From Big Medical Encyclopedia

CAROTINOIDS (carotene + grech, eidos a look) — biologically active fat-soluble vegetable pigments close on chemical constitution and physical and chemical properties to many kislorodsvyazyvayushchy pigments; represent polyunsaturated hydrocarbons of a terpenic series. Not less than 10 various To. possesses biol, activity of provitamin A. Their turning into vitamin A happens generally in intestines of the person and animals; intensity of this transformation depends on availability of bile and lipids. The most widespread representative To. is carotene (see). To. collect in a human body both in a stand-at-ease, and in a complex with proteins. Considerable sizes concentration To. reaches in adrenal glands, heart, muscles, a liver, kidneys, nerves, and also in yellow and red bodies of ovaries. Long ago it became known that during the aging of an organism in fabrics lipofuscin collects. Granules of lipofuscin contain To. and myoglobin, and also some oxidizing enzymes. In this case To. function as intracellular depot of oxygen. Accumulation of granules of lipofuscin in young cells happens in the conditions of a hypoxia, and also in the conditions of the increased metabolic activity. Accumulation is known To. in fabrics of reproductive bodies that connect with ability To. to deposition of oxygen. In these bodies To. also vodorastvorima are connected with proteins; in other fabrics K. are in a fat-soluble state. Accumulation is noted To. in skin and bones at a diabetes mellitus; assume that it is one of causes of infringement oxidation of glucose at this disease. At atherosclerosis accumulation To. in fabrics, perhaps, allows an organism to compensate deterioration in supply of fabrics with oxygen.

Bibliography: Goodwin T. Comparative biochemistry of carotinoids, the lane with English, M., 1954, bibliogr.; Karnaukhov V. N. Functions of carotinoids in zooblasts, M., 1973, bibliogr.; Karrer P. A course of organic chemistry, not river with it., page 855, L., 1960

K. M. Leutsky.