Fucoxanthin and lipid metabolism: A minireview

Kh Muradian, A. Vaiserman, K. J. Min, V. E. Fraifeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Aims: Accumulating data suggest that food supplementation with seaweeds which traditionally are an important part of food culture in South-East Asian countries might lead to essential health benefits. In this short review, we summarize findings from experimental studies on the effects of fucoxanthin (a carotenoid derived from brown seaweeds) on lipid metabolism, adiposity, and related conditions and discuss the possible underlying mechanisms. Data synthesis: Supplementation of fucoxanthin or its derivatives consistently attenuated body and visceral fat weight gain, lipid accumulation in the liver, decreases insulin resistance, and improves the plasma lipid profile in rodents fed a high-fat diet. It should however be noted that in diabetic/obese KK-Ay mice with genetically compromised insulin signaling, fucoxanthin might increase the plasma levels of cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins. The anti-obesity effects of fucoxanthin are apparently mediated by the hormones leptin and adiponectin through their common target AMK-activated protein kinase, resulting in downregulation of lipogenic enzymes and upregulation of lipolytic enzymes. Fucoxanthin also suppresses adipocyte differentiation and induces the expression of uncoupling proteins in visceral adipose tissue. Conclusions: The results of experimental studies suggest that consumption of fucoxanthin and its derivatives as nutritional supplements is a promising option for prevention and treatment of obesity and a wide variety of related pathologies, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Yet, clinical trials are warranted to assess a therapeutic value of fucoxanthin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-897
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Adipocyte differentiation
  • Brown seaweeds
  • Fucoxanthin
  • Lypogenesis and lipolysis
  • Obesity
  • Rodents
  • Uncoupling proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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