(Science: chemical) a trans-carotenoid pigment widely distributed in nature. The compound is used as an oral suntanning agent and as a food and drug colouring agent. It is believed that it inhibits development of tumour cells and neoplastic transformation through its antioxidant properties. Oral ingestion of the compound causes canthaxanthin retinopathy.

Pharmacological action: antioxidants, food colouring agents.

chemical name: beta,beta-Carotene-4,4'-dione

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