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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018, Article ID 4120458, 13 pages
Review Article

Recent Advances in Studies on the Therapeutic Potential of Dietary Carotenoids in Neurodegenerative Diseases

1Department of Biological Sciences, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea
2Disease Target Structure Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea
3Department of Bioscience, University of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34113, Republic of Korea
4Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, DGIST, Daegu 42988, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Sunhong Kim; and Sung Bae Lee;

Received 22 November 2017; Revised 22 February 2018; Accepted 13 March 2018; Published 16 April 2018

Academic Editor: Julio B. Daleprane

Copyright © 2018 Kyoung Sang Cho 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.


Carotenoids, symmetrical tetraterpenes with a linear C40 hydrocarbon backbone, are natural pigment molecules produced by plants, algae, and fungi. Carotenoids have important functions in the organisms (including animals) that obtain them from food. Due to their characteristic structure, carotenoids have bioactive properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and autophagy-modulatory activities. Given the protective function of carotenoids, their levels in the human body have been significantly associated with the treatment and prevention of various diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases. In this paper, we review the latest studies on the effects of carotenoids on neurodegenerative diseases in humans. Furthermore, animal and cellular model studies on the beneficial effects of carotenoids on neurodegeneration are also reviewed. Finally, we discuss the possible mechanisms and limitations of carotenoids in the treatment and prevention of neurological diseases.