Acta Scientific Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mini ReviewVolume 1 Issue 6

Carotenoids and Cancer: Biological Functions

Marzieh Basirnejad, Alireza Milani and Azam Bolhassani*

Department of Hepatitis and AIDS, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

*Corresponding Author: Azam Bolhassani, Associate Professor, Department of Hepatitis and AIDs, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran.

Received: December 04, 2017; Published: December 25, 2017

Citation: Azam Bolhassani., et al. “Carotenoids and Cancer: Biological Functions”. Acta Scientific Pharmaceutical Sciences 1.6 (2018).


  Carotenoids in foods could reduce the risk of different disorders such as many forms of cancer. The carotenoids are usually augmented in lipophilic compartments. The main biochemical functions of carotenoids are related to the conjugated double bonds in their structures responsible for various colors. Several statistical investigations indicated an association between the use of carotenoids in diets and a decreased incidence of cancer types, suggesting the antioxidant properties of these compounds as an important factor. In this line, several studies have represented different mechanisms of action for carotenoids including up-regulation of gap junctional communication (GJC), stimulation of detoxifying enzymes and prevention of cell proliferation, as well as antioxidant activities and their conversion to vitamin A. Preclinical studies demonstrated that the carotenoids have effective anti-tumor effects both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting their potential preventive or therapeutic roles. Briefly, the reports suggested that carotenoids are safe, but they may exert carcinogenic effects under high doses. Furthermore, antioxidant activities of carotenoids are the most important anti-cancer properties among other biological functions. In this mini-review, we describe the major biological activities of carotenoids against a wide variety of tumor cells and tissues. Indeed, the anti-tumor effects of some carotenoids as well as their mechanisms will be individually evaluated in various types of cancers.

Keywords: Carotenoids; Function; Cancer; Treatment

Copyright: © 2018 Azam Bolhassani., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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