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Mar. Drugs 2011, 9(4), 625-644; doi:10.3390/md9040625
Review

Microalgae as Sources of Carotenoids

1
,
1
 and
2,3,*
Received: 14 March 2011 / Accepted: 14 April 2011 / Published: 20 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Carotenoids)
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Abstract

Marine microalgae constitute a natural source of a variety of drugs for pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic applications—which encompass carotenoids, among others. A growing body of experimental evidence has confirmed that these compounds can play important roles in prevention (and even treatment) of human diseases and health conditions, e.g., cancer, cardiovascular problems, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, cataracts and some neurological disorders. The underlying features that may account for such favorable biological activities are their intrinsic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumoral features. In this invited review, the most important issues regarding synthesis of carotenoids by microalgae are described and discussed—from both physiological and processing points of view. Current gaps of knowledge, as well as technological opportunities in the near future relating to this growing field of interest, are also put forward in a critical manner.
Keywords: lutein; astaxanthin; β-carotene; bioproduction; extraction lutein; astaxanthin; β-carotene; bioproduction; extraction
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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Guedes, A.C.; Amaro, H.M.; Malcata, F.X. Microalgae as Sources of Carotenoids. Mar. Drugs 2011, 9, 625-644.

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