Vitamin A and specific carotenoids are important immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory dietary components. Adequate intake of vitamin A, and possibly also of carotenoids, is important for establishing normal pregnancy and resistance to infections in early life. Specific carotenoids promote polarization of T effector cells and macrophages toward anti-inflammatory phenotypes. Xanthophyll carotenoids, including lutein and astaxanthin, suppress neuroinflammation. Lutein inhibits the neuroinflammatory response to hypoxic ischemic brain injury in a perinatal rat model.
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