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Quercetin Vs Astaxanthin

Quercetin Vs Astaxanthin 

Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.  


Both quercetin and astaxanthin are widely promoted by clinicians for a wide range of varying health conditions, especially for their extraordinary antioxidant support. But many people ask quercetin vs astaxanthin - which one is better? 

They both are available as dietary supplements and have been widely used to prevent and manage cell or tissue damage induced by oxidative stress of free radicals, a class of unstable oxygen-bearing molecules produced as byproducts in the body or enter through environmental exposure, that can cause harmful cellular reactions, leading to cell damage or cell death. Keep reading to explore which one is more beneficial. 

In this article, we’ll keep quercetin vs astaxanthin against each other to find which one is more effective in preventing diseases. But before we get into the difference between quercetin and astaxanthin, first, we'll need to have a basic knowledge of these substances. So, let’s get started. 

Table of contents 

  • What is quercetin? 
  • What is astaxanthin?
  • Quercetin vs astaxanthin: effects and potential benefits 
  • Final words 

What is quercetin?

Quercetin is a naturally occurring plant pigment that gives various plants, including vegetables and fruits, their vibrant natural colors, especially those that are deeply colored such as grapes, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, and berries. It’s technically a phytochemical or plant chemical compound that belongs to a large group of polyphenolic substances called flavonoids.

Quercetin is considered one of the most powerful antioxidants naturally occurring in plant sources that can play a significant role in scavenging free radicals and slowing down or stopping the effects of inflammation and aging. It’s produced as a secondary metabolite in plants and therefore, humans get this vital nutrient by consuming these plants through diets or dietary supplements.  As a supplement, quercetin is widely available in vegan capsule or pill forms. 

What is astaxanthin? 

Astaxanthin is an organic pigment that belongs to a large class of color-giving natural compounds called carotenoids. Unlike carotene carotenoids such as beta-carotene which do not contain oxygen molecules in their structures, it comes from the xanthophyll group of carotenoids that are oxygenated hydrocarbons in structure.

Astaxanthin is found in organisms living underwater, also known as marine organisms. It gives the naturally occurring pink-red color to various marine organisms such as algae, fish, and yeasts. Salmon, lobster, shrimps, flamingoes, as well as others, owe their natural reddish color to astaxanthin. 

Astaxanthin is considered the most prevalent carotenoid in organisms living underwater. It’s also one of the most powerful natural ingredients with exceptional antioxidant properties. It has an unparalleled capacity to protect cells against damage caused by free radicals-induced oxidative stress and also to ameliorate the way the immune system works. 

Today, the use of astaxanthin as a nutritional supplement is being increasingly popular and it’s widely found in dietary supplements, medications, and fortified foods. Like other xanthophyll carotenoids, astaxanthin is highly lipophilic and hence, it’s often recommended to take with some healthy fats such as nuts. 

Quercetin vs astaxanthin: effects and potential benefits 

Quercetin serves as a flavonoid antioxidant, whereas astaxanthin serves as a carotenoid antioxidant. Antioxidants can hugely help with inflammation and its associated conditions. 

Inflammation seems to be the root of most health conditions and therefore, the antioxidant actions of both quercetin and astaxanthin are reported to be effectively helpful in a large number of inflammatory-related conditions such as: 

  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
  • Heart disease 
  • Circulation problems (such as chronic venous insufficiency)
  • Allergies 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Asthma 
  • Hay fever 
  • Diabetes and insulin resistance 
  • Eye-related conditions (such as cataracts)
  • Gout 
  • Cognitive impairment 
  • Viral infections 
  • Stomach ulcers 
  • Skin disorders (such as hives and dermatitis or skin inflammation)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Prostate inflammation and infections 
  • Cystitis or bladder inflammation 
  • Ovaritis or inflammation of the ovaries 
  • Cancer 

Although both have potent antioxidant effects on the body, astaxanthin seems to be superior. It outperforms nearly all antioxidants including other carotenoids and vitamins such as zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E when it comes to scavenging free radicals and quenching singlet oxygens in the body. The antioxidant activity of astaxanthin is 3000 times and 6000 times stronger than resveratrol and vitamin C respectively. 

In addition to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, both have significant anti-viral, anti-carcinogenic, immuno-modulatory, and energy-boosting effects as well. But each quercetin and astaxanthin has a special preference in separate disease conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most common potential benefits of these super antioxidants one by one: 

Potential benefits of quercetin 

Potential benefits of quercetin may include: 

  • Lowering inflammation 
  • Scavenging free radicals 
  • Fighting against allergies 
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Reducing pain in infections and autoimmune conditions 
  • Reducing blood pressure 
  • Reducing degenerative neurological conditions 
  • Lowering cancer risk 
  • Lowering the risk of infections 

Potential benefits of astaxanthin 

Potential benefits of astaxanthin may include: 

  • Lowering inflammation 
  • Supporting cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of disorders related to the heart and blood vessels 
  • Improving skin health 
  • Preventing diabetes through improving insulin sensitivity 
  • Improving brain and nerve health 
  • Supporting eyesight
  • Protecting muscle health 
  • Preserving mitochondrial integrity 
  • Enhancing workout performance 
  • increasing male fertility 
  • Reducing joint pain  

Final words 

Both quercetin and astaxanthin are organic pigments with exceptional antioxidant activities, that belong to the flavonoids and carotenoids family respectively. In the comparison of quercetin vs astaxanthin, we find astaxanthin is more powerful than quercetin in terms of antioxidant potential. But each has its own assortment of potential benefits and it depends on the specific health status of which one will work better.

Quercetin is mostly used to reduce inflammation, relieve allergies, and lower the risk of cholesterol-induced heart conditions, while astaxanthin is most commonly used to lower inflammation, improve immune response, prevent harmful eye conditions, and improve skin quality. But they both have many other uses as well. Consider working with a qualified natural medicine provider to determine which one is more effective for your specific health status.

Here you can see Vorst’s high-quality Quercetin 500 Mg Vegan Capsules

Here you can see Vorst’s high-quality Astaxanthin 10 Mg Capsules

Important resources: 

  1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-294/quercetin
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/quercetin-uses-and-risks
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1063/astaxanthin
  4. https://onedaymd.aestheticsadvisor.com/2022/01/quercetin-vs-astaxanthin-2022.html
  5. https://ostrovit.com/en/blog/astaxanthin-an-antioxidant-6000-times-more-powerful-than-vitamin-c-1638772748.html?lang=eng
  6. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2019/3849692/
  7. https://worldhealth.net/news/fight-first-signs-aging-astaxanthin/
  8. https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/view/science-behind-astaxanthin
  9. https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/a23935052/quercetin-benefits/
  10. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/quercetin#safety-side-effects
  11. https://draxe.com/nutrition/quercetin/
  12. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324170#8-benefits