What Is alpha-Carotene & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of alpha-Carotene (src)

alpha-Carotene is a member of the group of carotenoids.

alpha-Carotene is the second most common form of carotene.

The first is beta-carotene. alpha-Carotene and beta-carotene are provitamin A carotenoids.

It means that they can convert in the body to vitamin A.

alpha-Carotene produces half the vitamin A that beta-carotene does.

Table of Contents

alpha-Carotene Is An Important Carotenoid

alpha-Carotene is an important carotenoid that is derived from plants.

It is also called as provitamin A or vitamin A precursor. Vitamin A is widely used in human body to enhance immunity.

alpha-Carotene is one of the active components of carrots and it also plays a role in human body.

It is a type of natural pigment that is responsible for the orange color of carrots and other orange vegetables.

alpha-Carotene is mostly found in certain fruits and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupe, mangoes and sweet potatoes.

Benefits Of alpha-Carotene

alpha-Carotene is found in many fruits and vegetables and has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.

It seems to be beneficial in prevention of cancer.

A study done at the University of Pennsylvania, which found that smokers who consumed more carotenoids had a lower risk of dying from lung cancer.

alpha-Carotene can be used as an antioxidant to provide anti-oxidant properties to the skin.

The Three Most Common Carotenoids

alpha-Carotene is the second most common form of carotenoids.

alpha-Carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin are all primarily regarded as precursors of vitamin A. (source )

These three carotenoids are common in orange-, yellow-, and green colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, apricots, sweet potatos, and beans. (source )

Alfa and beta

alpha-Carotene and beta-Carotene have different biological activities, but both can be converted to vitamin A in the body.

Foods You Can Find alpha-Carotene In

You find alpha-Carotene mostly in vegetable products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most alpha-Carotene, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top ranked list of foods that contain alpha-Carotene.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.