Astaxanthin VS Vitamin C

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Astaxanthin VS Vitamin C

Is Astaxanthin a Better Antioxidant Than Vitamin C?

Antioxidants are substances that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Although most people are familiar with Vitamin C and its role in immune function, few are likely to be aware of the comparable but more effective antioxidant astaxanthin. The antioxidant properties of both vitamin C and astaxanthin contribute to their health advantages. Antioxidants are molecules that prevent oxidation. They are naturally created by our bodies, but they can also be found in plant-based whole foods. Antioxidants are necessary for our bodies to avoid the undesirable side effects of the oxidative process. 

Antioxidants aid in the neutralization of free radicals, a natural result of oxidation. Free radicals are unstable compounds because they have one or more unpaired electrons. When the organism is subjected to persistent oxidative stress, free radicals emerge.

Smoking, pollution exposure, alcohol consumption, a poor diet, and obesity are examples of environmental and physiological stressors that might increase a person's risk of oxidative stress. 1 When free radicals build up, biological pathways are set in motion, resulting in increased inflammation and an increased risk of certain diseases. Oxidative stress is thought to be associated to premature aging, skin damage, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and cardiovascular disease.

Antioxidants aid in the disruption of these harmful systems by donating electrons to neutralize free radicals, avoiding additional damage. Limiting oxidative stress through the ingestion of antioxidant-rich foods is thus a promising intervention. It is crucial to note, however, that too many antioxidants might be harmful. Excessive intake of antioxidants has been shown in certain studies to raise the risk of death. This is known as the "antioxidant paradox." 1 As a result, health experts advise avoiding high-dose antioxidant pills in favor of acquiring antioxidants from a variety of whole food sources.

There are several naturally occurring antioxidants that we may include in our diets, such as vitamin C and natural astaxanthin, but it's crucial to understand how antioxidants differ and which is best for your health. Is astaxanthin more powerful than vitamin C? We'll go through each of these antioxidants in this post and discuss their health benefits.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a potent antioxidant that has long been credited with helping to maintain healthy skin and a robust immune system. Vitamin C is classified as an important vitamin since humans cannot produce it naturally, requiring us to obtain it from other sources such as diet.

Collagen synthesis is one of the most important uses of the vitamin in the body. Collagen is a fibrous protein that is required for the formation of healthy connective tissue as well as skin suppleness and wound healing. Vitamin C is necessary to promote collagen formation and stabilize collagen mRNA. 4 Vitamin C has also showed promise in reducing skin dryness and wrinkles, as well as minimizing skin damage from ultraviolet (UV) light.  This is most likely due to the antioxidant capabilities of the nutrients, which help to battle the oxidative damage generated by UV light. Because vitamin C is found in both the upper and lower layers of our skin, topical vitamin C treatment may help to delay the effects of aging and protect against UV exposure.

The RDA for daily vitamin C intake is 90 milligrams for adult males and 75 milligrams for adult females. 3 Scurvy, or vitamin C deficiency, occurs when daily vitamin C consumption falls below 10 mg/day for an extended period of time. Scurvy can lead to weariness, an inability to manufacture collagen, joint pain, iron insufficiency, and other health issues. The RDA for vitamin C, on the other hand, can usually be met by eating a variety of fortified foods. One red bell pepper or a glass of fortified orange juice, for example, can provide enough vitamin C to meet daily needs.

Although vitamin C is an essential nutrient with a fundamental role in our systems, it appears that once the RDA is attained, the vital functions are completed, and excessive use is not advantageous. 3 As a result, more research is needed to see if supplementing with vitamin C has any additional beneficial effects.


Astaxanthin is a bright red carotenoid pigment that gives salmon, shrimp, lobster, and algae their unique pinkish coloration. Scientist Richard Kuhn first discovered astaxanthin in 1938, when he discovered the substance provided protective health processes in fish and microalgae. The pigment has acquired recognition as a potential neutralizer of damaging free radicals in humans when it was discovered to protect aquatic animals from oxidative stress. Natural astaxanthin can be found in small amounts in seafood like salmon and shrimp, but it's far more powerful when taken straight from the source: algae. Astaxanthin is sourced from red algae or Haematococcus pluvialis by GEM, which keeps the chemical in its most natural, easily absorbed form.

Astaxanthin has been demonstrated to be more powerful than well-known antioxidants like vitamin C, lutein, and beta-carotene when compared to other antioxidants. Astaxanthin is over 6000 times more effective than the well-known vitamin C, according to studies.  The extraordinary capacity of Astaxanthin to combat free radicals is most likely owing to its unique chemical composition. Free radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) produce extensive inflammation throughout the body, which can be a risk factor for disease. Unlike other antioxidants, astaxanthin's structure allows it to be a singlet-oxygen scavenger with no pro-oxidant properties.

Astaxanthin also has the unique capacity to pass the blood-brain barrier, making it an effective anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory drug for neurodegenerative illnesses and eye health. According to research, astaxanthin has a good link with eye health, making it a wonderful daily dietary supplement to help your body in a variety of ways. 6 Astaxanthin's anti-inflammatory qualities suggest that it could be useful in boosting immunity, protecting skin, reducing eye damage, and preventing some malignancies and heart disease. Because of the numerous skin advantages of astaxanthin, many people now take a dietary supplement containing this component.

Which is the better option?

When comparing the antioxidant properties of vitamin C with astaxanthin, the astaxanthin supplement comes out on top. It's more effective at lower doses, with advantages seen at just 4 mg per day compared to 75-90 mg of vitamin C per day. Vitamin C has also been advertised as a potent immune booster; however, evidence shows that supplementing with vitamin C has little to no effect on improving immune response to illnesses such as the common cold. 3 Taking vitamin C after the onset of a cold has also been proven to have no significant effect on preventing illness.

Astaxanthin, on the other hand, has been shown to have immune-enhancing characteristics in both animal and human trials. An astaxanthin supplement was found to boost immunological indicators such as T and B cell activity in one study, which is thought to be related to astaxanthin's significant ROS scavenging effect. 8 Increased immune function enables our bodies to respond more effectively to a variety of environmental and physiological stimuli. Consuming immune-boosting antioxidants such as astaxanthin is one approach to do so.

Astaxanthin appears to exceed vitamin C in terms of skin protection and enhancement, in addition to higher immunological function. Long-term sun exposure can cause DNA damage by accumulating damaging ROS in the surface and inner layers of our skin. These free radicals can damage collagen and elastin, speeding up the aging process. 7 Astaxanthin and vitamin C have both been demonstrated to have photoprotective capabilities as antioxidants that fight oxidative damage induced by UV exposure. Because of its capacity to target ROS in the dermis and epidermal layers, astaxanthin appears to repair UV damage more effectively than vitamin C.

We already know that vitamin C is required for collagen formation, but astaxanthin may be a superior way to protect collagen and reduce wrinkles. 7 Although additional research into the benefits of astaxanthin and vitamin C on skin health is required, astaxanthin looks to be a more effective antioxidant for both topical and oral skin protection.

When comparing astaxanthin to vitamin C, both in vitro and in vivo tests have shown that the carotenoid pigment has better antioxidant activity. Vitamin C is a necessary ingredient for our bodies to function properly. As long as you get the necessary amount of vitamin C every day, however, astaxanthin is a more potent dietary supplement for skin and eye health, immunity, and reducing oxidative stress.

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