Quercetin vs Astaxanthin vs Curcumin: What's the Difference?

Quercetin, Astaxanthin and Curcumin are great antioxidants and offer lots of health benefits. Both are available as supplements for a wide assortment of conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes, and many more.

Understanding the differences between quercetin, astaxanthin and curcumin will help you decide which one is the best for you.

  • What is Quercetin
  • What is Astaxanthin
  • What is Curcumin?
  • Quercetin and Astaxanthin are great for heart health
  • Quercetin and Astaxanthin as chemoprevention agents
  • Astaxanthin but not Quercetin may improve heat-induced skeletal muscle oxidative injury
  • Astaxanthin may be more powerful than Quercetin
  • Quercetin and Curcumin Benefits
  • Curcumin vs Quercetin: What's the Difference?
  • Best Quercetin Supplements
  • Best Astaxanthin Supplements
  • Recommended dose
  • Precaution | Who should not take Quercetin or Astaxanthin?

What is Quercetin?

Quercetin is a flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, including red wine, onions, green tea, apples, and berries. Quercetin is most typically used to treat heart and blood vessel disorders, as well as to prevent cancer. It is also claimed to treat arthritis, bladder infections, and diabetes, but there is little scientific evidence to back up the majority of these claims.

Quercetin is also available as supplement and since Quercetin is not soluble in water, however, so it is a poorly absorbed nutrient. Bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme extracted from pineapples, may boost quercetin absorption, as does vitamin C. Therefore, quercetin is often offered in combination with one or both additives.

Quercetin Recommended Dose

How Much Quercetin Should You Take Per Day?
Researchers typically use a dose of 500 mg of quercetin per day in supplement form. Most quercetin supplements contain between 500 and 1200 mg of quercetin, although this can vary. Check out the nutritional label for your quercetin supplement to be sure.

Quercetin Dosage for Hay Fever
Experts recommend taking 400mg of quercetin twice a day between meals for hay fever. Also consult your doctor to help provide a more comprehensive and effective treatment for hay fever.

Quercetin Dosage for Covid-19
The FLCCC I-MASK+ protocol recommends 250 mg/day for COVID-19 prevention and 250 mg twice a day for treatment.

Who should not take quercetin?

Pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and people with kidney disease should avoid quercetin. Moreover, you should avoid higher doses than 1 g per day, there have been reports of damage to the kidneys. (Source)

Quercetin Interactions | Quercetin may interact with a number of medications..
– Antibiotics: May prevent the action of antibiotics
– Blood thinners: Could increase the effects of blood-thinning medication
– Chemotherapy: May interact with chemotherapeutic medication
– Corticosteroids: Could cause these medications to stay in your body for longer
– Cyclosporine: May interact with the absorption of this medicine
– Digoxin: Could increase the risk of side-effects associated with this chemical agent
– Fluoroquinolones: May decrease the effectiveness of these medicines
– Medications altered/activated by the liver: Quercetin may change how your body metabolizes medicine that is activated in the liver

What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a red pigment and a carotenoid antioxidant derived from Haematococcus microalgae. The alga produces astaxanthin as a protective mechanism to shield itself from harsh UVs and other environmental stressors, and research has shown astaxanthin provides similar benefits in humans when consumed. (Source)

It is found in abundance in nature and is the primary pigment in crustaceans and salmonid fish.

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition in 2017 showed 16 weeks of astaxanthin supplementation protected against wrinkles and loss of skin moisture, and improved skin elasticity. It also helps lighten age spots by preventing the accumulation of too much melanin.

Astaxanthin may also help the immune system work better. Because they offer many health benefits, astaxanthin is increasingly being used as a nutritional supplement in meals, feeds, nutraceuticals, and medications.

Astaxanthin is also available as a food supplement, but, like other carotenoids, is a very lipophilic compound and has low oral bioavailability. However, bioavailability can be enhanced in the presence of fat. (Source)

Astaxanthin Dosage per Day

Recommended dosages range from 4mg-12mg a day depending on the desired effect. 4mg daily has been shown to have positive effects reducing inflammation but up to 12mg a day provides more of a therapeutic dose for those in need of higher levels of antioxidants.

Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble carotenoid that should be consumed with a meal containing fat for optimal absorption.

Who should not take Astaxanthin?

Before taking Astaxanthin best to talk with your doctor if you are allergic to it or you currently taking other medications related to it. The product may cause serious allergic reactions.

It is used with caution for people with bleeding disorders, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, hypertension, low blood calcium levels or parathyroid disorders, allergy to 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors or asthma.

What is Curcumin?

Curcumin Dosage
One to three 500 mg capsules daily with or without food.
Higher doses are associated with adverse side effects. Best to talk to your doctor to determine the best dose for you.

Curcumin Bioavailability
Curcumin has multiple health benefits which are best achieved when combined with agents that increase bioavailability such as piperine.

Curcumin Food Sources
Turmeric is the plant with the largest amount of curcumin. Turmeric is commonly sold in grocery shops as a ground spice as well as by the root.

Curcumin Side Effects
Turmeric is generally considered to be safe.
However, it can cause nausea and diarrhea, especially when used in large dosages or over an extended period of time.
In excessive doses, it may potentially increase the risk of ulcers.

Quercetin and Astaxanthin For Heart Health

Both Quercetin and Astaxanthin are great antioxidants which may give benefits for heart heath and disease.

Quercetin and its derivatives improve heart features, implying that quercetin has the potential to be utilized therapeutically in the treatment of cardiac diseases.

Quercetin exhibits significant heart related benefits as inhibition of LDL oxidation, endothelium-independent vasodilator effects, reduction of adhesion molecules and other inflammatory markers, the protective effect on nitric oxide and endothelial function under conditions of oxidative stress, prevention of neuronal oxidative and inflammatory damage and platelet antiaggregant effects. (Source)

Aside from quercetin, there is also a research showed that astaxanthin may reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are associated with cardiovascular disease.

A study suggest that astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant and is associated with membrane preservation, it may protect against oxidative stress and inflammation and provide cardiovascular benefits.

Quercetin and Astaxanthin As Chemoprevention Agents

Tissue oxidative damage can result in malignant development. Therefore, increasing the quantities of antioxidants in body tissues may lead to cancer prevention. Many studies suggest that astaxanthin and quercetin which have high antioxidant can become anticancer agents.

A study shown that astaxanthin may offer protection from prostate cancer by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for prostate growth. Astaxanthin has also been shown to induce xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes in rat liver, a process that may help prevent carcinogenesis.

It is also shown that carotenoids’ role in cell communications at cell-gap junctions (by up-regulating gene expression) may play a role in slowing the growth of cancer cells (Source)

Quercetin also has been shown to inhibit the proliferation of a wide range of cancers such as prostate, cervical, lung, breast, and colon. Recent studies have revealed that quercetin inhibits cell proliferation by causing apoptosis and/or cell cycle arrest. (Source)

Astaxanthin Improves Heat-induced Skeletal Muscle Oxidative Injury

Heat stress causes mitochondrial dysfunction and increases mitochondrial production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), both of which contribute to heat-induced skeletal muscle injury.

A study tested whether either astaxanthin or quercetin could ameliorate heat-induced skeletal muscle oxidative injury. The result is that astaxanthin but not quercetin preserves mitochondrial integrity and function and ameliorates heat-induced skeletal muscle injury. Therefore astaxanthin may potentially be an effective preventive strategy. (Source)

Quercetin vs Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin is a superior antioxidant and is referred to as “super vitamin E” because its antioxidant activity outperforms that of other carotenoids, including -carotene, canthaxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as vitamins C and E, particularly in quenching singlet oxygens and scavenging free radicals. (Source)

Moreover, Astaxanthin was also found to be more powerful than resveratrol and quercetin.

However, Quercetin is also considered to be a strong antioxidant due to its ability to scavenge free radicals and bind transition metal ions. (Source)

Quercetin and Curcumin Benefits

Both Quercetin and Curcumin have similar benefits. They are both antioxidant molecules with anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive activities.

This study suggests that curcumin and to a lesser extent quercetin may offer therapeutic potential for the treatment of crystal-induced arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Both curcumin and quercetin have protective effects, reduced the oxidative stress and stimulated the antioxidant defense. Curcumin had stronger antioxidant effects compared to quercetin, probably because of its higher bioavailability and absorption. (Source)

Can I Take Quercetin and Turmeric Together?

study shown that combining low concentrations of Quercetin and Curcumin yield similar or better anti-inflammatory effectiveness when compared to treatment with each agent alone. Moreover, they co-operate synergistically in the context of antimicrobial activity, with an increased effectiveness when compared to Quercetin or Curcumin alone at high concentrations.

Curcumin vs Quercetin: What's the Difference?

Quercetin is the most active flavonoid, with important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, while curcumin has antioxidant effects that are similar to the standard antioxidants and exerts direct anti-inflammatory activity. (R)

Best Quercetin Supplements

a. Quercetin with Bromelain, Turmeric (Curcumin) and Black Pepper (BioPerine) - Vimerson Health Turmeric Quercetin Bromelain

b. Quercetin with Bromelain – Now Foods Quercetin with Bromelain
Now Foods Quercetin supplements contain Bromelain, as some evidence suggests they boost absorption.

c. Quercetin with Vitamin C and Zinc – Whole Foods Quercetin Plus
Contains Bromelain, Zinc, Vitamin C and Ginger-Bioflavonoids. This supplement provides support for the immune, cardiovascular and respiratory system. Quercetin with vitamin C and zinc is proven not only to provide immune support but also to improve metabolism, circulatory supporty, and cognitive clarity.

d. Quercetin with Bromelain and Vitamin C – ForestLeaf Quercetin with Bromelain + Vitamin C
Quercetin with Bromelain, Stinging Nettle and Vitamiin C may help with sinus relief, allergies, cardiovascular and respiratory health. 

e. Quercetin with Turmeric – Organic Cadane Quercetin Capsule
This organic Quercetin extract product is the supermix capsules, includes Quercetin, Turmeric Curcumin, Berberine, Stinging Nettle, Black Seed powder, Black Pepper and is suitable for vegans.

quercetin and curcumin

Best Astaxanthin Supplements

a. Astaxanthin 4mg – NOW Supplements, Astaxanthin 4 mg
Derived from Non-GMO Haematococcus Pluvialis Microalgae and has naturally occurring Lutein, Canthaxanthin and Beta-Caroten. Other Ingredients: Safflower Oil, Softgel Capsule (gelatin, water, glycerin) and Vitamin E (as natural d-alpha tocopherol). Vitamin E from soy

b. Astaxanthin 10mg – We Like Vitamins Astaxanthin 10mg
Ingredients: Natural Astaxanthin, Gelatin, Glycerol, Purified Water, Soybean Oil, non-GMO Natural Tocopherols.

c. Astaxanthin 12 mg – NUTREX HAWAII Astaxanthin 12 mg
Ingredients: Natural Hawaiian Astaxanthin (from Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae), Other Ingredients: high oleic safflower oil, gelatin, glycerin, purified water, natural tocopherols, Also contains naturally occuring carotenoids including lutein in a synergistic blend.

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