Capsicum Carotenoids

Carotenoids that are common to Capsicum foods like red peppers, and tend to co-exist alongside Capsaicin; not too bioactive, but appear to be potent P-glycoprotein inhibitors and may increase bioavailability of other supplements.

This page features 5 unique references to scientific papers.

Summary of Capsicum Carotenoids

Primary Information, Benefits, Effects, and Important Facts

In Progress

This page on Capsicum Carotenoids is currently marked as in-progress. We are still compiling research.

Capsicum Carotenoids are two pigments from the Capsicum family of vegetables (most well known for peppers and cayenne, and to a lesser degree paprika). These pigmentations belong to the class of carotenoids, and are reddish in nature.

They affect metabolism of other compounds and pharmaceuticals by acting as inhibitors of a class of proteins that eject some drugs and supplements from inside cells, and can also eject supplements from the liver back into the intestine. For supplements that are subject to these protein transports, inhibiting the transports increases the amount of supplement taken up by the body.

Things to Know

Also Known As

Capsorubin, Capsanthin

Do Not Confuse With

Capsaicin, Capsaicinoids

Things to Note

  • P-glycoprotein inhibitors may affect the metabolism of pharmaceuticals in high enough dosages

Goes Well With

Caution Notice Medical Disclaimer

How to Take

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

Not enough information is available for a recommended dosage.

Scientific Research

1Sources and Composition

Capsicum Carotenoids include the two structurally similar compounds Capsorubin and Capsanthin.

They are found in all capsicum vegetables and fruits, and are found in very high amounts in both deep red chillies, cayenne, and paprika; the latter ranging from 3-8g/kg total carotenoids.[1] Specifically, the capsicum carotenoid content of cayenne is approximately 2.01 capsanthin and 0.31 capsorubin, and paprika has values of 2.19-3.49 capsanthin and 0.42 to 0.98 capsorubin (all numbers g/kg)[2][3]

2Reversal of Multidrug Resistance

Multidrug Resistance proteins (MDRs) are protein transports on tumor cells and other cells such as intestinal cells. They serve to eject compounds that build up in a cell, and exist as a defense mechanism for said cell.

Both Capsorubin and Capsanthin are able to potently inhibit P-Glycoprotein and MDR-1, two well-characterized efflux proteins.[4][5] Via this action they may increase the bioavailability of some compounds, such as Berberine.

Scientific Support & Reference Citations


  2. A qualitative study of the carotenoid pigments of Sri Lanka chillies (Capsicum annum).
  3. Quantitative changes in carotenoids during the storage of dried red pepper and red pepper powder.
  4. Molnár J, et al. Inhibition of multidrug resistance of cancer cells by natural diterpenes, triterpenes and carotenoids. Curr Pharm Des. (2006)
  5. Molnár J, et al. Reversal of multidrug resitance by natural substances from plants. Curr Top Med Chem. (2010)