Editors’ Introduction: A Healthy Debate

  • George Britton
  • Synnøve Liaaen-Jensen
  • Hanspeter Pfander
Part of the Carotenoids book series (CAROT, volume 5)


Interest in carotenoids and human health goes back some 80 years, when the link between β-carotene (3) and vitamin A was first demonstrated and the dietary importance of β-carotene and some other carotenoids as provitamin A was established. This alone is sufficient to ensure that carotenoids will always have an important place and value in human nutrition. But there is more. This is now the era of ‘functional foods’, when a major goal is to identify roles of chemical components of foods as important micronutrients. Dietary intake can be manipulated by adopting a ‘healthy diet’, i.e. one rich in fruit and vegetables. Many supplements are now available to augment supplies when intake is limited or considered to be sub-optimal.


Human Nutrition Dietary Carotenoid Carotenoid Series Normal Dietary Intake Dietary Importance 
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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Britton
    • 1
  • Synnøve Liaaen-Jensen
    • 2
  • Hanspeter Pfander
    • 3
  1. 1.UK
  2. 2.Organic Chemistry Laboratories Department of ChemistryNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Muristrasse 8EBernSwitzerland

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