Compared to other antioxidants, astaxanthin works more effectively. So its antioxidative effectiveness is much stronger than, for example, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10 or vitamin C. This is due to the special molecular structure.
The long-chain molecule has polar end groups with which it can be taken up by cells. The oxygen groups give it its antioxidant effect. Due to its lipophilic properties, it is often esterified and is therefore protected from early oxidation. This is why astaxanthin should always be taken in conjunction with fats, as this increases bioavailability. However, astaxanthin can also bind to proteins, as can be seen from the shell of crustaceans.
Astaxanthin protects the skin from UV damage, supports eyesight and aids in muscle regeneration after intensive strength training. Astaxanthin scores even more than other antioxidants. Some antioxidant substances have a pro-oxidative effect. This means that after free radicals are neutralized, they themselves exist as a reactive molecule and cause damage. This pro-oxidative effect has not yet been demonstrated in astaxanthin. It is also a lipophilic molecule. This means that it is fat-soluble and can be stored well in our skin cells. Because of its unique structure, it can act on both sides of the cell membrane, i.e. outside and inside the cell. In comparison, vitamin C can only act on the outside of the cell membrane (extracellular area), since it is not fat-soluble.