Effects of carotenoids on mitochondrial dysfunction

Opeyemi Stella Ademowo, Olubukola Oyebode, Roshita Edward, Myra E. Conway, Helen R Griffiths, Irundika Dias*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Oxidative stress, an imbalance between pro-oxidant and antioxidant status, favouring the pro-oxidant state is a result of increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or inadequate antioxidant protection. ROS are produced through several mechanisms in cells including during mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Increased mitochondrial-derived ROS are associated with mitochondrial dysfunction, an early event in age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's diseases (ADs) and in metabolic disorders including diabetes. AD post-mortem investigations of affected brain regions have shown the accumulation of oxidative damage to macromolecules, and oxidative stress has been considered an important contributor to disease pathology. An increase in oxidative stress, which leads to increased levels of superoxide, hydrogen peroxide and other ROS in a potentially vicious cycle is both causative and a consequence of mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction may be ameliorated by molecules with antioxidant capacities that accumulate in mitochondria such as carotenoids. However, the role of carotenoids in mitigating mitochondrial dysfunction is not fully understood. A better understanding of the role of antioxidants in mitochondrial function is a promising lead towards the development of novel and effective treatment strategies for age-related diseases. This review evaluates and summarises some of the latest developments and insights into the effects of carotenoids on mitochondrial dysfunction with a focus on the antioxidant properties of carotenoids. The mitochondria-protective role of carotenoids may be key in therapeutic strategies and targeting the mitochondria ROS is emerging in drug development for age-related diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number1
Early online date22 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).


  • astaxanthin
  • carotenoids
  • mitochondria
  • oxidative stress
  • reactive oxygen species


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