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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Beta-carotene as vitamin A

item Tang, Guangwen
item Russell, Robert

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/20/2008
Publication Date: 9/20/2009
Citation: Tang, G., Russell, R.M. 2009. Beta-carotene as vitamin A. In: Britton, G., Liaaen-Jensen, S., Pfander, H., editors. Carotenoids: Nutrition and Health. 5th edition. New York, NY: Birkhauser Publishing. p.149-172.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This book chapter provides information that provitamin A carotenoids (mainly 13-C) can provide vitamin A nutrition in humans. 13-C is enzymatically converted to vitamin A by various tissues, primarily in the small intestine. The post-absorption conversion of absorbed 13-c to vitamin A by other tissues is also possible and needs to be carefully studied. The presently reported values of carotene to vitamin A conversion from current literature vary from 2 pg P-C to 1 ilg retinol (synthetic pure P-C in oil) to 27 [tg 13-C to 1 retinol (vegetable 13-C). Factors affecting I3-C conversion to vitamin A are host nutrition status (vitamin A status and protein nutrition status), dietary fat and fiber content (macronutrient), food matrix (e.g. vegetables, fruits), and host intestinal health (parasitic infection and other infections). This chapter provides the value of dietary vitamin A precursors to provide vitamin A from plant sources.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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