Q&A: Which Antioxidants Should I Take?
We frequently receive questions about various antioxidants: Do I have to take one if I take another? Is this antioxidant better than the other? But the most common question we get is: How do I know which antioxidants are best for my needs?
It seems that ever since astaxanthin whirled on to the scene, touting an antioxidant strength 6,000 times that of vitamin C, people have been confused about what to take. In fact, many mistakenly believe that if they take astaxanthin, they can stop taking other supplements such as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) or resveratrol. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Different types of antioxidants concentrate in different parts of the body, supporting specific cells and organs. For example, astaxanthin possesses powerful antioxidant properties that are extremely effective at protecting and healing the skin. Astaxanthin is also an incredible anti-inflammatory, lending to its ability to optimize joint and muscle function. CoQ10, on the other hand, is heavily concentrated in the brain and in the heart, warding off free-radical damage, and energizing the cells so that they can perform. (For more on CoQ10 benefits and the frequently asked questions, visit our article CoQ10 Benefits and the Frequently Asked Questions – Answered.
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Another example can be found in the popular antioxidants that support vision. Both lutein and zeaxanthin take action in the eyes shielding against free radicals that can cause age-related macular degeneration(AMD), but lutein specifically supports the peripheral retina, whereas zeaxanthin goes to work in the central macula.
Then of course there are several herbs and spices with specific antioxidant properties that have been found to have medicinal applications. Turmeric is a fantastic example. While turmeric itself is not an “antioxidant,” it contains curcumin, which has been found to not only aid in breaking up brain plaque, but also neutralize the free radicals associated with body-wide inflammation. (Curcumin isn’t listed on the chart below, due to the fact that it simply targets and supports nearly every system in the body. More on the many health perks of curcumin can be found in this article.)
Below you’ll find a graphic that can help guide you in selecting your antioxidant regimen. Unfortunately we weren’t able to fit every antioxidant that exists (more than 20,000!), but, personally, I think we covered the most popular ones. If we left off your favorite antioxidant and you have a question about it — or if you just have a question in general — please feel free to reach out to us using the comments section below.