Caution with beta-carotene supplements.
(Impact Factor: 45.22).
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ABSTRACT: Fourteen taxa from Chlorophyta, Rhodophyta and Phaeophyta were collected from seven stations at different depths, along the north-western Mediterranean coast of Egypt during winter and summer 2006. Total carbohydrates (TCH), total protein (TPr), total lipids (TL), chlorophyll a, β-carotene, minerals and trace metals were determined in a total of 50 specimens. The concentrations of these components varied significantly with respect to the algal taxa and showed different patterns of distribution in the three classes. The content of TCH ranged from 5 to 20.9 %, being much higher for Cystoseira spinosa (20.9 %), TPr 3.86 to 27.65 % where Gelidium corneum showed the maximum value and TL content displayed wide variation (2.34 to 48.95 %), with Sargassum hornschuchii having the highest values. A minor component was β-carotene in all samples (1.80−2.50 × 10−3 mg (100 g)−1) which was much lower than in vegetables, in contrast to chlorophyll a concentrations which have attained high values (6.70−94.20 mg (100 g)−1) and were lower than in vegetables. Mineral content was abundant in all samples and was higher than in common food and vegetables, whereas the measured trace metals all exceeded the permissible doses and were far from the accepted concentrations in the regulations of many countries. This limits their use in food consumption, except copper which recorded acceptable concentrations in the study. The maximum values of phosphorus (3,305 mg (100 g−1), potassium (930 mg (100 g−1) and calcium (3,070 mg (100 g−1) were recorded in members of Chlorophyceae: Codium bursa, Udotea sp. and Udotea petiolata, whereas the red alga Rhodymenia ardissonei had the lowest concentrations in iodine (80 ppm) and sodium (1,450 mg (100 g)−1) and the highest concentrations in the trace metals copper (3.89 ppm), nickel (13.14 ppm), zinc (38.87 ppm) and a relatively large amount of lead (41.60 ppm).
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