Last updated: August 13, 2021

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With the following article we would like to support you in your decision for a beta carotene preparation. In our beta carotene test 09/21 you can find out what types of beta carotene there are and what your body needs provitamin A for. We also go into detail about which foods contain beta carotene if you want to cover your needs through your diet in addition to a supplement.

Furthermore, you will find informative videos and studies on the topic of beta carotene in this article. We have also answered questions you may have before buying a beta carotene supplement. To help you decide between the different types, we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of each type of beta carotene so that you can see at a glance which type you prefer.




The most important facts

  • Beta carotene can be taken in with food. However, it is important to note that fruits and vegetables containing beta carotene can only be absorbed by the body with a source of fat.
  • Provitamin A is largely responsible for protecting cells and even preventing cancer through its antioxidant effect.
  • You can add beta carotene to your body externally through a cream. External application will make your skin tone glow, but it is not a protection against the sun. In addition, you should always use adequate sun protection.

The Best Beta Carotene: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying beta carotene

In the following section we will answer some common questions about beta carotene and explain in detail what beta carotene is, how it works and how much a good provitamin A supplement costs.

What is beta carotene?

Beta carotene is one of the more than 400 carotenoids. It is a sub-stage of vitamin A. The human organism can convert part of the beta carotene into vitamin A on its own. The carotenoid is significantly responsible for cell health and prevents oxidation of the cells.(4)

You can find beta carotene mainly in fruits and vegetables. It gives fruit its yellow-orange colour and colours vegetables red or green. Furthermore, beta carotene prevents cancer and contributes to human health.

How does beta carotene work?

Because beta carotene converts to vitamin A in certain amounts, it has many positive effects on the eyes, performance, cardiovascular system, blood pressure and also has highly anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin A by and large ensures that our cells maintain their functionality and can regenerate.(5)

Furthermore, a study from 2007 by the University of Havard examined the long-term intake of beta carotene. The subjects who supplemented the carotenoid had improved memory than the group who did not take beta carotene in addition to their diet. (1)

The secondary plant substance can have an anti-inflammatory effect because it contains antioxidants. This was shown in a study by the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.(2)

When and for whom is a beta carotene preparation useful?

In principle, beta carotene is useful for everyone, as it has significant health benefits in the body. A preparation is taken daily with sufficient water and is available in powder, capsule or tablet form.

Beta Carotin-1

Beta carotene is found in vegetables and fruit. Carrots in particular contain a lot of beta carotene.
(Source: unsplash.com Gurrola/ Gabriel)

In order for the body to absorb provitamin A well, it makes sense to have oil or a source of fat in addition to the vegetables and fruit that contain beta carotene. The fat source enables your body to absorb and utilise the provitamin A better.

Avocado, nuts or olive oil are suitable sources of fat

When taking beta carotene, you should also follow the manufacturer's dosage recommendation and not exceed it. Researchers believe that a daily dose of two to four milligrams of beta carotene is sufficient.(3)

Decision: What types of beta carotene are there and which is right for you?

If you want to incorporate beta carotene into your daily routine, there are three options to choose from:

  • Beta Carotene Powder
  • Beta Carotene Capsules
  • Beta Carotene Cream

The different types each come with advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you prefer, a different type may be right for you. The following section will help you decide.

What distinguishes beta carotene powder and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Beta carotene can also be taken in powder form. You can simply mix it into your normal meals and refine smoothies, bowls or salad dressings, for example. This means you don't need to take any additional tablets or capsules, but instead take the supplement with your daily food.

Advantages
  • Easy to take
  • can be combined with normal meals
Disadvantages
  • Overdose can occur more quickly
  • Weighing

You should pay close attention to the amount you use so that you do not use too much of the supplement and get an overdose of beta carotene.

Beta Carotin-1

If you want to use beta carotene in powder form, you can use it in smoothies and shakes.
(Image source: unsplash.com Kaushik/ Indivar)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of beta carotene capsules?

Provitamin A capsules are the easiest way to cover your daily requirements. However, you should still make sure to eat enough vegetables and fruit, as these require other vitamins that are essential for the body.

Advantages
  • Easy to take
  • daily requirement is covered immediately
Disadvantages
  • Quickly disregard regular fruit and vegetable intake

What are the advantages and disadvantages of beta carotene cream?

If you don't want to take beta carotene through food, powder or capsule, you can do so through a cream. This moisturises our largest organ, the skin and organs, and prepares the skin for the sun.

Advantages
  • Brownish complexion
  • Preparing the skin for the sun
Disadvantages
  • Skin can also turn orange
  • No sunscreen

It is important to note, however, that a beta carotene cream does not act as a sunscreen. Despite the cream, adequate sun protection should be used.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate beta carotene preparations

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate beta carotene. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular beta carotene is suitable for you or not.

In the following, we list criteria that will help you make your decision:

In the following paragraphs we will explain to you what the individual criteria are and what you should look out for when buying a beta carotene preparation.

Dosage

Researchers have found that the optimal dosage of a beta carotene preparation is two to four milligrams per day. This depends on the height and weight of the person. A man who is quite tall and heavy should take four milligrams a day and a woman rather three milligrams.

Beta Carotin-3

You should always follow the daily recommendation on the packaging.
(Image source: unsplash.com Merecka/ Laurynas)

Teenagers or very small people cover their daily requirement of beta carotene with two milligrams a day. Even though the supplements are rather additional nutrients to the normal healthy diet, you should be careful not to exceed the daily recommendations.

You should pay particular attention to the daily dose specified on the preparation and stick to it in order to avoid overdosing.

Differences in quality

As with all vitamin preparations, there are also differences in the quality of beta carotene. You should pay attention to the manufacturer and the ingredients. There are preparations that do not contain pure beta carotene, but a mixture of different vitamins.

What can be extremely helpful when looking for a suitable preparation is researching customer opinions and reviews about the product. This way you can inform yourself in advance and find a suitable preparation for you.

Shelf life

Like most vitamin supplements, beta carotene should be stored in a dry place away from light. Capsules usually come in plastic packaging and powder in a resealable bag. Beta carotene creams should ideally be stored in a cupboard away from direct sunlight.

Consult your doctor for advice

It is also important to keep vitamin preparations of all kinds away from children. They can choke on tablets or capsules or get an overdose of beta carotene. When adding beta carotene to children, you should inform the paediatrician in charge beforehand.

Facts worth knowing about beta carotene

In which foods is beta carotene found?

Beta carotene is found mainly in fruits and vegetables. It is responsible for the yellowish colour of fruit and the red and greenish colour of vegetables. In the following table we have listed fruits and vegetables that contain beta carotene.(4)

You can also make a beta carotene shot from the various foods in the form of a juice. This way you can add valuable nutrients to your body besides the provitamin A.

type food
fruit papaya, mangoes, oranges, lemons, persimmons, pears, apricots and peaches
vegetables kale, spinach, peppers, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes

Does beta carotene help with cancer?

Beta carotene cannot prevent or cure cancer, but it does help reduce the likelihood of developing cancer. Because provitamin A strengthens cells and has an anti-inflammatory effect, malignant cells such as cancer cells have less chance of multiplying.

So far, however, no positive or negative effects of ingestion can be proven and linked to beta carotene.

What are the cosmetic effects of beta carotene?

Beta carotene can change your complexion and make your skin appear more tanned when applied externally. However, this does not work for all skin types, so that in exceptional cases an orange tinge can occur.

Beta carotene also has an effect on the hair, which becomes stronger and stronger when it is taken. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect and can have positive or healing properties on skin inflammations.

Picture source: Limsakul/ 123rf.com

References (5)

1. Grodstein F1, Kang JH, Glynn RJ, Cook NR, Gaziano JM. A randomized trial of beta carotene supplementation and cognitive function in men: the Physicians' Health Study II. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Nov 12; 167(20):2184-90.
Source

2. Il'yasova D, Ivanova A, Morrow JD, Cesari M, Pahor M. Correlation between two markers of inflammation, serum C-reactive protein and interleukin 6, and indices of oxidative stress in patients with high risk of cardiovascular disease. Biomarkers. 2008 Feb; 13(1):41-51.
Source

3. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. Vitamin A, β-Carotin. 2020
Source

4. Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung. 2020
Source

5. Lebensmittelverband Deutschland e.V. 2019
Source

Why you can trust me?

Studie
Grodstein F1, Kang JH, Glynn RJ, Cook NR, Gaziano JM. A randomized trial of beta carotene supplementation and cognitive function in men: the Physicians' Health Study II. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Nov 12; 167(20):2184-90.
Go to source
Studie
Il'yasova D, Ivanova A, Morrow JD, Cesari M, Pahor M. Correlation between two markers of inflammation, serum C-reactive protein and interleukin 6, and indices of oxidative stress in patients with high risk of cardiovascular disease. Biomarkers. 2008 Feb; 13(1):41-51.
Go to source
Artikel
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V. Vitamin A, β-Carotin. 2020
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Artikel
Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung. 2020
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Artikel
Lebensmittelverband Deutschland e.V. 2019
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