The relative efficiencies of deposition into egg yolk of apo-carotenoic acid ester(APO-E, CAROPHYLL Yellow) and saponified marigold xanthophylls (MX), in the presence of canthaxanthin (CN), were determined using a wheat-based diet. APO-E was deposited with an efficiency of 50 percent and MX with an efficiency between 13 and 20 percent. The dose response relationship for MX was curvilinear with a decreased efficiency at higher concentrations. Canthaxanthin was deposited with and efficiency of 38 percent, irrespective of the source of yellow xanthophylls, up to a dietary concentration of 5.5 mg/kg. At a dietary MX concentration of 8.3 mg/kg the efficiency of deposition of CN declined to 24 percent. The results confirm that the replacement ratio of MX : APO-E is between 3 : 1 and 4 : 1 depending on the dietary inclusion of marigold pigment.
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