Provitamin A (carotene)

Provitamin A is a precursor of vitamin A and is also referred to as carotene. It is found in many plant foods and can be converted into vitamin A by the body.

Function and effect in the body

Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, eyes, bones and teeth. It also supports the immune system and reproduction.

Provitamin A can be converted into vitamin A, which plays an important role in eyesight and is an important nutrient for the growth and development of children.


Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient for the human body, and its deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems. A lack of vitamin A can cause night blindness, xerophthalmia (dry eyes), skin problems, weakening of the immune system and stunted growth.

It is important to ensure adequate intake of vitamin A either through diet or supplements to maintain good health. However, before you get any artificial provitamin A supplements or vitamin A supplements, you should have a conversation with your doctor to avoid overdose.

Recommended daily provitamin A intake

The term provitamin A refers to various vitamin A precursors that contribute to vitamin A supply to varying degrees. A general indication of the daily intake of provitamin A is therefore impossible.

If you are interested, read more here: Daily requirement vitamin A

Other names for provitamin A

Provitamin A is also known as carotene because it consists of carotenoids. Another name is also retinoid precursor, as it is a precursor of vitamin A. In some cases, it is also simply referred to as vitamin A precursor.

Beta-carotene is a specific type of carotenoid and also a precursor of vitamin A, more precisely one of the most important precursors. Therefore, beta-carotene can be used as a synonym for provitamin A, but it is not the same as provitamin A, as it is merely a specific form. Other carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, lycopene or lutein can also be converted into vitamin A, but they are less effective precursors than beta-carotene.

Tips for sufficient intake

Provitamin A-rich foods include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, peppers, and apricots. It is important to eat a balanced diet to get enough vitamin A.

FAQs: Provitamin A in a healthy diet

Is too much provitamin A harmful?

Yes, excessive intake of provitamin A can lead to poisoning, which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even liver damage.

Is it better to get provitamin A from plant or animal sources?

It’s best to get provitamin A from a variety of sources, including plant and animal sources, to ensure a balanced diet.

Can supplements containing provitamin A replace a balanced diet?

Supplements should not be considered as a substitute for a balanced diet because they do not contain all the nutrients that the body needs. It is best to eat a balanced diet and, if necessary, take complementary preparations in consultation with a doctor.

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