What is the difference between Astaxanthin and Beta-carotene?

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Astaxanthin belongs to the same family of fat-soluble carotenoid molecules as the yellow/orange colored Beta-carotene. It differs from Beta-carotene in that its' molecular structure contains two additional oxygen groups in each ring structure. This gives it a deep red color and classifies it as a xanthophyll, with up to 10 times stronger free radical scavenging activity. Another difference is that, unlike Beta-carotene, Astaxanthin cannot be converted to Vitamin A in the human body. more
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