Medical Definition of Carotene, beta

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

Carotene, beta: An antioxidant, a substance that protects cells against oxidation damage which, it is thought, can lead to cancer. Beta carotene is converted, as needed, to vitamin A.

Food sources of beta carotene include vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and other leafy green vegetables; and fruit such as cantaloupes and apricots.

Excessive carotene in the diet can temporarily yellow the skin, a condition called carotenemia, commonly seen in infants fed largely mashed carrots.

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Reviewed on 9/7/2018