Listen, salmon is still a solid dietary choice, as it has many other benefits and nutrients. But in terms of astaxanthin, it may not be cutting it. According to a report by the European Food Safety Authority, the amount of astaxanthin in salmon varies pretty dramatically. From their findings, farm-raised salmon and fish of all varieties had lower levels of the antioxidant than wild-caught. Additionally, the type of fish matters, too—with sockeye salmon containing the most and arctic charr, rainbow trout, and Atlantic salmon towards the bottom.
But let’s take King salmon for an example, which falls about in the middle with 0.54 mg of astaxanthin per 100 g fillet of salmon flesh. If you wanted to consume 6 mg of astaxanthin (read: the dosage in mbg’s cellular beauty+, and the amount that can help support healthy skin function according to the latest clinical research*), you’d have to consume about eleven 100 g (3.5 oz) salmon fillets daily. Not only is that, well, a lot of potentially pricey fish—it also exceeds the recommended daily amount according to the FDA.
Additionally, you may be wondering—can’t I simply get the antioxidant elsewhere? Well, to answer that, we have to dive back into where the antioxidant comes from. It’s naturally found in algae that the salmon and other marine life (such as shrimp, crabs, and lobster) feed on. In fact, it’s what gives those animals their pinky-peach hue! But that’s also why wild-caught, non-farm raised seafood is the only good food source of this superstar antioxidant.
But brands, such as AstaReal® (mbg’s astaxanthin source), can sustainably harvest this unique phytonutrient directly from the algae themselves (in this case, a freshwater green algae called Haematococcus pluvialis, aka H. pluvialis). Not so little bonus: This means the sourcing is a more planet-friendly and vegan alternative to seafood.