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Molecules 2012, 17(3), 3202-3242; doi:10.3390/molecules17033202
Review

Cancer Chemoprevention by Carotenoids

1,2,* , 3 and 3
1 Tohkai Cytopathology Institute, Cancer Research and Prevention (TCI-CaRP), 5-1-2 Minami-Uzura, Gifu 500-8285, Japan 2 Department of Tumor Pathology, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1194, Japan 3 Department of Medicine, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Yanagido, Gifu 501-1194, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 December 2011 / Revised: 15 February 2012 / Accepted: 6 March 2012 / Published: 14 March 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids)
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Abstract

Carotenoids are natural fat-soluble pigments that provide bright coloration to plants and animals. Dietary intake of carotenoids is inversely associated with the risk of a variety of cancers in different tissues. Preclinical studies have shown that some carotenoids have potent antitumor effects both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting potential preventive and/or therapeutic roles for the compounds. Since chemoprevention is one of the most important strategies in the control of cancer development, molecular mechanism-based cancer chemoprevention using carotenoids seems to be an attractive approach. Various carotenoids, such as β-carotene, a-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, fucoxanthin, canthaxanthin and astaxanthin, have been proven to have anti-carcinogenic activity in several tissues, although high doses of β-carotene failed to exhibit chemopreventive activity in clinical trials. In this review, cancer prevention using carotenoids are reviewed and the possible mechanisms of action are described.
Keywords: carotenoids; xanthophylls; cancer chemoprevention; mechanisms carotenoids; xanthophylls; cancer chemoprevention; mechanisms
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Tanaka, T.; Shnimizu, M.; Moriwaki, H. Cancer Chemoprevention by Carotenoids. Molecules 2012, 17, 3202-3242.

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