Beta-Carotene

Beta-Carotene: Main Image

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.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Leukoplakia
150,000 IU twice per week3 stars[3 stars]
Beta-carotene, the most widely used supplement in the treatment of leukoplakia, has been shown in studies to increase remission rate.
Lung Cancer
Refer to label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
Beta-carotene supplementation appears to reduce cancer risk in nonsmokers. Smokers should avoid beta-carotene supplements, including the amounts found in multivitamins.
Night Blindness
If deficient: 10,000 to 25,000 IU daily3 stars[3 stars]
Night blindness may be an early sign of vitamin A deficiency. Supplementing with beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, help correct such a deficiency and improve night blindness.
Photosensitivity
100,000 to 300,000 IU daily under medical supervision3 stars[3 stars]
Beta-carotene is able to protect against free-radical damage caused by ultraviolet light and may help increase tolerance to sunlight.
Asthma
64 mg a day of natural supplement2 stars[2 stars]
Some researchers have suggested that exercise-related asthma attacks might be caused by free-radical damage caused by the exercise. Supplementing with beta-carotene, an antioxidant, protects against free-radical damage and may prevent these attacks.
Immune Function
25,000 to 100,000 IU per day for nonsmokers only2 stars[2 stars]
Beta-carotene has been shown to increase immune cell numbers and activity. It has also been shown to enhance cancer-fighting immune functions in healthy people.
Pancreatic Insufficiency
9,000 IU daily2 stars[2 stars]
Taking antioxidant supplements, such as beta-carotene, may lessen pain and prevent recurrences of pancreatitis.
Sunburn
6 mg daily of natural beta-carotene during periods of high sun exposure2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with beta-carotene may help protect the skin from ultraviolet rays and sunburn.
Age-Related Cognitive Decline
50 mg every other day 1 star[1 star]
In one study, long-term beta-carotene supplementation slowed the loss of cognitive function in middle-aged healthy males.
Alcohol Withdrawal
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Though not a treatment for withdrawal, beta-carotene supplementation may be a safe way to correct vitamin A deficiencies common to alcoholics (requires a doctor’s supervision to monitor liver function and avoid damage).
Cataracts
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
People who eat fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene have a lower risk of developing cataracts.
Gastritis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The antioxidant beta-carotene may reduce free radical damage in the stomach, and supplementing with it has led to improvements in people with gastritis in some studies.
Heart Attack
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Supplementing with beta-carotene may reduce the likelihood of a heart attack and may improve the outcome for people who have already had a heart attack.
HIV and AIDS Support
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Beta-carotene levels have been found to be low in HIV-positive people, supplementing with it may be beneficial.
Macular Degeneration
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which can cause macular degeneration. Beta-carotene protects against oxidative damage and may reduce macular degeneration risk.
Sickle Cell Anemia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Sickle cell anemia patients tend to have low levels of antioxidants, which protect cells from oxygen-related damage. Supplementing with beta-carotene may help correct a deficiency.

Copyright © 2019 Healthnotes, Inc. All rights reserved. www.healthnotes.com

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The information presented by Healthnotes 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 2019.

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