Food Sources

Carrots are the major contributors of beta-carotene in the diet, but it is also found in cantaloupe, broccoli and spinach. Carotenoids have emerged as the best single tissue marker for a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and measurements of plasma and tissue carotenoids have an important role in defining the optimal diets for humans Beta-carotene 79

(Handelman 2001).

Natural beta-carotene for use In supplements Is generally obtained from palm oil or the mlcromarlne algae (phytoplankton) Dunaliella salina (also known as D. bardawil), which is the richest natural source of beta-carotene. Whole dried D. salina is also available in a supplemental form that contains between 1 % and 2% beta-carotene. The typical western diet is estimated to provide approximately 2-4 mg/day of beta-carotene (Pryor et al 2000).

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