It is gradually becoming more apparent that pigments are of vital significance in the biochemical and physiologic processes of the body. Normally pigments occur in the skin, hair, blood, retina, iris, adrenal glands, corpus luteum and deposits of fat. The recent demonstrations that carotene is provitamin A and that lactoflavine is vitamin B2 are a slight indication of the advance of biochemical research in this field. The effective use of hematoporphyrin as a treatment for melancholia is a new therapeutic application of a blood pigment. In human fat there are usually four pigments: carotene, lycopene, xanthophyll and capsanthine. One can see, then, that pigments are stored in the body, and that they are already assuming important functions in therapeutics. The wide distribution of pigments in plants and animals should serve as an indication of their great biochemical and biologic significance.
From a biochemical standpoint Binet1 has classed pigments as
KLEIN JE. SIGNIFICANCE OF PIGMENTS IN NUTRITION AND METABOLISM. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1937;36(2):287–293. doi:10.1001/archderm.1937.01480020043005
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