Cryptoxanthin, or beta-cryptoxanthin, is a provitamin A carotenoid, similar to beta-carotene, which serves as a source of vitamin A for the body. It is found in a number of orange-colored fruits such as mangos, oranges, peaches and papayas, as well as in vegetables like corn and red peppers 1. Beta-cryptoxanthin has only half of the provitamin A activity of the more commonly known carotenoid beta-carotene.
Dietary carotenoids may either be absorbed through the intestines intact, or be cleaved to form vitamin A prior to absorption. There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) established Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for beta-carotene or other vitamin A carotenoids. However, dietary provitamin A carotenoids have vitamin A activity that can be expressed as retinol activity equivalents (RAEs) to be included as part of the RDI for vitamin A 2.