Category: Natural chemicals
Introduction and description
Cryptoxanthin is a natural carotenoid pigment. It has been isolated from a variety of sources including the petals and flowers of plants in the genus Physalis, orange rind, papaya, egg yolk, butter, apples, and bovine blood serum.
In the human body, cryptoxanthin is converted to vitamin A (retinol) and is, therefore, considered a provitamin A.
As with other carotenoids, cryptoxanthin is an antioxidant and “may help prevent free radical damage to cells and DNA, as well as stimulate the repair of oxidative damage to DNA.”
In terms of structure, cryptoxanthin is closely related to β-carotene, with only the addition of a hydroxyl group. It is a member of the class of carotenoids known as xanthophylls.
In a pure form, cryptoxanthin is a red crystalline solid with a metallic luster. It is freely soluble in chloroform, benzene, pyridine, and carbon disulfide.