Tropical bats found to use carotenoids for skin coloration


(—In the pursuit of greater carotenoid bioavailability to ensure human health, researchers have sought other animal models of carotenoid function. Recently, a collaborative of biologists in Spain and Costa Rica published the results of a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrating that frugivorous Honduran white bats color their skin with the deposition of the carotenoid lutein—the primary carotenoid for the preservation of the macula in human eyes. This is the first time a mammal has been shown to concentrate high levels of carotenoids in skin, and thus may provide a model for the understanding and enhancement of carotenoid function.

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