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Nutritional Importance of Carotenoids and Their Effect on Liver Health: A Review

1
Department of Food Technology, Food Science and Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”, Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia (IMIB-Arrixaca-UMU), University Clinical Hospital “Virgen de la Arrixaca”, University of Murcia, Espinardo, 30071 Murcia, Spain
2
Department of Food Engineering, Tierra Blanca Superior Technological Institute, Tierra Blanca 95180, Mexico
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antioxidants 2019, 8(7), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8070229
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids)
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Abstract

The consumption of carotenoids has beneficial effects on health, reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and macular degeneration, among others. The mechanism of action of carotenoids has not been clearly identified; however, it has been associated with the antioxidant capacity of carotenoids, which acts against reactive oxygen species and inactivating free radicals, although it has also been shown that carotenoids modulate gene expression. Dietary carotenoids are absorbed and accumulated in the liver and other organs, where they exert their beneficial effects. In recent years, it has been described that the intake of carotenoids can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from liver diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disease is characterized by an imbalance in lipid metabolism producing the accumulation of fat in the hepatocyte, leading to lipoperoxidation, followed by oxidative stress and inflammation. In the first phases, the main treatment of NAFLD is to change the lifestyle, including dietary habits. In this sense, carotenoids have been shown to have a hepatoprotective effect due to their ability to reduce oxidative stress and regulate the lipid metabolism of hepatocytes by modulating certain genes. The objective of this review was to provide a description of the effects of dietary carotenoids from fruits and vegetables on liver health. View Full-Text
Keywords: β-carotene; lycopene; lutein; β-cryptoxanthin; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); hepatic steatosis β-carotene; lycopene; lutein; β-cryptoxanthin; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); hepatic steatosis
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Elvira-Torales, L.I.; García-Alonso, J.; Periago-Castón, M.J. Nutritional Importance of Carotenoids and Their Effect on Liver Health: A Review. Antioxidants 2019, 8, 229.

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