Introduction

Beta-carotene is a red-orange compound found in fruits and vegetables. The body turns it into vitamin A. Beta-carotene has been used to help the body fight illness. It has also been used as an antioxidant to help slow damage to cells. Beta-carotene can be taken as a pill or powder.

Dosages

5 to 15 milligrams once per day

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

Beta-carotene may help:

  • Cataract —may lower risk C1
  • Dementia —may lower risk when dietary intake is increased along with vitamins C and E G1
  • Hip fracture—may lower risk J1
  • Macular degeneration —may slow disease when taken with vitamins C, E, and zinc L1, L2
  • Sunburn —may provide protection O1

Unlikely to Be Effective

Beta-carotene does not appear to be effective for:

Not Enough Data to Assess

There is not enough information to show if beta-carotene is or is not effective for:

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe for most people to take beta-carotene in small doses for a short time, but it may increase the risk of cancer, stroke, and other health problems in smokers and people with a history of asbestos exposure.N1-N7 Large amounts of beta-carotene should not be taken, especially by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Smokers and people with a history of asbestos exposure should not use beta-carotene. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe for others to use for a long period.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019 -
  • Update Date: 09/09/2019 -