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IUPAC name
Acetic acid [(1S,3R)-3-hydroxy-4-[(3E,5E,7E,9E,11E,13E,15E)-18-[(1S,4S,6R)-4-hydroxy-2,2,6-trimethyl-7-oxabicyclo[4.1.0]heptan-1-yl]-3,7,12,16-tetramethyl-17-oxooctadeca-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15-octaenylidene]-3,5,5-trimethylcyclohexyl] ester
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.212.315
Molar mass 658.92 g·mol−1
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Fucoxanthin is a xanthophyll, with formula C42H58O6. It is found as an accessory pigment in the chloroplasts of brown algae and most other heterokonts, giving them a brown or olive-green color. Fucoxanthin absorbs light primarily in the blue-green to yellow-green part of the visible spectrum, peaking at around 510-525 nm by various estimates and absorbing significantly in the range of 450 to 540 nm.

Health benefits[edit]

Some metabolic and nutritional studies carried out on rats and mice at Hokkaido University indicate that fucoxanthin promotes fat burning within fat cells in white adipose tissue by increasing the expression of thermogenin.[1] A subsequent double-blind placebo-controlled human study of females with liver disease using supplementation with seaweed extract containing fucoxanthin in combination with pomegranate seed oil [2] showed in an average 4.9 kg (11 lb) weight loss in obese women over a 16-week period.[2]

Another 16-week trial is currently underway that is investigating the effects of a combination supplement of brown seaweed extract (containing fucoxanthin) and pomegranate seed oil. This study is looking at the effects of this supplement on body composition, resting energy expenditure, blood pressure, and serum lipid levels and liver enzyme levels of obese men and women following a hypocaloric diet. A manuscript involving the complete results of this study is still pending.

Fucoxanthin is being looked into for its anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, and anti-cancer effects. A study has shown that fucoxanthin has strong effects on oxidative stress, oxidative stress-related diseases, and cancers. [3]

Research on how fucoxanthin may have preventive effects on cancer is also being done. Many studies show that it aids in anti-proliferation, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis induction, suppression of angiogenesis, and anti-drug potential. Without reducing its therapeutic efficacy, fucoxanthin could also reduce the toxicity that comes with the use of conventional medicine. More research in animal models of disease is needed to be done to obtain more conclusive evidence on the molecular basis of fucoxanthin action. [4]

Fucoxanthin is isolated from a brown algae which has been reported to be a popular health food. The fucoxanthin in this algae induces apoptosis of various cancer cells. It also has anti-tumor activities in various cancer cells. This particular study has shown that fucoxanthin has an inhibitory effect on invasiveness of cancer cells through suppressing the expression of gelatinolytic enzyme MMP-9. This study also found that fucoxanthin suppressed the motility of melanoma cells. [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maeda, H; Hosokawa, M; Sashima, T; Funayama, K; Miyashita, K (2005). "Fucoxanthin from edible seaweed, Undaria pinnatifida, shows antiobesity effect through UCP1 expression in white adipose tissues". Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 332 (2): 392–7. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2005.05.002. PMID 15896707. 
  2. ^ a b Abidov, M.; Ramazanov, Z.; Seifulla, R.; Grachev, S. (2010). "The effects of Xanthigen in the weight management of obese premenopausal women with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and normal liver fat". Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. 12: 72. doi:10.1111/j.1463-1326.2009.01132.x. 
  3. ^ {{Lee, Jin-Ching, Ming-Feng Hou, Hurng-Wern Huang, Fang-Rong Chang, Chi-Chen Yeh, Jen Yang Tang, and Hsueh-Wei Chang. “Marine Algal Natural Products with Anti-oxidative, Anti-inflammatory, and Anti-cancer Properties.” Cancer Cell International 13 (2013): n. pag. Scopus. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.}}
  4. ^ {{Rengarajan, Thamaraiselvan, Peramaiyan Rajendran, Natarajan Nandakumar, Maruthaiveeran P.Balasubramanian, and Ikuo Nishigaki. “Cancer Preventive Efficacy of Marine Carotenoid Fucoxanthin: Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis.” Nutrients 5.12 (2013): 4978-989. Scopus. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.}}
  5. ^ {{Chung, Tae-Wook, Hee-Jung Choi, Ji-Yeon Lee, Han-Sol Jeong, Cheorl-Ho Kim, Myungsoo Joo, Jun-Yong Choi, Chang-Woo Han, So-Yeon Kim, Jae-Sue Choi, and Ki-Tae Ha. “Marine Algal Fucoxanthin Inhibits the Metastatic Potential of Cancer Cells.” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 439.4 (2013): 580-85. Scopus. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.}}

Other studies[edit]

  • Haugan, J (1994). "Isolation and characterisation of four allenic (6'S)-isomers of fucoxanthin". Tetrahedron Letters. 35: 2245. doi:10.1016/S0040-4039(00)76810-9.