Carotenoids pp 115-148 | Cite as

Absorption, Transport, Distribution in Tissues and Bioavailability

  • Kirstie Canene-Adams
  • John W. ErdmanJr.
Part of the Carotenoids book series (CAROT, volume 5)


Carotenoids can be detected in human blood and tissues, though usually only at quite low concentration. They are not biosynthesized in the human body but have to be provided in the diet, in food or as supplements. The processes by which the ingested carotenoids are absorbed, transported in the body and deposited in tissues and organs are of fundamental importance in relation to any effect of carotenoids on human health. The term ‘bioavailability’ is used to refer to how much of a consumed carotenoid is accessible for utilization in normal physiological functioning, metabolism, or storage and it encompasses absorption, i.e. how carotenoids become soluble and incorporated into mixed micelles, transport, i.e. how carotenoids are moved into the intestinal enterocytes, packaged into chylomicrons and moved throughout the blood in lipoproteins, and the tissue-specific accumulation in the human body. The conversion of β-carotene and other carotenoids into vitamin A is treated in Chapter 8.


Mixed Micelle High Density Lipoprotein Food Matrix Carotenoid Absorption Retinyl Ester 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirstie Canene-Adams
    • 1
  • John W. ErdmanJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyJohns Hopkins School of Medicine The Bunting-Blaustein Cancer ResearchBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Food Science and Human NutritionUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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