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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: Beta-cryptoxanthin: A vitamin A-forming carotenoid

Authors
item Turner, Tami -
item Burri, Betty
item La Frano, Michael -

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 17, 2011
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Citation: Turner, T., Burri, B.J., La Frano, M.R. 2012. Beta-cryptoxanthin: A vitamin A-forming carotenoid. In: Yamaguchi, M., editor. Carotenoids: Properties, Effects and Diseases. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Publishers. p. 331-354.

Interpretive Summary: Beta-cryptoxanthin is an orange carotenoid. Its richest food sources include mandarin oranges, persimmons, oranges, papayas, pumpkin, and red sweet peppers. Beta-cryptoxanthin appears to be absorbed better from its major food sources than other carotenoids. Therefore, it may be more important for human health than previously assumed. Beta-cryptoxanthin has multiple functions that may be important for human health. First, it can form vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for eyesight, growth, development, and immune response. Second, it is an antioxidant. Thus, it may help protect against some cancers and other degenerative diseases. In this chapter we review the literature and evaluate the evidence for the functions and potential health benefits of beta-cryptoxanthin.

Technical Abstract: Beta-cryptoxanthin is a common carotenoid. It is generally the fourth most abundant in human blood but can achieve high concentrations especially in Japanese and Spanish populations. Its richest food sources include mandarin oranges, persimmons, oranges, papayas, pumpkin, and red sweet peppers. Beta-cryptoxanthin appears to be absorbed better from its major food sources than other carotenoids, and thus may be more important for human health than previously assumed. Beta-cryptoxanthin has multiple functions and actions that may be important for human health. First, beta-cryptoxanthin is a precursor of vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient needed for eyesight, growth, development, and immune response. Second, like all carotenoids, beta-cryptoxanthin is an antioxidant. Thus, it may help protect against some cancers and other degenerative diseases. Finally, some interesting studies in cell lines and animals suggest that beta-cryptoxanthin may have an anabolic effect on bone, thus potentially decreasing bone loss with age. In this chapter we review the literature and evaluate the evidence for the functions and potential health benefits of beta-cryptoxanthin.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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