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Vitamins & Minerals Q&AVitamin A / β-carotene

About vitamin A / β-carotene

β-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, which in turn promotes healthy skin and mucous membranes, plays an important role in protecting the body from harmful UV rays, and supports the division and differentiation of a variety of cells. In addition to its ability to convert into vitamin A, it has been reported that β-carotene can also act as an antioxidant and aid in immune function. Jew's mallow, carrots, and spinach (boiled) are among the foods richest in β-carotene.

How much β-carotene (β-carotene) do I need each day?

The Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2015 Edition) has determined a set necessary amount of vitamin A consumption. For male children over 1 year of age, the reference intake is 300-650μg RAE per day. For female children over 1 year of age the reference intake is 250-500μg RAE per day. The daily tolerable upper intake level for both groups is 600-2700μg RAE. However, because β-carotene is one of many existing provitamin A carotenoids (vitamin A precursors), there is no determined necessary daily intake for it.

Tell me about the relationship between β-carotene (β-carotene) and retinoids (vitamin A).

Vitamin A is called a retinoid. Retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid can be classified in its terminal group. Compounds that possess the functionality of vitamin A in the body are called provitamin A. There are about 50 of such substances that are known, and β-carotene is one of them.