Beta-carotene, also called provitamin A, is a member of a group of plant-produced compounds called carotenoids, which serve as precursors to vitamin A. Beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant. The ultimate source of all vitamin A is from the carotenes, and beta-carotene has the highest vitamin A activity (1). Beta-carotene is particularly abundant in orange vegetables and fruit, and may be directly added to foods as a vitamin supplement (2).
Carotenoids may either be absorbed through the intestines intact, or be cleaved to form vitamin A prior to absorption. There is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for beta-carotene or other provitamin A carotenoids. However, dietary provitamin A carotenoids have vitamin A activity that can be expressed as retinol activity equivalents (RAEs). The RDA for RAEs is 900 µg/day for men and 700 µg/day for women (3). Beta-carotene supplementation in humans is likely safe over long periods of time.
This ingredient can be found in the following products:References
• AmbroStart® drink mix
• Catalyst™ caplets
• GlycoBears® tablets
• GlycoSlim® chocolate meal replacement
• GlycoSlim® vanilla meal replacement
1. Ensminger AH, Ensminger ME, Konlande JE, Robson JRK. The Concise Encyclopedia of Foods and Nutrition. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1995.
2. Food and Drugs. Title 21, U.S. Code of Federal Regulations. 1999. 21CFR. Ref Type: Bill/Resolution
3. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2002.
Last updated March, 2009Print This Ingredient