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This Buzzy Antioxidant Is Making The Rounds — But Are There Side Effects?

Other noteworthy carotenoids include beta-carotene (a specific form of vitamin A), lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. And while carotenoids in general are associated with brain, eye, and cardiovascular health, astaxanthin is particularly impressive.* In fact, its antioxidant activity is 10 times higher than beta-carotene, earning it titles like “King of Carotenoids” and “super antioxidant molecule” by researchers.*

And get this: Astaxanthin is estimated to be 6,000 and 100 times stronger vitamins C and E, respectively.* (We don’t want to forget, however, that vitamin C and E are also vital parts of the collagen synthesis process–so even if they have less antioxidant potency, they’re still very important for skin function, not to mention other essential roles in our body.*) After all, it’s not a competition. The more diverse our nutrient and phytonutrients intake and array is, the better.

But what makes astaxanthin so special, exactly? According to a 2018 comprehensive review article, it comes down to its molecular structure. It has an exceptionally unique chemical makeup, allowing it to neutralize free radicals at a higher rate than other carotenoids.* Astaxanthin can also enter the layers of cell membranes, ultimately helping to protect the cell from oxidative stress.*

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