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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 723515, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/723515
Review Article

Fucoxanthin: A Promising Medicinal and Nutritional Ingredient

1School of Pharmacy, Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan 250355, China
2School of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
3Department of Dermatology, The First Hospital of Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Gansu 730030, China
4School of Chinese Materia Medica, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China

Received 4 January 2015; Accepted 4 May 2015

Academic Editor: Avni Sali

Copyright © 2015 Hui Zhang et al. 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.

Abstract

Fucoxanthin, an allenic carotenoid, can be isolated from edible brown seaweeds. Recent studies have reported that fucoxanthin has many physiological functions and biological properties, such as antiobesity, antitumor, antidiabetes, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and hepatoprotective activities, as well as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular protective effects. Therefore, fucoxanthin can be used as both medicinal and nutritional ingredient to prevent and treat chronic diseases. Although fucoxanthin possesses many medicinal ingredient and nutritional qualities, studies indicated that its structure was unstable. In this paper, we consulted the current documents and reviewed structural properties and factors affecting the stability of fucoxanthin. We also reported the metabolism, safety, pharmacological activities, and the methods of improving the bioavailability of fucoxanthin. Based on these studies providing essential background knowledge, fucoxanthin can be developed into marine drugs and nutritional products.