beta carotene

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


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.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

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.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners

beta carotene

A precursor of vitamin A.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Beta carotene, like vitamins C and E, is an antioxidant - that is, it seems to neutralize the free radicals that damage cells and contribute to cancer.
Klausner also announced that an NIH-funded study of 22,071 male physicians shows that beta carotene prevents neither heart disease nor cancer.
Stampfer calls the company's focus on beta carotene alone a "smokescreen," adding that researchers have gathered proof that several other carotenoids protect human health.
Gaziano and his colleagues focused on the antioxidant beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A from dietary sources such as carrots, leafy green vegetables and some fruits.
Experimental group B was administered beta carotene 30 mg/kg body weight once daily one hour before 700 mg/kg body weight subacute APAP once daily for 7 consecutive days.
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids or beta carotene had no statistically significant effect on visual acuity
Zelkha added that the company will now be able to provide natural beta carotene and establish itself as a fully backward-integrated manufacturer for natural colours, beadlets for dietary supplements and others.
Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) contain high levels of beta carotene, an important provitamin A carotenoid [2-5].
With its high beta-carotene content, eating sweet potatoes can offer improvement in a variety of areas where beta carotene supplementation is recommended.
John Biggs, Global Marketing Manager Beta Carotene, DSM Nutritional Products, commented: "This is a valuable addition to our successful carotenoids range.
A recent randomized trial of antioxidants for cancer prevention found that daily supplementation with nutritionally appropriate doses of vitamins C and E, beta carotene, selenium and zinc appeared to increase the risk of melanoma in women four-fold.
Lucuma is low glycemic, high in iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B3, and it is a "great source of beta carotene, fiber and bio-available protein." Camu Power is an "excellent source of vitamin C," and a "great source of potassium, calcium, protein and beta-carotene, as well as serine, thiamin, leucine and valine."