Carotenoids in marine animals

Mar Drugs. 2011 Feb 22;9(2):278-293. doi: 10.3390/md9020278.


Marine animals contain various carotenoids that show structural diversity. These marine animals accumulate carotenoids from foods such as algae and other animals and modify them through metabolic reactions. Many of the carotenoids present in marine animals are metabolites of β-carotene, fucoxanthin, peridinin, diatoxanthin, alloxanthin, and astaxanthin, etc. Carotenoids found in these animals provide the food chain as well as metabolic pathways. In the present review, I will describe marine animal carotenoids from natural product chemistry, metabolism, food chain, and chemosystematic viewpoints, and also describe new structural carotenoids isolated from marine animals over the last decade.

Keywords: carotenoids; chemosystematic; food chain; marine animals; metabolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Products / chemistry*
  • Carotenoids / chemistry*
  • Carotenoids / metabolism
  • Food Chain
  • Marine Biology


  • Biological Products
  • Carotenoids