Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2008
Publication Date: 9/20/2009
Citation: Yeum, K., Aldini, G., Russell, R.M., Krinsky, N.I. 2009. Antioxidant/pro-oxidant actions of carotenoids. In: Britton, G., Liaaen-Jensen, S., Pfander, H., editors. Carotenoids: Nutrition and Health. 5th edition. New York, NY: Birkhauser Publishing. p.235-268. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Various biomarkers that determine the biological functions of carotenoids and their effects on genomic stability have been developed. However, it seems that there is no one system that accurately determines the biological actions of carotenoids, due to the limitations of analysis technique in relation to the lipophilicity of carotenoids and the model systems used to evaluate the effect of carotenoids. In addition, there are various factors such as carotenoid concentration, oxygen tension, UV exposure, and oxidative stress which can affect the antioxidant activity of carotenoids. A synergistic/cooperative interaction among carotenoids and with other antioxidants such as tocopherols, ascorbic acid, and flavonoids, appears to play an important role in the biological antioxidant network. Therefore, an important future direction of research would be to elucidate how best to improve our body defence systems against oxidative damage, which in turn might reduce the risk of chronic diseases by means of dietary modification rather than by taking large amounts of antioxidant supplements.