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VCU HR Well-Being blog

Giving VCU employees the wellness resources they need to be healthy both on and off campus

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What is beta carotene?

Person cutting up carrots containing beta carotene on chopping board [View Image]

Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene.

The human body converts beta carotene into vitamin A (retinol) – beta carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision.

Uses and benefits of beta carotene:

Beta carotene is an antioxidant – studies have shown antioxidants through diet help people’s immune systems, protect against free radicals, and lower the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

Beta carotene may slow down cognitive decline – studies show that beta carotene may help prevent the deterioration of cognition.

Beta carotene keeps lungs healthy as people age – a study found that participants who had high beta carotene levels had much slower decline in FEV1 measures, which measures how much air you can breathe out in one go.

Excess vitamin A is toxic. Toxic vitamin A levels can occur if you consume too many supplements so always consult a doctor before starting a new supplement.

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