Tuesday, October 12, 2021

α-carotene in banana

Carotenoids are a class of phytonutrients ("plant chemicals") and they help plants absorb light energy for use in photosynthesis. They also have an important antioxidant function of deactivating free radicals — single oxygen atoms that can damage cells by reacting with other molecules.

α-carotene is one of the major carotenoids in ripe banana. α-carotene also has provitamin A activity. Based on its structure, it is converted to one molecule of biologically active retinol after central cleavage and twice the molar amount is equivalent to β-carotene.

The provitamin A value of α-carotene is assumed to be one-half that of β-carotene. This assumption is based predominantly on its structure.

These provitamin A carotenoids are converted in the mucosal cells to vitamin A. Carotenoid-rich foods, including those rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene, may help protect against certain chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease. Higher serum concentrations of α-carotene have been associated with lower risk of cancer and all-cause mortality.

Study shows that the α-carotene levels of unripe pulps of all the Musa analyzed were higher than those of lutein and β-carotene for the same variety, except for Dwarf kalapua.
α-carotene in banana

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