Antioxidant and anti‑inflammatory mechanisms of action of astaxanthin in cardiovascular diseases (Review).
Int J Mol Med. 2020 Nov 4. Epub 2020 Nov 4. PMID: 33155666
Carolina Parga Martins Pereira
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of mortality worldwide. Oxidative stress and inflammation are pathophysiological processes involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases; thus, anti‑inflammatory and antioxidant agents that modulate redox balance have become research targets so as to evaluate their molecular mechanisms of action and therapeutic properties. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid of the xanthophyll group, has potent antioxidant properties due to its molecular structure andits arrangement in the plasma membrane, factors that favor the neutralization of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. This carotenoid also has prominent anti‑inflammatory activity, possibly interrelated with its antioxidant effect, and is also involved in the modulation of lipid and glucose metabolism. Considering the potential beneficial effects of astaxanthin on cardiovascular health evidenced by preclinical and clinical studies, the aim of the present review was to describe the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with the antioxidant and anti‑inflammatory properties of this carotenoid in cardiovascular diseases, particularly atherosclerosis. The beneficial properties and safety profile of astaxanthin indicate that this compound may be used for preventing progression or as an adjuvant in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.