En Español
Health Encyclopedia

Nutritional Supplement

Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is a substance from plants that the body converts into vitamin A. It also acts as an antioxidant and an immune system booster.

References

1. Mathews-Roth MM, Pathak MA, Fitzpatrick TB, et al. Beta-carotene as an oral photoprotective agent in erythropoietic protoporphyria. JAMA 1974;228:1004-8.

2. Nordlund JJ, Klaus SN, Mathews-Roth MM, Pathak MA. New therapy for polymorphous light eruption. Arch Dermatol 1973;108:710-2.

3. Mathews-Roth MM, Pathak MA, Fitzpatrick TB, et al. Beta-carotene as a photoprotective agent in erythropoietic protoporphyria. N Engl J Med 1970;282:1231-4.

4. Mathews-Roth MM. Photoprotection by carotenoids. Fed Proc 1987;46:1890-3 [review].

5. Fuchs J. Potentials and limitations of the natural antioxidants RRR-alpha-tocopherol, L-ascorbic acid and beta-carotene in cutaneous photoprotection. Free Radic Biol Med 1998;25:848-73 [review].

6. Werninghaus K, Meydani M, Bhawan J, et al. Evaluation of the photoprotective effect of oral vitamin E supplementation. Arch Dermatol 1994;130:1257-61.

7. Fuchs J, Kern H. Modulation of UV-light-induced skin inflammation by D-alpha-tocopherol and L-ascorbic acid: a clinical study using solar simulated radiation. Free Radic Biol Med 1998;25:1006-12.

8. Eberlein-Konig B, Placzek M, Przybilla B. Protective effect against sunburn of combined systemic ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and d-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). J Am Acad Dermatol 1998;38:45-8.

9. McArdle F, Rhodes LE, Parslew RA, et al. Effects of oral vitamin E and beta-carotene supplementation on ultraviolet radiation-induced oxidative stress in human skin. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:1270-5.

10. Garmyn M, Ribaya-Mercado JD, Russel RM, et al. Effect of beta-carotene supplementation on the human sunburn reaction. Exp Dermatol 1995;4:104-11.

11. Wolf C, Steiner A, Honigsmann H, et al. Do oral carotenoids protect human skin against UV erythema, psoralen phototoxicity, and UV-induced DNA damage? J Invest Dermatol 1988;90:55-57.

12. Mathews-Roth MM, Pathak MA, Parrish J, et al. A clinical trial of the effects of oral beta-carotene on the responses of human skin to solar radiation. J Invest Dermatol 1972;59:349-53.

13. Gollnick HP, Hopfenmuller W, Hemmes C, et al. Systemic B-carotene plus topical sunscreen are an optimal protection against harmful effects of natural UV-sunlight. Eur J Dermatol 1996;6:200-5.

14. Lee J, Jiang S, Levine N, Watson RR. Carotenoid supplementation reduces erythema in human skin after simulated solar radiation exposure. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 2000;223:170-4.

15. Heinrich U, Gartner C, Wiebusch M, et al. Supplementation with beta-carotene or a similar amount of mixed carotenoids protects humans from UV-induced erythema. J Nutr 2003;133:98-101.

16. Aust O, Stahl W, Sies H, et al. Supplementation with tomato-based products increases lycopene, phytofluene, and phytoene levels in human serum and protects against UV-light-induced erythema. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2005;75:54-60.

17. Cesarini JP, Michel L, Maurette JM, et al. Immediate effects of UV radiation on the skin: modification by an antioxidant complex containing carotenoids. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 2003;19:182-9.

18. Greul AK, Grundmann JU, Heinrich F, et al. Photoprotection of UV-irradiated human skin: an antioxidative combination of vitamins E and C, carotenoids, selenium and proanthocyanidins. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol 2002;15:307-15.

19. La Ruche G, Cesarini JP. Protective effect of oral selenium plus copper associated with vitamin complex on sunburn cell formation in human skin. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 1991;8:232-5.

20. Sies H, Stahl W. Nutritional protection against skin damage from sunlight. Annu Rev Nutr 2004;24:173-200 [review].

21. Sies H, Stahl W. Carotenoids and UV protection. Photochem Photobiol Sci 2004;3:749-52 [review].

22. Pike J, Chandra RK. Effect of vitamin and trace element supplementation on immune indices in healthy elderly. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1995;65:117-21.

23. Chandra RK. Effect of vitamin and trace-element supplementation on immune responses and infection in elderly subjects. Lancet 1992;340:1124-7.

24. Chavance M, Herbeth B, Lemoine A, et al. Does multivitamin supplementation prevent infections in healthy elderly subjects? A controlled trial.Int.J Vitam Nutr Res 1993;63:11-6.

25. Girodon F, Lombard M, Galan P, et al. Effect of micronutrient supplementation on infection in institutionalized elderly subjects: a controlled trial. Ann Nutr Metab 1997;41:98-107.

26. Berger MM, Spertini F, Shenkin A, et al. Trace element supplementation modulates pulmonary infection rates after major burns: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68:365-71.

27. Chew BP. Role of carotenoids in the immune response. J Dairy Sci 1993;76:2804-11.

28. Bendich A. Beta-carotene and the immune response. Proc Nutr Soc 1991;50:263-74.

29. Hughes DA, Wright AJ, Finglas PM, et al. The effect of beta-carotene supplementation on the immune function of blood monocytes from healthy male nonsmokers. J Lab Clin Med 1997;129:309-17.

30. Murata T, Tamai H, Morinobu T, et al. Effect of long-term administration of beta-carotene on lymphocyte subsets in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;60:597-602.

31. Santos MS, Meydani SN, Leka L, et al. Natural killer cell activity in elderly men is enhanced by beta-carotene supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;64:772-7.

32. Santos MS, Leka LS, Ribaya-Mercado JD, et al. Short- and long-term beta-carotene supplementation do not influence T cell-mediated immunity in healthy elderly persons. Am J Clin Nutr 1997;66:917-24.

33. Kazi N, Radvany R, Oldham T, et al. Immunomodulatory effect of beta-carotene on T lymphocyte subsets in patients with resected colonic polyps and cancer. Nutr Cancer 1997;28:140-5.

34. Fuller CJ, Faulkner H, Bendich A, et al. Effect of beta-carotene supplementation on photosuppression of delayed-type hypersensitivity in normal young men. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;56:684-90.

35. Coodley GO, Coodley MK, Lusk R, et al. Beta-carotene in HIV infection: an extended evaluation. AIDS 1996;10:967-73.

36. Fryburg DA, Mark RJ, Griffith BP, et al. The effect of supplemental beta-carotene on immunologic indices in patients with AIDS: a pilot study. Yale J Biol Med 1995;68:19-23.

37. Sappey C, Leclercq P, Coudray C, et al. Vitamin, trace element and peroxide status in HIV seropositive patients: asymptomatic patients present a severe beta-carotene deficiency. Clin Chim Acta 1994;230:35-42.

38. Coodley GO, Nelson HD, Loveless MO, Folk C. Beta-carotene in HIV infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1993;6:272-6.

39. Austin J, Singhal N, Voigt R, et al. A community randomized controlled clinical trial of mixed carotenoids and micronutrient supplementation of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Eur J Clin Nutr 2006;60:1266-76.

40. Coodley GO, Coodley MK, Lusk R, et al. Beta-carotene in HIV infection: an extended evaluation. AIDS 1996;10:967-73.

41. Neuman I, Nahum H, Ben-Amotz A. Prevention of exercise-induced asthma by a natural isomer mixture of beta-carotene. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1999;82:549-53.

42. Schoenberg MH, Birk D, Beger HG. Oxidative stress in acute and chronic pancreatitis. Am J Clin Nutr 1995;62:1306S-14S [review].

43. Schulz H, Niederau C, Klonowski-Stumpe H, et al. Oxidative stress in acute pancreatitis. Hepato-Gastroenterology 1999;46:2736-2750 [review].

44. Wallig MA. Xenobiotic metabolism, oxidant stress and chronic pancreatitis. Digestion 1998;59(suppl 4):13-24 [review].

45. Rose P, Fraine E, Hunt LP, et al. Dietary antioxidants and chronic pancreatitis. Hum Nutr Clin Nutr 1986;40:151-64.

46. Morris-Stiff GJ, Bowrey DJ, Oleesky D, et al. The antioxidant profiles of patients with recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis. Am J Gastroenterol 1999;94:2135-40.

47. Gut A, Shiel N, Kay PM, et al. Heightened free radical activity in blacks with chronic pancreatitis at Johannesburg, South Africa. Clin Chim Acta 1994;230:189-99.

48. Bonham MJ, Abu-Zidan FM, Simovic MO, et al. Early ascorbic acid depletion is related to the severity of acute pancreatitis. Br J Surg 1999;86:1296-301.

49. Tsai K, Wang SS, Chen TS, et al. Oxidative stress: an important phenomenon with pathogenetic significance in the progression of acute pancreatitis. Gut 1998;42:850-6.

50. Braganza JM, Schofield D, Snehalatha C, Mohan V. Micronutrient antioxidant status in tropical compared with temperate-zone chronic pancreatitis. Scand J Gastroenterol 1993;28:1098-104.

51. Mathew P, Wyllie R, Van Lente F, et al. Antioxidants in hereditary pancreatitis. Am J Gastroenterol 1996;91:1558-62.

52. Kulinski B, Buchner M, Schweder R, Nagel R. Acute pancreatitis—a free radical disease. Decrease in fatality with sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) therapy. Z Gesamte Inn Med 1991;46:145-9 [in German].

53. Uden S, Bilton D, Nathan L, et al. Antioxidant therapy for recurrent pancreatitis: placebo-controlled trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1990;4:357-71.

54. McCloy R. Chronic pancreatitis at Manchester, UK. Focus on antioxidant therapy. Digestion 1998;59(suppl 4):36-48 [review].

55. Kirk GR, White JS, McKie L, et al. Combined antioxidant therapy reduces pain and improves quality of life in chronic pancreatitis. J Gastrointest Surg 2006;10:499-503.

56. Anastasakis A, Plainis S, Giannakopoulou T, et at. Xerophthalmia and acquired night blindness in a patient with a history of gastrointestinal neoplasia and normal serum vitamin A levels. Doc Ophthalmol 2013 Apr;126(2):159-62. doi: 10.1007/s10633-012-9370-x. Epub 2013 Jan 20.

57. Fok JS, Li JY, Yong TY. Visual deterioration caused by vitamin A deficiency in patients after bariatric surgery. Eat Weight Disord 2012 Jun;17:e144-6.

58. Young RW. Solar radiation and age-related macular degeneration. Surv Ophthalmol 1988:32:252-69.

59. Katz ML, Parker KR, Handelman GJ, et al. Effects of antioxidant nutrient deficiency on the retina and retinal pigment epithelium of albino rats: a light and electron microscopic study. Exp Eye Res 1982;34:339-69.

60. West S, Vitale S, Hallfrisch J, et al. Are anti-oxidants or supplements protective of age-related macular degeneration? Arch Ophthalmol 1994:112:222-7.

61. Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group. Antioxidant status and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 1993:111:104-9.

62. Goldberg J, Flowerdew G, Smith E, et al. Factors associated with age-related macular degeneration. Am J Epidemiol 1988:128:700-10.

63. Smith W, Mitchell P, Webb K, Leeder SR. Dietary antioxidants and age-related maculopathy: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology 1999;106:761-7.

64. Teikari JM, Laatikainen L, Virtamo J, et al. Six-year supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene and age-related maculopathy. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 1998;76:224-9.

65. Grodstein F, Kang JH, Glynn RJ, et al. A randomized trial of beta carotene supplementation and cognitive function in men: the Physicians' Health Study II. Arch Intern Med 2007;167:2184-90.

66. Anastasakis A, Plainis S, Giannakopoulou T, et at. Xerophthalmia and acquired night blindness in a patient with a history of gastrointestinal neoplasia and normal serum vitamin A levels. Doc Ophthalmol 2013 Apr;126(2):159-62. doi: 10.1007/s10633-012-9370-x. Epub 2013 Jan 20.

67. Fok JS, Li JY, Yong TY. Visual deterioration caused by vitamin A deficiency in patients after bariatric surgery. Eat Weight Disord 2012 Jun;17:e144-6.

68. Young RW. Solar radiation and age-related macular degeneration. Surv Ophthalmol 1988:32:252-69.

69. Katz ML, Parker KR, Handelman GJ, et al. Effects of antioxidant nutrient deficiency on the retina and retinal pigment epithelium of albino rats: a light and electron microscopic study. Exp Eye Res 1982;34:339-69.

70. West S, Vitale S, Hallfrisch J, et al. Are anti-oxidants or supplements protective of age-related macular degeneration? Arch Ophthalmol 1994:112:222-7.

71. Eye Disease Case-Control Study Group. Antioxidant status and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Arch Ophthalmol 1993:111:104-9.

72. Goldberg J, Flowerdew G, Smith E, et al. Factors associated with age-related macular degeneration. Am J Epidemiol 1988:128:700-10.

73. Smith W, Mitchell P, Webb K, Leeder SR. Dietary antioxidants and age-related maculopathy: the Blue Mountains Eye Study. Ophthalmology 1999;106:761-7.

74. Teikari JM, Laatikainen L, Virtamo J, et al. Six-year supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene and age-related maculopathy. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 1998;76:224-9.

75. Jacques PF, Chylack LT Jr. Epidemiologic evidence of a role for the antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids in cataract prevention. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:352S-5S.

76. Knekt P, Heliovaara M, Rissanen A, et al. Serum antioxidant vitamins and risk of cataract. BMJ 1992;305:1392-4.

77. Hankinson SE, Stampfer MJ, Seddon JM, et al. Nutrient intake and cataract extraction in women: a prospective study. Br Med J 1992;305(6849):335-9.

78. Chasan-Taber L, Willett WC, Seddon JM, et al. A prospective study of vitamin supplement intake and cataract extraction among U.S. women. Epidemiology 1999;10:679-84.

79. Teikari JM, Virtamo J, Rautalahti M, et al. Long-term supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene and age-related cataract. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 1997;75:634-40.

80. Singh RB, Niaz MA, Sharma JP, et al. Plasma levels of antioxidant vitamins and oxidative stress in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Acta Cardiol 1994;49:441-52.

81. Levy Y, Bartha P, Ben-Amotz A, et al. Plasma antioxidants and lipid peroxidation in acute myocardial infarction and thrombolysis. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:337-41.

82. Singh RB, Niaz MA, Rastogi SS, Tastogi S. Usefulness of antioxidant vitamins in suspected acute myocardial infarction (the Indian experiment of infarct survival-3). Am J Cardiol 1996;77:232-6.

83. Kardinaal AFM, Kok FJ, Ringstad J, et al. Antioxidants in adipose tissue and risk of myocardial infarction: the EURAMIC study. Lancet 1993;342:1379-84.

84. Tavani A, Negri E, D'Avanzo B, La Vecchia C. Beta-carotene intake and risk of nonfatal acute myocardial infarction in women. Eur J Epidemiol 1997;13:631-7.

85. Rapola JM, Virtamo J, Ripatti S, et al. Randomised trial of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements on incidence of major coronary events in men with previous myocardial infraction. Lancet 1997;349:1715-20.

86. Virtamo J, Rapola JM, Ripatti S, et al. Effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of primary nonfatal myocardial infarction and fatal coronary heart disease. Arch Intern Med 1998;158:668-75.

87. Klipstein-Grobusch K, Geleijnse JM, den Breeijen JH, et al. Dietary antioxidants and risk of myocardial infarction in the elderly: the Rotterdam Study. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:261-6.

88. Spirichev VB, Levachev MM, Rymarenko TV, et al. The effect of administration of beta-carotene in an oil solution on its blood serum level and antioxidant status of patients with duodenal ulcer and erosive gastritis. Vopr Med Khim 1992;38(6):44-7 [in Russian].

89. Palli D, Decarli A, Cipriani F, et al. Plasma pepsinogens, nutrients, and diet in areas of Italy at varying gastric cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1991;1(1):45-50.

90. Zhang ZW, Patchett SE, Perrett D, et al. Gastric mucosal and luminal beta-carotene concentrations in patients with chronic H pylori infection. Gut 1996;38(suppl 1):A5 [abstract W11].

91. Spirichev VB, Levachev MM, Rymarenko TV, et al. The effect of administration of beta-carotene in an oil solution on its blood serum level and antioxidant status of patients with duodenal ulcer and erosive gastritis. Vopr Med Khim 1992;38:44-7 [in Russian].

92. Tsubono Y, Okubo S, Hayashi M, et al. A randomized controlled trial for chemoprevention of gastric cancer in high-risk Japanese population; study design, feasibility and protocol modification. Jpn J Cancer Res 1997;88:344-9.

93. Grodstein F, Kang JH, Glynn RJ, et al. A randomized trial of beta carotene supplementation and cognitive function in men: the Physicians' Health Study II. Arch Intern Med 2007;167:2184-90.

94. Stich HF, Rosin MP, Hornby AP, et al. Remission of oral leukoplakias and micronuclei in tobacco/betel quid chewers treated with beta-carotene and with beta-carotene plus vitamin A. Int J Cancer 1988;42:195-9.

95. Garewal HS, Katz RV, Meyskens F, et al. ß-Carotene produces sustained remission in patients with oral leukoplakia. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1999;125:1305-10.

96. Liede K, Hietanen J, Saxen L, et al. Long-term supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene and prevalence of oral mucosal lesions in smokers. Oral Dis 1998;4:78-83.

97. Toma S, Benso S, Albanese E, et al. Treatment of oral leukoplakia with beta-carotene. Oncology 1992;49:77-81.

98. Garewal HS, Meyskens FL Jr, Killen D, et al. Response of oral leukoplakia to beta-carotene. J Clin Oncol 1990;8:1715-20.

99. Lippman SM, Batsakis JG, Toth BB, et al. Comparison of low-dose isotretinoin with beta carotene to prevent oral carcinogenesis. N Engl J Med 1993;328:15-20.

100. Johnson J, Ringsdorf W, Cheraskin E. Relationship of vitamin A and oral leukoplakia. Arch Derm 1963;88:607-12.

101. Stich HF, Mathews B, Sankaranarayanan R, Nair MK. Remission of precancerous lesions in the oral cavity of tobacco chewers and maintenance of the protective effect of ß-carotene or vitamin A. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53:298S-304S.

102. Shekelle RB, Lepper M, Liu S, et al. Dietary vitamin A and risk of cancer in the Western Electric Study. Lancet 1981;2:1185-90.

103. Hennekens CH, Buring JE, Manson JE, et al. Lack of effect of long-term supplementation with beta carotene on the incidence of malignant neoplasms and cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med 1996;334:1145-9.

104. Albanes D, Heinone OP, Taylor PR, et al. Alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements and lung cancer incidence in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study: effects of base-line characteristics and study compliance. J Natl Cancer Inst 1996;88:1560-70.

105. Omenn GS, Goodman GE, Thornquist MD, et al. Effects of a combination of beta-carotene and vitamin A on lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med 1996;334:1150-5.

106. Lee IM, Cook NR, Manson JE, et al. Beta-carotene supplementation and incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease: the Women's Health Study. J Natl Cancer Inst 1999;91:2102-6.

107. Törnwall ME, Virtamo J, Haukka JK, et al. The effect of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation on symptoms and progression of intermittent claudication in a controlled trial. Atherosclerosis 1999;147:193-7.

108. Wang XD, Liu C, Bronson RT, et al. Retinoid signaling and activator protein-1 expression in ferrets given ß-carotene supplements and exposed to tobacco smoke. J Natl Cancer Inst 1999;91:60-6.

109. You CS, Parker RS, Goodman KJ, et al. Evidence of cis-trans isomerization of 9-cis-beta-carotene during absorption in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;64:177-83.

110. Tamai H, Morinobu T, Murata T, et al. 9-cis beta-carotene in human plasma and blood cells after ingestion of beta-carotene. Lipids 1995;30:493-8.

111. Ben-Amotz A, Levy Y. Bioavailability of a natural isomer mixture compared with synthetic all-transß-carotene in human serum. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;63:729-34.

112. Bitterman N, Melamed Y, Ben-Amotz A. Beta-carotene and CNS oxygen toxicity in rats. J Appl Physiol 1994;76:1073-6.

113. Yeum KJ, Azhu S, Xiao S, et al. Beta-carotene intervention trial in premalignant gastric lesions. J Am Coll Nutr 1995;14:536 [abstr #48].

114. Neuman I, Nahum H, Ben-Amotz A. Prevention of exercise-induced asthma by a natural isomer mixture of beta-carotene. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1999;82:549-53.

115. Polidori MC, Mecocci P, Stahl W, et al. Plasma levels of lipophilic antioxidants in very old patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2000;16:15-9.

116. Olson JA. Recommended dietary intakes (RDI) of vitamin A in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1987;45:704-16.

117. Heywood R, Palmer AK, Gregson RL, Hummler H. The toxicity of beta-carotene. Toxicology 1985;36:91-100.

118. Xu MJ, Plezia PM, Alberts DS, et al. Reduction in plasma or skin alpha-tocopherol concentration with long-term oral administration of beta-carotene in humans and mice. J Natl Cancer Inst 1992;84:1559-65.

119. Gossage C, Deyhim M, Moser-Veillon PB, et al. Effect of beta-carotene supplementation and lactation on carotenoid metabolism and mitogenic T lymphocyte proliferation. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:950-5.

120. Leo MA, Lieber CS. Alcohol, vitamin A, and beta-carotene: adverse interactions, including hepatotoxicity and carcinogenicity. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:1071-85 [review].

121. Törnwall ME, Virtamo J, Haukka JK, et al. The effect of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation on symptoms and progression of intermittent claudication in a controlled trial. Atherosclerosis 1999;147:193-7.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

Learn more about TraceGains, the company.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.

Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.