Therapeutic potential of astaxanthin and superoxide dismutase in Alzheimer’s disease, 2021

Topics: Alzheimer’s disease; astaxanthin; neurodegeneration; nutraceuticals; oxidative stress; superoxide dismutase (SOD)

Authors: Vyshnavy Balendra and Sandeep Kumar Singh


Oxidative stress, the imbalance of the antioxidant system, results in an accumulation of neurotoxic proteins in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The antioxidant system is composed of exogenous and endogenous antioxidants to maintain homeostasis. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an endogenous enzymatic antioxidant that converts superoxide ions to hydrogen peroxide in cells. SOD supplementation in mice prevented cognitive decline in stress-induced cells by reducing lipid peroxidation and maintaining neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Furthermore, SOD decreased expression of BACE1 while reducing plaque burden in the brain. Additionally, Astaxanthin (AST), a potent exogenous carotenoid, scavenges superoxide anion radicals. Mice treated with AST showed slower memory decline and decreased depositions of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau protein. Currently, the neuroprotective potential of these supplements has only been examined separately in studies. However, a single antioxidant cannot sufficiently resist oxidative damage to the brain, therefore, a combinatory approach is proposed as a relevant therapy for ameliorating pathological changes in AD.

Related research articles