beta-Cryptoxanthin selectively increases in human chylomicrons upon ingestion of tangerine concentrate rich in beta-cryptoxanthin esters

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1995 Dec 20;324(2):385-90. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1995.0052.


beta-Cryptoxanthin is a major source of vitamin A, often second only to beta-carotene, and is present in fruits such as oranges, tangerines, and papayas. Here, we studied the uptake of this carotenoid upon ingestion of tangerine juice concentrate, rich in beta-cryptoxanthin esters. Increasing amounts of free beta-cryptoxanthin were detected in chylomicrons and serum. Peak levels in chylomicrons were reached at t = 6 h, and the concentration returned toward basal levels at t = 9 h. No beta-cryptoxanthin esters were detected in chylomicrons or serum, indicating efficient cleavage in the intestine before the carotenoid is incorporated into lipoproteins by the liver. Other xanthophyll esters, e.g., of zeaxanthin and lutein, were present in low amounts in the tangerine concentrate. As with beta-cryptoxanthin, no esters appeared in serum or chylomicrons, suggesting that the cleavage of carotenoid esters prior to release into the lymphatic circulation occurs generally in human oxocarotenoid biokinetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Adult
  • Carotenoids / analogs & derivatives*
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Carotenoids / chemistry
  • Carotenoids / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Chylomicrons / metabolism*
  • Citrus / metabolism*
  • Cryptoxanthins
  • Esters / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laurates / metabolism
  • Male
  • Myristic Acid
  • Myristic Acids / metabolism
  • Palmitates / metabolism
  • Xanthophylls
  • beta Carotene* / analogs & derivatives*


  • Chylomicrons
  • Cryptoxanthins
  • Esters
  • Laurates
  • Myristic Acids
  • Palmitates
  • Xanthophylls
  • beta Carotene
  • Myristic Acid
  • Carotenoids