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IUPAC name (R)-3,5,5-Trimethyl-4-[3,7,12,16-
Other names (3R)-β,β-Caroten-3-ol
CAS number 472-70-8
Molecular formula C40H56O
Molar mass 552.85 g/mol
Density  ? g/cm3
Melting point

169 °C

Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

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, and bovine blood serum.[1]


Structurally, cryptoxanthin is closely related to beta-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.[1]

Biology and medicine

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.

Recent findings of an inverse association between β-cryptoxanthin and lung cancer risk in several observational epidemiological studies suggest that β-cryptoxanthin could potentially act as a chemopreventive agent against lung cancer.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Merck Index, 11th Edition, 2612.
  2. ^ β-Cryptoxanthin suppresses the growth of immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells and non-small-cell lung cancer cells and up-regulates retinoic acid receptor b expression. Lian, Fuzhi; Hu, Kang-Quan; Russell, Robert M.; Wang, Xiang-Dong. International Journal of Cancer (2006), 119(9), 2084-2089.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cryptoxanthin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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