Carotenoids diet: digestion, gut microbiota modulation, and inflammatory diseases

Helena R. Rocha, Marta C. Coelho*, Ana M. Gomes, Manuela E. Pintado*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Several epidemiologic studies have found that consuming fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of getting a variety of chronic illnesses, including several types of cancers, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), and bowel diseases. Although there is still debate over the bioactive components, various secondary plant metabolites have been linked to these positive health benefits. Many of these features have recently been connected to carotenoids and their metabolites’ effects on intracellular signalling cascades, which influence gene expression and protein translation. Carotenoids are the most prevalent lipid-soluble phytochemicals in the human diet, are found in micromolar amounts in human serum, and are very susceptible to multiple oxidation and isomerisation reactions. The gastrointestinal delivery system, digestion processes, stability, and functionality of carotenoids, as well as their impact on the gut microbiota and how carotenoids may be effective modulators of oxidative stress and inflammatory pathways, are still lacking research advances. Although several pathways involved in carotenoids’ bioactivity have been identified, future studies should focus on the carotenoids’ relationships, related metabolites, and their effects on transcription factors and metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2265
Number of pages18
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2023


  • Absorption
  • Carotenoids
  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Intestinal microbiota
  • Metabolites


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