ASTAXANTHIN - A Potent Antioxidant to Combat Oxidative Stress

ASTAXANTHIN - A Potent Antioxidant to Combat Oxidative Stress

Understanding Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and the Antioxidant Defense System


"Oxidative stress is a major contributing factor in most, if not all, human diseases." - Dr. Lester Packer


The human body is a complex organism that requires a delicate balance of various physiological functions to maintain optimal health. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as pro-oxidants, are naturally produced by the body during normal metabolism and immune response. However, high levels of ROS can initiate harmful alterations in key biomolecules, such as lipids, proteins, and DNA, leading to a condition called oxidative stress. This article aims to provide an overview of ROS, the antioxidant defense system, and the role of astaxanthin as a potent antioxidant to combat oxidative stress.


Oxidative stress and antioxidants - astaxanthin

Understanding Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)

ROS is a collective term for oxygen-centered free radicals and non-radical derivatives of oxygen. ROS is formed as a by-product of normal metabolism in the body when food is converted into energy. Immune cells fighting bacterial infections also release ROS. When the body is exposed to adverse physicochemical, environmental, or pathological stressors, this delicate balance is shifted in favor of pro-oxidants, resulting in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress accompanies most, if not all, pathological conditions, including cardiovascular, immunological, and neurological disorders, diabetes, and male infertility.


The Antioxidant Defense System

The antioxidant defense system is a complex network comprising several enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. Enzymatic antioxidant defenses include superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and catalase. Several non-enzymatic antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, selenium, and carotenoids such as β-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin, function as chain-breaking antioxidants. Low intake or impaired availability of dietary antioxidants weakens this important antioxidant network.


Astaxanthin potent antioxidant

Astaxanthin as a Potent Antioxidant

Astaxanthin stands apart from other antioxidants because of its unique chemical properties. Astaxanthin has thirteen conjugated double bonds, whereas β-carotene has eleven. Additionally, astaxanthin has hydroxyl groups at the third and third prime position, making the molecule somewhat polar. Polar astaxanthin spans the membrane, with its polar end groups extending toward the head group regions of the membrane bilayer. Astaxanthin acts as a chain-breaking antioxidant by stopping free radical chain reactions and scavenging lipid peroxyl radicals. Comparative studies have shown that natural astaxanthin is 6,000 times more potent than vitamin C, 100 times more potent than vitamin E, and five times more potent than β-carotene in its ability to trap energy from singlet oxygen.


Astaxanthin fighting free radicals - Cell Membrane - Phospholipid Bi-layer 

Health Benefits of Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin has been found to have several health benefits. Studies have shown that astaxanthin can reduce oxidative stress in the body, improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and protect against cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and age-related macular degeneration. Furthermore, astaxanthin has been found to enhance physical performance and endurance in athletes and reduce muscle damage and inflammation associated with exercise.


Herbs and Spices as antioxidants

Powerful Antioxidants You Don't Know About

While astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant, it's important to remember that it's not the only one. In fact, combining astaxanthin with other antioxidants can have an even greater effect on protecting your body from oxidative stress.

If you're not interested in taking dietary supplements, there are plenty of teas, spices, and herbs that can provide you with a variety of antioxidants. Here are some examples:

  1. Oregano - contains carvacrol and thymol, which have been shown to have potent antioxidant properties and may protect against oxidative stress.

  2. Thyme - contains thymol, a powerful antioxidant that can protect against damage caused by free radicals.

  3. Cinnamon - contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

  4. Ashwagandha - contains withanolides, which have been shown to have antioxidant properties and may protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.

  5. Turmeric - contains curcumin, a potent antioxidant that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

  6. Mint - contains rosmarinic acid, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect against oxidative stress.

  7. Rosemary - Contains carnosic acid, which has been shown to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

  8. Ginger - Contains gingerol, a potent antioxidant that has been shown to protect against cellular damage and reduce inflammation.

  9. Cloves - Rich in phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant properties and may help protect against oxidative stress.

  10. Sage - Contains rosmarinic acid, which has been shown to have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

  11. Black pepper - Contains piperine, which has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and may help enhance the absorption of other nutrients.

These herbs and spices can be used in cooking or brewed as tea to incorporate into your daily diet and boost your antioxidant intake. However, it is important to note that combining these antioxidants with astaxanthin can provide even greater benefits for overall health and wellness.


Astaxanthin conclusion


Oxidative stress is a major contributing factor to most human diseases, and maintaining a healthy balance between ROS and antioxidants is crucial for optimal health. Astaxanthin, with its unique chemical properties, is a potent antioxidant that can effectively combat oxidative stress.




Vitakrill extra strength premium quality Antarctic krill oil softgels

Back to blog