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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Dietary Modulation of Immune Function and Oxidative Stress

Location: Immunity and Disease Prevention Research Unit

Title: Carotenoids, chemistry, sources and physiology

Author
item Burri, Betty

Submitted to: Elsevier
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 8, 2011
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: Burri, B.J. 2013. Carotenoids, chemistry, sources and physiology. In: Caballero, B., editor. Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition. 3rd Edition, Volume 1. Waltham, MA: Academic Press. p. 283-291.

Interpretive Summary: This is a chapter for the Enclyclopedia of Human Nutrition (3rd edition). It summarizes information on the structure, metabolism, functions, and dietary sources of carotenoids. Carotenoids are phytonutrients. They are antioxidants that combat oxidative damage and other degradative reactions that are harmful to human health. Some carotenoids are also important sources of vitamin A, an essential nutrient. Vitamin A is needed for normal growth, development, and eyesight. Good dietary sources are orange, red, yellow, and dark green fruits and vegetables.

Technical Abstract: This chapter for the Enclyclopedia of Human Nutrition (3rd edition) summarizes the structure, chemical and physiological mechanisms, dietary sources, and metabolism of carotenoids. Carotenoids are a family of phytonutrients which have antioxidant properties under most physiological conditions. Numerous studies indicate that carotenoids and their metabolites play a role in combating oxidative damage and other degradative reactions that are harmful to human health. Most of these functions seem to be related to their antioxidant nature and ability to dissipate energy from light and free radical-generating reactions. Some carotenoids are also important sources of vitamin A, a nutrient essential for normal growth, development, and eyesight. Good dietary sources are orange, red, yellow, and dark green fruits and vegetables.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014