Provitamin A: How To Use It For Your Benefit

The body can make vitamin A from select members of the carotenoid family. Beta-carotene is the most important provitamin A.

Vitamin A is a collective name of different forms of vitamin A. They are not all equally beneficial.

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What Does Provitamin Mean?

The term "provitamin" is used when describing a substance with little vitamin function but which can be converted into a vitamin by natural metabolism.

Best Way To Get Carotenoids

The bioavailability of provitamin A is lower than once believed. So it is difficult to fulfill the daily requirements through plant foods alone.

For instance, β-carotene is only one-twelfth as effective as retinol (preformed vitamin A).

When you are eating foods high in beta-carotene, it is better for absorption and synthesis of vitamin A if you eat them together with fat.

Also, eating anything high in carotenes that is cooked is better than raw because your body can digest it better.

Beta-carotene is studied extensively for its health benefits, but supplementation at doses higher than recommended intakes have adverse effects.

Why Do We Need Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for our health. It is a powerful antioxidant. When it moves through your body, it scavenges damaging free radicals and fights inflammation.

An adequate intake of dietary vitamin A is essential for normal vision, growth, the functioning of the immune system, etc.

A high intake of carotenoids, from vegetables and fruits, does not seem to cause hypervitaminosis A. Unlike overconsuming preformed vitamin A.

Our Articles About Carotenes

Carotenes are known to provide some vitamin A activity. In particular beta-carotene.


A three-dimensional representation of alpha-Carotene
3D-model of alpha-Carotene (src)

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

Learn more about this carotenoid that is common but fairly unknown in our article: What Is alpha-Carotene & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Higher alpha-Carotene intake is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

alpha-Carotene has many health benefits that might be good for you. Check them out in our article: alpha-Carotene: 7 Research-Backed Benefits


A three-dimensional representation of beta-Carotene
3D-model of beta-Carotene (src)

beta-Carotene is believed to be the most prominent member of the group of carotenoids.

Read more information about this carotenoid and look at the research behind it in our article: What Is beta-Carotene & What Foods Can I Find It In?

beta-Carotene is a natural colorant and an important antioxidant that occurs in many foods.

Check out what kind of benefits beta-Carotene has, and if they can help you in any way, in our article: beta-Carotene: 3 Research-Backed Benefits


A three-dimensional representation of cis-beta-Carotene
3D-model of cis-beta-Carotene (src)

cis-beta-Carotene is a cyclic carotene. It has the structure of beta-carotene. Learn more in our article: What Is cis-beta-Carotene & What Foods Can I Find It In?

It also possesses similar benefits as beta-carotene. Read about its special benefit just for cis-beta-Carotene in our article: cis-beta-Carotene: One Research-Backed Benefit


Trans-beta-Carotene has shown to be more bioavailable than any of the other carotenoids. Read more about this in our article: What Is trans-beta-Carotene & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Our Articles About Cryptoxanthin

Cryptoxanthin is a natural carotenoid pigment with potential antioxidant properties.


alpha-Cryptoxanthin is closely related to beta-carotene. You can find more information about alpha-Cryptoxanthin in our article: What Is alpha-Cryptoxanthin & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Little is known about the potential physiological role of alpha-cryptoxanthin but might have antioxidant properties.

See more about the benefit in our article: alpha-Cryptoxanthin: One Research-Backed Benefit


A three-dimensional representation of beta-Cryptoxanthin
3D-model of beta-Cryptoxanthin (src)

beta-Cryptoxanthin is closely related to beta-carotene. Learn more about this carotenoid in our article: What Is beta-Cryptoxanthin & What Foods Can I Find It In?

beta-Cryptoxanthin has several functions that are important for human health. Learn what kind of benefits beta-Cryptoxanthin possesses and what they might do for you in our article: beta-Cryptoxanthin: 6 Research-Backed Benefits

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