The colorful world of carotenoids: a profound insight on therapeutics and recent trends in nano delivery systems

Saeid Maghsoudi, Bahareh Taghavi Shahraki, Navid Rabiee, Yousef Fatahi, Mojtaba Bagherzadeh, Rassoul Dinarvand, Sepideh Ahmadi, Mohammad Rabiee, Mohammadreza Tahriri, Michael R. Hamblin, Lobat Tayebi, Thomas J. Webster*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The therapeutic effects of carotenoids as dietary supplements to control or even treat some specific diseases including diabetic retinopathy, cardiovascular diseases, bacterial infections, as well as breast, prostate, and skin cancer are discussed in this review and also thoughts on future research for their widespread use are emphasized. From the stability standpoint, carotenoids have low bioavailability and bioaccessibility owing to their poor water solubility, deterioration in the presence of environmental stresses such as oxygen, light, and high heat as well as rapid degradation during digestion. Nanoencapsulation technologies as wall or encapsulation materials have been increasingly used for improving food product functionality. Nanoencapsulation is a versatile process employed for the protection, entrapment, and the delivery of food bioactive products including carotenoids from diverse environmental conditions for extended shelf lives and for providing controlled release. Therefore, we present here, recent (mostly during the last five years) nanoencapsulation methods of carotenoids with various nanocarriers. To us, this review can be considered as the first highlighting not only the potential therapeutic effects of carotenoids on various diseases but also their most effective nanodelivery systems.Highlights Bioactive compounds are of deep interest to improve food properties. Carotenoids (such as β-carotene and xanthophylls) play indispensable roles in maintaining human health and well-being. A substantial research effort has been carried out on developing beneficial nanodelivery systems for various carotenoids. Nanoencapsulation of carotenoids can enhance their functional properties. Stable nanoencapsulated carotenoids could be utilized in food products.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Carotenoids
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • nanoencapsulation
  • neurodegenerative
  • pigments


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