Beta-carotene is a substance from plants that the body converts into vitamin A. It also acts as an antioxidant and an immune system booster. Beta carotene has two roles in the body. It can be converted into vitamin A (retinol) if the body needs more vitamin A. If the body has enough vitamin A, instead of being converted, beta carotene acts as an antioxidant which protects cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals. Other members of the antioxidant carotenoid family include cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, and lycopene. However, unlike beta-carotene, most of these nutrients are not converted to vitamin A in significant amounts.

Most beta-carotene in supplements is synthetic, consisting of only one molecule called all trans beta-carotene. Natural beta-carotene, found in food, is made of two molecules—all trans beta-carotene and 9-cis beta-carotene. Much of natural beta-carotene is in the all trans molecule form—the same as synthetic beta-carotene. Moreover, much of the 9-cis molecule found only in natural beta-carotene is converted to the synthetic molecule before it reaches the bloodstream. Also, absorption of 9-cis beta-carotene appears to be poor, though some researchers question this finding.

Despite the overlap between natural and synthetic forms, natural beta-carotene may possibly have activity that is distinct from the synthetic form. For example, studies in both animals and humans have shown that the natural form has antioxidant activity that the synthetic form lacks. Also, in one trial, pre-cancerous changes in people reverted to normal tissue with natural beta-carotene supplements, but not with synthetic supplements. Israeli researchers have investigated whether the special antioxidant effects of natural beta-carotene might help people suffering from asthma attacks triggered by exercise. People with asthma triggered by exercise were given 64 mg per day of natural beta-carotene for one week. In that report, 20 of 38 patients receiving natural beta-carotene were protected against exercise-induced asthma. However, because synthetic beta-carotene was not tested, the difference between the activity of the two supplements cannot be deduced from this report. Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.

Beta-carotene is part of a large family of compounds known as carotenoids (which includes over 600 members such as lycopene and lutein). Carotenoids are widely distributed in fruits and vegetables and are responsible, along with flavonoids, for contributing the color to many plants (a rule of thumb is the brighter, the better). In terms of nutrition, beta-carotene’s primary role is as a precursor to vitamin A (the body can convert beta-carotene into vitamin A as it is needed). It is important to note that beta-carotene and vitamin A are often described in the same breath – almost as if they were the same compound (which they are not). Although beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A in the body, there are important differences in terms of action and safety between the two compounds. Beta-carotene. like most carotenoids, is also a powerful antioxidant – so it has been recommended to protect against a variety of diseases such as cancer, cataracts and heart disease. The best food sources are brightly colored fruits and veggies such as cantaloupe, apricots, carrots (duh!), red peppers, sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens.

Natural Beta-Carotene
1. Powdery products Specifications:
Index of Item:
Appearance Orange yellow powder
Beta-carotene content Over 1%
Particle Size Over 95% passed #60 screen mesh
Colority A(1%,1cm) at max: min. 25
Moisture Below 5%
Heavy Metal Below 10ppm
Arsenic Below 3ppm
Microgerm Meet Requirement
Diffusibility: Put the Beta-carotene into water slowly, stir it properly. It will appear to be yellow to orange yellow in the water.
Storage: The products is sensitive to air, heat, moisture, and light. It should be stored in a place lower 15 C temperature. After removing the seal, use all of this as son as possible.
Use: It can be added into food or medicine as yellow or orange yellow pigment.
2. Oily Products Specifications:
Index of Item:
Appearance Reddish brown liquid
Beta-carotene content Over 30%
Absorption Spectrum( in Cyclohexane)
1) Absorption Maximum 453-457nm
2) Absorbency Index at 0.34nm Maximum 0.08
Solubility: It could be put in a slight warm vegetable oil by stirring properly when making up the oily products of Beta-carotene.
Storage: The products is sensitive to air, heat, moisture, and light, it should be stored in a place lower 15 C temperature. After removing the seal, use all of this as soon as possible.
Use: It can be added into food or medicine as yellow of orange yellow pigment.