PHARMACOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF CAROTENOIDS: A REVIEWAbstract
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin which is required in the vision process, epithelial maintenance, mucous secretion and reproduction obtained from carotenoids. Carotenoids have been considered to provide benefits in age-related diseases, against some forms of cancer (in especial lung cancer), strokes, macular degeneration, and cataracts. Till date, more than 600 carotenoids are known and 50 of them are consumed in meals to be transformed into the essential nutrient vitamin A. After their absorption, these carotenoids are metabolized by an oxidative rupture to retinal, retinoic acid and small quantities of breakdown products and are transported by plasma lipoproteins. Carotenes are mainly associated with low-density lipoproteins, while xanthophylls show a uniform distribution between the low- and high-density lipoproteins. The present review provides an insight into the recent status of pharmacological aspects of carotenoids.