Marine bioactives as functional food ingredients: potential to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases

Mar Drugs. 2011;9(6):1056-1100. doi: 10.3390/md9061056. Epub 2011 Jun 14.


The marine environment represents a relatively untapped source of functional ingredients that can be applied to various aspects of food processing, storage, and fortification. Moreover, numerous marine-based compounds have been identified as having diverse biological activities, with some reported to interfere with the pathogenesis of diseases. Bioactive peptides isolated from fish protein hydrolysates as well as algal fucans, galactans and alginates have been shown to possess anticoagulant, anticancer and hypocholesterolemic activities. Additionally, fish oils and marine bacteria are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, while crustaceans and seaweeds contain powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and phenolic compounds. On the basis of their bioactive properties, this review focuses on the potential use of marine-derived compounds as functional food ingredients for health maintenance and the prevention of chronic diseases.

Keywords: disease; functional food ingredients; marine; polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aquatic Organisms
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Food Handling / methods
  • Functional Food*
  • Humans