Carotenoids are the yellow, orange, and red pigments produced in a wide variety of plants. There are numerous fruit and vegetables that provide a great source of carotenoids for the body. Carotenoid absorption by the body ranges widely, depending on the source and the intake of carotenoids. Carotenoids are present in cell membranes and lipoproteins. The carotenoids are seen to function as antioxidants. They have the ability to hunt down both free radicals and singlet oxygen, as well as to directly react with peroxyl radicals and to hinder lipid peroxidation.
There may be a call for an increase in carotenoids when taking bile acid sequestrants and colestipol to assist the body. No other drug interactions have been identified in relation to carotenoids.
Carotenoids may cause a condition referred to as carotenodermia, which is characterized by a yellow or orange pigmentation of the skin. The condition can be corrected when the use of carotenoids is discontinued. It is recommended that smokers do not use carotenoids, as an increased risk of lung cancer has been found for smokers who do use carotenoid supplements.
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