beta carotene

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a yellow or red pigment found in many dark green, leafy, and yellow vegetables such as collards, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash, as well as in yellow fruit, milk, egg yolk, and body fat; it is a chromolipoid hydrocarbon existing in four forms (α-, β-, γ-, and δ-carotene), which can be converted into vitamin A in the body.
beta carotene
1. the β isomer of carotene.
2. a preparation of this substance administered orally to prevent vitamin A deficiency and to reduce photosensitivity in patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria. Written also betacarotene and β-carotene.

beta carotene



(bā′tə-kăr′ə-tēn′, bē′-)
The isomeric form of carotene that is most widely distributed in nature and is efficiently converted to vitamin A by the body.

beta carotene

A yellow-orange pigment found in fruits and vegetables; it is the most common precursor of vitamin A. The daily human requirement for vitamin A can be met by dietary intake of beta carotene.


Ingestion of large doses of vitamin A either acutely or chronically causes skin and liver damage, among other injuries. Beta carotene supplements increase the risk of death among smokers and have no known beneficial effects on nonsmokers. Beta carotene occurring naturally in foods has no known toxicity.


A diet rich in beta carotene has been associated with a decreased risk of certain cancers.


Vitamin A activity in foods is expressed as retinol equivalents (RE). Six mg of beta carotene equals 1 µg of retinol or 1 RE.

See: vitamin A; retinol

beta carotene

A precursor of vitamin A.
References in periodicals archive ?
The data obtained for moisture content, beta carotene content and bioaccessibility were analyzed using Stata statistical software (Stata Corporation, Texas, and USA).
The investigators concluded that "an above-median intake of the combination of vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of incident AMD.
Peto R, Doll R, Buckley JD (1981) Can dietary beta carotene materially reduce human cancer rates.
The teams also measured lutein and beta carotene in each person's blood.
The researchers concluded that for healthy women beta carotene produces neither benefit nor harm for risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease.
We understand this beta carotene is available in a selection of formulations to suit individual application and process requirements.
One study involving nearly 30,000 participants recorded 18 per cent more lung cancers and eight per cent more overall deaths in smokers taking beta carotene.
It is a gold mine of beta carotene with the squash and carrots and also contains calcium and minerals from the yogurt and lots of vitamin C from the fresh lime juice.
There is, however, still no conclusive evidence that beta carotene is itself responsible for the decreased rates of cancer in persons with vegetable-rich diets.
Paul Knekt of the Social Insurance Institution, Helsinki, reported recently on studies supporting the hypothesis that foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene may help prevent cancer.
Softgel Combines Strongest Ocean Spray Cranberry Extract with Vitamin C, Beta Carotene and Selenium in Low Calorie2 Formula that Offers Maximum Urinary Tract Support
Supplementation with beta carotene markedly reduces the likelihood of sunburn, according to a recent review of the literature.