Beta carotene is a bright red pigment found in many plants that appears to have potent antioxidant properties. This compound can be isolated from fruits and vegetables using lab processes, but the beta carotene we use is created naturally by a type of algae called Dunaliella salina. Beta carotene has received the most attention for its potential vision benefits, but this substance also may help with immunity, cognition, skin health, and even fertility.
Carotenoids are not soluble in water. Instead, they are soluble in fat, so they take a significant amount of time to absorb into your system.
Beta carotene is not recognised as an essential nutrient, so there is no nutrient reference value (NRV) for this substance. However, beta carotene is considered to be a retinol activity equivalent (RAE), and some sources suggest that taking approximately 1,400-1,800 mcg of beta carotene per day could have the same nutritional effects as consuming your NRV for vitamin A.
While beta carotene is available in a broad range of different foods, the concentrations of this substance present in food sources are usually very small. Therefore, you’ll need to take beta carotene in supplement form to make sure you’re getting enough of this potentially potent antioxidant.
Scientific literature suggests that beta carotene may have impressive antioxidant properties. In fact, an entire class of potential antioxidants, called carotenoids, are believed to fight oxidative stress due to their similarity to beta carotene and the other compounds in the carotene family. Even though they all serve the purpose of reducing oxidative stress, each antioxidant compound affects your body differently. Beta carotene may prevent age-related vision conditions, improve your immunity, and boost cognition due to the unique potential of its purported antioxidant effects.
There’s never a bad time to take beta carotene. Even if you’re young and in perfect health, the potential antioxidant properties this substance appears to exert may prepare your body for the inevitability of ageing and prevent the onset of common age-related conditions. Since beta carotene may boost your immunity, it might be useful to take this substance during contagious disease outbreaks, and you may even want to supplement with beta carotene prior to time spent out in the sun to take advantage of this substance’s potential UV-protective effects.
Since beta carotene is insoluble in water, this substance is dependent on your body’s lipids for proper absorption. As a result, it may take a while to note the effects of this potentially potent antioxidant.
Like most fat-soluble substances, it may take your body up to a week to fully absorb the beta carotene you ingest.
Fat-soluble substances like beta carotene tend to stay in your body longer the more frequently you take them. Expect beta carotene to stay in your body for at least 3-5 days.
Research suggests that beta carotene may be an incredibly powerful natural antioxidant.
There are no known cases of beta carotene overdose, and this substance does not appear to be toxic. Taking excessively large amounts of beta carotene over time can, however, cause your skin to turn orange.
As a lipid-soluble substance, beta carotene tends to build up in your body’s fatty tissues.
There is no evidence that beta carotene has any impact on weight gain or weight loss. Since the beta carotene we use is derived from algae, it is cruelty-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
Synthetic forms of beta carotene are widely available on the consumer market.
The absorption rates of synthetic and natural beta carotene appear to be roughly equal.
Synthetic beta carotene appears to be less effective. It could even cause harmful pro-oxidant effects.
Beta carotene is generally consumed in food or in the form of an oral supplement.
In 2020, a study was published that indicates beta carotene may reduce general symptoms of ageing by preventing oxidative damage to your telomeres. The degeneration of these “caps” on the ends of your DNA strands is a telltale marker of the onset of senescence, the biological process of dying. Also in 2020, further evidence was put forward supporting the idea that the purported antioxidant effects of beta carotene may improve fertility. This lab study showed that beta carotene may increase the likelihood of getting pregnant and prevent pregnancy loss.