Carotenoids and Chlorophylls as Antioxidants

Antioxidants (Basel). 2020 Jun 9;9(6):505. doi: 10.3390/antiox9060505.


Chlorophylls and carotenoids are natural pigments that are present in our daily diet, especially with the increasing tendency towards more natural and healthy behaviors among consumers. As disturbed antioxidant homeostasis capacities seem to be implicated in the progress of different pathologies, the antioxidant properties of both groups of lipophilic compounds have been studied. The objective of this review was to analyze the state-of-the-art advances in this field. We conducted a systematic bibliographic search (Web of Science™ and Scopus®), followed by a comprehensive and critical description of the results, with special emphasis on highly cited and more recently published research. In addition to an evaluative description of the methodologies, this review discussed different approaches used to obtain a physiological perspective, from in vitro studies to in vivo assays using oxidative biomarkers. From a chemical viewpoint, many studies have demonstrated how a pigment's structure influences its antioxidant response and the underlying mechanisms. The major outcome is that this knowledge is essential for interpreting new data in a metabolic networks context in the search for more direct applications to health. A promising era is coming where the term "antioxidant" is understood in terms of its broadest significance.

Keywords: ABTS; DPPH; LDL; Nrf-2; antioxidant activity; antioxidant capacity; carotenoid; chlorophyll; chlorophyllin; liposomes.

Publication types

  • Review