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Mar. Drugs 2011, 9(10), 1806-1828; doi:10.3390/md9101806
Review

Fucoxanthin, a Marine Carotenoid Present in Brown Seaweeds and Diatoms: Metabolism and Bioactivities Relevant to Human Health

, * ,
 and *
Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Resources and Coastal Engineering, School of Marine Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 September 2011 / Revised: 21 September 2011 / Accepted: 21 September 2011 / Published: 10 October 2011
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Abstract

The marine carotenoid fucoxanthin can be found in marine brown seaweeds, the macroalgae, and diatoms, the microalgae, and has remarkable biological properties. Numerous studies have shown that fucoxanthin has considerable potential and promising applications in human health. In this article, we review the current available scientific literature regarding the metabolism, safety, and bioactivities of fucoxanthin, including its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-obese, antidiabetic, antiangiogenic and antimalarial activities, and its protective effects on the liver, blood vessels of the brain, bones, skin, and eyes. Although some studies have shown the bioavailability of fucoxanthin in brown seaweeds to be low in humans, many studies have suggested that a dietary combination of fucoxanthin and edible oil or lipid could increase the absorption rate of fucoxanthin, and thus it might be a promising marine drug.
Keywords: fucoxanthin; metabolite; bioactivity; brown seaweed; diatom fucoxanthin; metabolite; bioactivity; brown seaweed; diatom
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Peng, J.; Yuan, J.-P.; Wu, C.-F.; Wang, J.-H. Fucoxanthin, a Marine Carotenoid Present in Brown Seaweeds and Diatoms: Metabolism and Bioactivities Relevant to Human Health. Mar. Drugs 2011, 9, 1806-1828.

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