About Beta Carotene
Beta Carotene is a pro-vitamin that gets converted into vitamin A in the amounts needed by the body. It belongs to a group of yellow and red plant compounds and is the substance that provides carrots and sweet potatoes, among others, with their orange colour.
Why do we need to supplement?
Beta Carotene acts as a water-soluble antioxidant. Antioxidants are able to reduce the negative impact of free radicals, reactive particles generated by UV sunlight, pollution, diet and even our own metabolism.
Benefits in Research
Skin health and UV protection
When UV radiation from sunlight strikes the skin, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced. ROS are known to cause and exacerbate oxidative stress to skin, a process which can accelerate the ageing process, cause damage and contribute to sunburn. The antioxidant properties of beta-carotene are shown to neutralize these ROS, preventing them from causing harm.
One such example is a major meta-analysis from 2008 which compiled and analysed many other trials, exploring the use of beta-carotene in sunburn protection 1. The analysis found that beta-carotene provided protection from the sun in those who took supplements and that at least 10 weeks were recommended to build up this protection. For every additional month of supplementation, the degree of protection increased, suggesting that beta-carotene should be supplemented long term for constant protection. The study further stresses that beta-carotene is a sensible addition to the use of sunscreen.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of significant vision loss in older people and is believed to be caused by oxidative stress. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), a large randomized clinical trial, found that participants at high risk of developing advanced AMD reduced their risk of developing the condition by 25% by taking a daily supplement containing beta-carotene and other antioxidants, including vitamins E, C and Zinc 2.
Bio-Carotene are small capsules with 9 mg pure beta carotene equivalent to 1500 µg retinol equivalents. This dose is about 188% of the daily reference intake level for beta carotene. Bio-Carotene is manufactured in a way where beta carotene is mixed into an oil matrix that keeps it stable and increases bioavailability. In fact, studies document that beta carotene in supplement form has better bioavailability than when you get it from vegetables.
1.Köpcke W, Krutmann J. Protection from Sunburn with β-Carotene—A Meta-analysis. Photochemistry and Photobiology. 2008;84(2):284-288.
2. Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group. A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8. Arch Ophthalmol 2001;119:1417-36.