July 19, 2024

Alpha-carotene: Occurrence, chemical nature and medicinal benefits

Alpha-carotene: Occurrence, chemical nature and medicinal benefits


Alpha-carotene occurs naturally in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods. Some of the best dietary sources of alpha-carotene include:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Squash
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Mangoes

Alpha-carotene is also found in some animal products, such as egg yolks and liver. However, the primary dietary source of alpha-carotene is plant-based foods. The concentration of alpha-carotene in these foods can vary depending on a number of factors, including the growing conditions, ripeness, and storage conditions of the food.

Chemical nature

The molecular formula for alpha-carotene is C40H56, and its systematic name is 1,3,3-Trimethyl-2-[3,7,12,16-tetramethyl-18-(2,6,6-trimethyl-1-cyclohexenyl)octadeca-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17-nonaenyl]cyclohexene. The structure can be visualized as two symmetrical halves, each containing a long hydrocarbon chain with alternating single and double bonds, and a series of conjugated double bonds in the center.

Alpha-carotene is typically found in nature as a mixture of two isomers: all-trans-alpha-carotene and 9-cis-alpha-carotene. These isomers have slightly different chemical structures due to differences in the arrangement of the double bonds in the molecule.

Medicinal benefit

Alpha-carotene has been studied for its potential medicinal benefits, and some research has suggested that it may be associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain types of cancer, and age-related eye diseases.

Here are some of the potential medicinal benefits of alpha-carotene:

  1. Antioxidant properties: Like other carotenoids, alpha-carotene acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.
  2. Heart health: Some research has suggested that diets high in alpha-carotene may be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. One study found that higher blood levels of alpha-carotene were associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
  3. Cancer prevention: Some studies have suggested that alpha-carotene may have cancer-fighting properties. For example, one study found that higher intake of alpha-carotene was associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer.
  4. Eye health: Alpha-carotene, along with other carotenoids, may help to reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
  5. Immune system support: Alpha-carotene may help to boost the immune system, although more research is needed to fully understand this effect.

It’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential medicinal benefits of alpha-carotene, and that it should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment.

Final Year B Pharm Notes, Syllabus, Books, PDF Subjectwise/Topicwise

Final Year B Pharm Sem VIIBP701T Instrumental Methods of Analysis Theory
BP702T Industrial Pharmacy TheoryBP703T Pharmacy Practice Theory
BP704T Novel Drug Delivery System TheoryBP705 P Instrumental Methods of Analysis Practical
Final Year B Pharm Sem VIIBP801T Biostatistics and Research Methodology Theory
BP802T Social and Preventive Pharmacy TheoryBP803ET Pharmaceutical Marketing Theory
BP804ET Pharmaceutical Regulatory Science TheoryBP805ET Pharmacovigilance Theory
BP806ET Quality Control and Standardization of Herbals TheoryBP807ET Computer-Aided Drug Design Theory
BP808ET Cell and Molecular Biology TheoryBP809ET Cosmetic Science Theory
BP810ET Experimental Pharmacology TheoryBP811ET Advanced Instrumentation Techniques Theory
BP812ET Dietary supplements and NutraceuticalsPharmaceutical Product Development

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