It is thought to help prevent the development of cancer. They measured the FEV1 of 535 participants and measured their beta carotene blood levels. The efficiency of conversion of beta-carotene to retinol depends on the level in the diet. One cup of raw carrots is a mere 50 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber, so they are a great food for weight loss. Esterification Reaction: The absorption of retinol from the alimentary tract is favored by the simultaneous absorption of fat or oil, especially if these are unsaturated. The name beta carotene comes from the Greek “beta” and Latin “carota” (carrot). Reduction Reaction: The retinal reduced to retinol by retinaldehyde reductase in the intestines. This is why cod liver oil used to be taken as a vitamin A supplement. For more information contact us at or check out our status page at The LibreTexts libraries are Powered by MindTouch® and are supported by the Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Project, the UC Davis Office of the Provost, the UC Davis Library, the California State University Affordable Learning Solutions Program, and Merlot. Some studies have suggested that those who consume at least four daily servings of beta carotene rich fruits and/or vegetables have a lower risk of developing cancer or heart disease. It is known to be involved in the synthesis of certain glycoproteins, and that deficiency leads to abnormal bone development, disorders of the reproductive system, xerophthalmia (a drying condition of the cornea of the eye) and ultimately death. Retinol is esterified to palmitic acid and delivered to the blood via chylomicrons. β-carotene is the molecule that gives carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and other yellow or orange vegetables their orange color. Oxidative stress is thought to be a key factor in cognitive decline, the researchers explained. Beta carotene’s chemical formula – C40H56 – was discovered in 1907. Below, we give some examples: Beta carotene, like all carotenoids, is an antioxidant. We include products we think are useful for our readers. Studies have shown that antioxidant supplements may help prevent the deterioration of cognition. This root veggie is chuck full of nutrition. Speak to a doctor before taking new supplements. Both of these vegetables contain many healthy nutrients in addition to fiber. The advantage of dietary beta carotene is that the body only converts as much as it needs. One way in which beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A is to break it apart at the center and is thought to be most important biologically. Now, let’s take a look at the USDA database for Vitamin A (retinol or carotenoids) content in 25 common foods, expressed in mcg RAE per 100g (3.5 oz.) Legal. Toxic vitamin A levels can occur if you consume too many supplements. Carrots are orange because they are rich in beta-carotene which gives them their trademark orange color. H. Wachenroder crystallized beta carotene from carrot roots in 1831, and came up with the name “carotene”. Other roles of vitamin A are much less well understood. The carotenoids give vegetables their beautiful red, orange and yellow colors. Drug interaction refers to a substance interfering in how a medication works, by either making it less effective, increasing its potency, or changing what it is supposed to do. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision. Learn more. Missed the LibreFest? A French study involving adult females published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (September 2005 issue) found that smokers with high beta carotene levels had a higher risk of lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers than other smokers.