Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant belonging to the carotenoid family, has gained significant attention for its benefits.
As the demand for this powerhouse antioxidant rises, the pivotal question arises:
Natural or synthetic astaxanthin?
What are the differences?
Natural and synthetic astaxanthin are different because of how their molecules are arranged. Imagine the molecules as shapes – chirality means the shapes are the same, but like reflections in a mirror.
In synthetic astaxanthin, the shapes are a bit different, with more of one type (3R,3’S) compared to what’s mainly found in natural astaxanthin (3S,3’S, like in Haematococcus). So, it’s like natural astaxanthin has a special arrangement that makes it unique.
Further, natural astaxanthin is characterised by a higher oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), indicating its enhanced ability to neutralise free radicals.
Additionally, it exhibits greater stability and better assimilability within the human body, providing optimal support for various health benefits.
Another noteworthy difference is the regulatory status of natural versus synthetic astaxanthin. In the United States, synthetic astaxanthin lacks Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status, highlighting potential concerns about its safety for human consumption.
While regulations for cosmetics may vary, products utilising dried biomass (powder) of natural astaxanthin bypass these concerns, offering a safer alternative for health-conscious consumers.
In conclusion, for consumers navigating the world of astaxanthin in skincare, understanding these distinctions is pivotal for making well-informed choices promoting skin health and overall well-being.
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