Is too much chronic beta carotene possible?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 21, 2011 at 12:52 AM

All - is it possible to get too much beta carotene? I don't have the yellow skin. I've read that you can have chronic and acute vitamin A toxicity - but vit A and beta carotene are obviosuly not the same. For years I've had at least 30k IU of beta carotene a day from various sources (veggies, vitamins). Recently, as that increased even more (lots of spirullina), I've noticed increased hair loss - wondering if its related.


on June 21, 2011
at 01:42 AM

Ben, carrots won't hurt you the way concentrated supplements can.



on June 21, 2011
at 01:38 AM

I hope it's not possible. I eat carrots every damn day

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3 Answers



on June 21, 2011
at 01:11 AM

Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A. At the moment there is still a lot of debate over how efficient this process is, although it seems that Retional Activity Equivalent levels vary somewhat depending on the individual.

I would stop the supplements ASAP, not least because supplemental beta-carotene can do more harm than good. For example, studies show even modest levels of supplementation leading to greater mortality rates amongst smokers.

Remember that a Paleo diet, high in animal fats and liver is more than likely already at the tolerable upper limit for pre-formed retinol, and that's before adding in supplements like cod liver oil. Vitamin A is stored in your body's fat, so it can take a while on a low retinol diet to "detox" any excess


on June 21, 2011
at 02:53 AM

Chris Masterjohn wrote about the possibility back in 2005.

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