Consumption of high amounts of beta-carotene could pose a health risk to people by blocking the action of vitamin A rather than enhancing it, according to research that suggested the nutrient may possess a ‘dark side’ .
The research team found certain molecules derived from beta-carotene may have an opposite effect in the body – by blocking certain actions of vitamin A, which is critical to human vision, bone and skin health, metabolism and immune function.
"We determined that these compounds are in foods, they're present under normal circumstances, and they're pretty routinely found in blood in humans, and therefore they may represent a dark side of beta-carotene," said Harrison.
"These materials definitely have anti-vitamin-A properties, and they could basically disrupt or at least affect the whole body metabolism and action of vitamin A.”
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