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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Detection of carotenoids in blood donors taking Orobronze: a cautionary note.

During the summer, plasma samples from eight blood donors at this transfusion centre were found to have a bright orange colour. All donors appeared to be healthy and haematological tests showed no abnormality. Extracts of lipid from the plasma revealed the presence of the carotenoid canthaxanthin and other carotenoid metabolites which were identified by thin-layer chromatography and high-pressure liquid chromatography, light absorbtion and mass spectrometry. On questioning the donors it was found that they had been taking a course of 'Orobronze' (an oral 'bronzing' treatment containing canthaxanthin). Canthaxanthin was still detectable in the plasma several months after the donors had ceased taking the capsules. At present it seems that there would be no deleterious effects on healthy individuals taking orobronze. The full implications of the presence of canthaxanthin in plasma transfused to patients do, however, require further investigation of carotenoid metabolism in man.[1]


  1. Detection of carotenoids in blood donors taking Orobronze: a cautionary note. Gunson, H.H., Merry, A.H., Britton, G., Stratton, F. Clinical and laboratory haematology. (1984) [Pubmed]
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