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Can I overdose on beta-carotene?

by (3521)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created October 05, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Similar to:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/46225/is-too-much-chronic-beta-carotene-possible/46249#46249

I get about 7000% of beta carotene almost daily. I get retinol from about 4 ounces of liver once a week. I know vitamin a (retinol) can be overdosed but can beta carotene be overdosed too?

Google gave me mixed answers.

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3521 · October 06, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Sounds reasonable. I will continue with my carotene consumption.

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3521 · October 06, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Exactly my thoughts. I haven't got the orange glow many get though.

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3521 · October 06, 2011 at 11:41 PM

@ majinketor...according to CRON, I am. I eat lots of sweet potato.

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12847 · October 06, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Because I got a vit A deficiency while consuming ample amounts of carotene. I have to supp at least 10k iu retinol daily now.

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15583 · October 06, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Some of it will be converted to vitamin A (though probably virtually none, given that he's consuming plenty retinol anyway), but that's not the question. The question is whether it's safe to consume so much beta-carotene.

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78422 · October 06, 2011 at 8:15 AM

I was 16. I couldn't care less about food then. Thats what one old doctor suggested to my mother after I was 1 month in the hospital without any improvement. After doing it, I get healthy in a week or so.

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5242 · October 06, 2011 at 7:34 AM

You were eating that many carrots for the vit A? Could you have eaten liver?

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5242 · October 06, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Yes I was. Your first statement could of been interpreted as all beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A - as long as your metabolism is normal. How do you know you're a low responder?

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78422 · October 06, 2011 at 7:11 AM

I don't think you really are at 7000%, you are trippin

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12847 · October 06, 2011 at 1:09 AM

If your insinuating that carotene isn't a good source of Vit A for most I agree. I'm a low responder and have trouble converting.

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12847 · October 06, 2011 at 1:08 AM

The conversion rate is about 15:1 depending on the source and how its prepared.

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5242 · October 06, 2011 at 12:53 AM

This is incorrect. In well functioning individuals beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A as well as 1:4. In less well functioning individuals it could be much less. Young children are incapable of converting beta-carotene to vitamin A.

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12847 · October 06, 2011 at 12:08 AM

your body will usually only convert/absorb as much as it needs. vit a overdose isn't really an issue if you have adequate D&K.

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3521 · October 05, 2011 at 11:35 PM

But is that a good thing? If all the beta-carotene I am consuming gets converted to true vitamin A, can't I potentially overdose on it. Or does the body have a way of getting rid of excess beta carotene?

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12847 · October 05, 2011 at 10:55 PM

@FED you probably got carotenmia because your metabolism is too low.

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3521 · October 05, 2011 at 10:52 PM

@FED. No orange skin at all, have been doing this for a year too. @ thanks thaneverbefore, hadn't seen it.

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200 · October 05, 2011 at 10:48 PM

this was asked before: http://paleohacks.com/questions/46225/is-too-much-chronic-beta-carotene-possible/46249#46249

Medium avatar
19479 · October 05, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Are your hands and feet turning orange? I was eating ~1 medium carrot per day (between smoothies and salads) and it was enough for me to develop carotenemia ...http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1104368-overview

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3521 · October 05, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Kale, spinach and lots of sweet potato. I know I could buy the yellow variety but most of them at my store don't look healthy at all, so I stick with the orange ones.

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19220 · October 05, 2011 at 10:21 PM

What foods do you get all those carotenes from, out of interest?

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4 Answers

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78422 · October 06, 2011 at 7:08 AM

No, you can't. Body doesn't convert it to A if it doesn't needed. You can get orange but that is cosmetic problem.

From wiki:

Absorption efficiency is estimated to be between 9-22%. The absorption and conversion of carotenoids may depend on the form that the ??-carotene is in (cooked vs. raw vegetables, in a supplement), intake of fats and oils at the same time, and current stores of vitamin A and ??-carotene in the body

??-Carotene can be stored in the liver and body fat and converted to retinal as needed, thus making it a form of vitamin A for humans and some other mammals.

I was eating 1kg carrots per day when I had mononucleosis at age 16. That is the only thing that was able to cure me and doctors were puzzled. Alpha says it > 3000% of daily requirements.

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3521 · October 06, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Sounds reasonable. I will continue with my carotene consumption.

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78422 · October 06, 2011 at 8:15 AM

I was 16. I couldn't care less about food then. Thats what one old doctor suggested to my mother after I was 1 month in the hospital without any improvement. After doing it, I get healthy in a week or so.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c
5242 · October 06, 2011 at 7:34 AM

You were eating that many carrots for the vit A? Could you have eaten liver?

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12847 · October 05, 2011 at 10:57 PM

If you have a normal metabolism it should be converted to vit A.

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5242 · October 06, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Yes I was. Your first statement could of been interpreted as all beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A - as long as your metabolism is normal. How do you know you're a low responder?

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15583 · October 06, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Some of it will be converted to vitamin A (though probably virtually none, given that he's consuming plenty retinol anyway), but that's not the question. The question is whether it's safe to consume so much beta-carotene.

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12847 · October 06, 2011 at 1:08 AM

The conversion rate is about 15:1 depending on the source and how its prepared.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c
5242 · October 06, 2011 at 12:53 AM

This is incorrect. In well functioning individuals beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A as well as 1:4. In less well functioning individuals it could be much less. Young children are incapable of converting beta-carotene to vitamin A.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · October 06, 2011 at 12:08 AM

your body will usually only convert/absorb as much as it needs. vit a overdose isn't really an issue if you have adequate D&K.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · October 06, 2011 at 1:09 AM

If your insinuating that carotene isn't a good source of Vit A for most I agree. I'm a low responder and have trouble converting.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · October 06, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Because I got a vit A deficiency while consuming ample amounts of carotene. I have to supp at least 10k iu retinol daily now.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab
3521 · October 05, 2011 at 11:35 PM

But is that a good thing? If all the beta-carotene I am consuming gets converted to true vitamin A, can't I potentially overdose on it. Or does the body have a way of getting rid of excess beta carotene?

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15583 · October 06, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I've never seen any evidence that it's dangerous, aside from the aesthetic downsides. I used to consume 500g+ of carrots per day, plus lots of tomatoes and I had only the slightest detectable glow to my skin (you'd only think it was from the food if you were looking for it), but people did ask me how my skin constantly looked healthy even though I notoriously never went out in the sun (being nocturnal at the time).

If you ate almost exclusively sweet potato, you'd get around 10,000%, so I figure that this amount can't be too harmful, given that some healthy cultures do eat lots of sweet potato.

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3521 · October 06, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Exactly my thoughts. I haven't got the orange glow many get though.

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0 · December 04, 2012 at 11:55 PM

you CAN overdose in beta-carotene. You can get a yellow-orange tinge to your skin, as well as diarrhea. BUT, it IS hard to overdose on beta-carotene

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