Caption: Beta-carotene crystals. Carotenes are un-oxidized carotenoid pigments from the terpene group. They are orange colored pigments, important in photosynthesis. They do not actively contribute in photosynthesis, but instead they transmit the energy they absorb to chlorophyll pigments. Carotene is the dimer of vitamin A and comes in two forms α-carotene and β-carotene (alpha-carotene and beta-carotene). Both types can be stored in the liver, and unlike vitamin A, excess carotene is non-toxic and can also be converted to vitamin A as needed. Beta-carotene is a provitamin A carotenoid that is more efficiently converted to vitamin A / retinol than other carotenoids. Beta-carotene (vitamin A) is necessary for proper growth and repair of body tissues; helps maintain healthy skin; helps protect the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat and lungs, thereby reducing susceptibility to infections; protects against air pollutants; counteracts night-blindness and weak eyesight; and aids in bone and teeth formation. Some carotenoids have been shown to function as antioxidants in laboratory studies.
Magnification*: x40
Type: LM
Copyright 1985 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Keywords: 930908-30,12.01.04,a-carotene,alpha-carotene,antioxidant,anti-oxidant,ß-carotene,beta-carotene,bone formation,carotene,carotenes,carotenoid,carotenoids,cell growth,crystal,crystals,eyesight,free radicals,healthy skin,human development,human growth,night blindness,photosynthesis,photosynthetic pigment,provitamin A carotenoid,retinol,retinoic acid,terpene,tissue growth,teeth formation,Vitamin A,LM