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Chemical Transformation of Astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis Improves Its Antioxidative and Anti-inflammatory Activities

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journal contribution
posted on 15.09.2020 by Sung Hyun Hwang, Ji Min Kim, Seokjoon Kim, Min Jin Yoon, Ki Soo Park
Astaxanthin is a strong antioxidant, but the effect of esterification on its biological activities remains unclear. Here, we chemically synthesized three forms of astaxanthin (nonesterified (Ast-N), monoesterified (Ast-mE), and diesterified (Ast-dE) forms) using esterified astaxanthin (Ast-E) in natural extract from Haematococcus pluvialis and characterized them by spectrophotometry and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Additionally, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of the samples containing three forms of astaxanthin at different ratios were evaluated. The sample containing the maximum level of Ast-mE compared to those of Ast-N and Ast-dE showed the highest antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. We also observed the greatest increase in expression of genes related to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in samples containing the highest Ast-mE. These results provide a foundation for in-depth investigation of astaxanthin and other antioxidant molecules, allowing for the development of a practical and cost-effective strategy to improve antioxidant or anti-inflammatory activities of natural extracts that can be used as dietary supplements.

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