxanthin in crossing the blood-brain barrier has brought this compound to limelight as a potential target in treating neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Hence, in this review, we are mainly focusing on the therapeutic usage of astaxanthin in neurodegenerative diseases.