Carotenoids: The Most Potent Phytochemicals In Nature Having Health Promoting Activities | 4686
Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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Carotenoids are fat-soluble pigments widely distributed in nature.They comprise two main groups; carotenes and oxycarotenoids.
Their distinctive pattern of alternating single and double bonds in the polyene backbone might be responsible to quench reactive oxygen species (ROS), while the nature of specific end groups on carotenoids may influence their polarity.Antioxidants help to control free radicals by quenching them by donating electrons to molecules before they damage other biomolecules of the cell or by reducing their energy or stopping their formation by interrupting oxidizing chain reaction. Scavenging of free radicals may be by gaining its ?missing? electron by removing an electron from another molecule or to add itself to another molecule in its attempt to pair single electron, forming an adduct. In either case, the electron-rich character of carotenoids makes them attractive to radicals, thus sparing other cell components (DNA, RNA, carbohydrates, proteins, andlipids) from damage. Carotenes along
with xanthophylls, astaxanthin, lycopene and lutein seem to offer protection against breast, lung,colorectal,uterine and prostate
cancers. They help to prevent heart diseases, supplementation along with vitamin C and E reduce the risk of developing diabetes
and to fight against Alzheimer?s disease. They are generally regarded as safe (GRAS) but increased consumption of carotenoids
may cause the skin to turn orange or yellow, known as ?carotenodermia.? This occurrence is completely benign and is unrelated
to jaundice that can result from liver disease or other causes. Although it is tempting to formulate a cocktail of carotenoids with
a desire to provide a full spectrum of health benefits but it is advised to take into consideration the health benefit to be targeted
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