Astaxanthin is pushing krill oil to the top of the list of all omega-3 fatty acids sources. It is a powerful antioxidant from the family of carotenoids, in fact the most powerful one among other common carotenoids: beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, lycopene and lutein. Astaxanthin is responsible for the red color in some crustaceans, algae and certain species of fish. Nature’s best source of astaxanthin is ocean microalgae, which serves as food to krill.
Now, krill is mentioned once again here. The fact is, krill oil contains a very decent amount of astaxanthin, because the very microalgae that astaxanthin is produced from on the industrial scale, that very microalgae is a huge part of krill nutrition. As a result, astaxanthin contained in krill oil is pure, natural and concentrated.
Salmon oil also has astaxanthin… But 24 times less!
Think of it, arctic krill, one of the best sources of krill oil, contains 24 times more astaxanthin than salmon. The only organisms containing more astaxanthin are arctic shrimp and the microalgae Haematococcus pluvalis, that both krill and shrimp eat. Considering that they do not make oil food supplements from arctic shrimp or sell astaxanthin in pure form, krill oil is the best source of astaxanthin nowadays. And the fact that astaxanthin is just the additional value, the “bonus component” of krill oil, this food supplement becomes the king of all fatty acids food supplements.
Stick with natural astaxanthin rather then artificial one
Fish oil and salmon oil lack astaxanthin because they are made of fish that has either
a) consumed not so much astaxanthin-carrying organisms or
b) consumed artificial astaxanthin, like in the case with farm-raised salmon.
Since astaxanthin is considered a food colorant in some countries (it has a E161j E-number, so it’s one more “safe E” on the list of safe food additives), it is added to the food of farm-raised salmon, to keep the flesh red as in natural sea- and river salmon. Artificaial astaxanthin is also used in production of crab, shrimp, eggs and chicken. What the food manufacturers are interested in is the orange-red color, but in fact they are adding nutritional value to their products, because astaxanthin is essential to growth and development.
Now, although technically artificial astaxanthin is the same element as natural one, there is difference in its’ chemical structure. There is not enough scientific research of the effectiveness of artificial astaxanthin versus natural astaxanthin, but its’ only logical to give the natural one to dogs and humans.
Here’s a really informative Discovery channel video on astaxanthin production:
That astaxanthin goes into really expensive bodybuilding supplements and other superpills, but you can get them as a bonus while taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements! Krill oil makes it all possible, getting double value for the money. Both you and your dog, getting both essential fatty acids and the most powerful antioxidant, bingo krill oil!