Carotenoids pp 149-172 | Cite as

Carotenoids as Provitamin A

  • Guangwen Tang
  • Robert M. Russell
Part of the Carotenoids book series (CAROT, volume 5)


In 1930, Moore discovered that β-carotene (3) could be converted in vivo into vitamin A [1]. Since then, the vitamin A values of β-carotene and other provitamin A carotenoids, particularly α-carotene (7) and β-cryptoxanthin (55), have been investigated by various techniques. As discussed in Chapter 9, vitamin A nutrition is of worldwide interest; deficiency of the vitamin remains a problem in developing countries, affecting 75 to 140 million children [2]. Deficiency of vitamin A (VAD) can result in visual malfunction such as night blindness and xerophthalmia [3], and can impair immune function [4], resulting in an increased incidence and/or severity of respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections [5], and measles [6]. Vitamin A levels in HIV-positive children are lower than those in HIV-negative children [7].


Retinoic Acid Serum Retinol Retinyl Palmitate Retinyl Ester Retinyl Acetate 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guangwen Tang
    • 1
  • Robert M. Russell
    • 2
  1. 1.Carotenoids and Health Laboratory Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on AgingTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.National Institutes of HealthWashington DCUSA

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