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• Beta-carotene is an antioxidant found in carrots and other fruit and vegetables, as well as in seaweed and algae. Together with other carotenoids, it is an effective marker for a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

• Beta-carotene is fat soluble and should be consumed with meals.

• Although beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body, unlike vitamin A it is considered non-toxic even in large doses.

• When supplementing with beta-carotene it is preferable to use supplements containing natural beta-carotene from the algae Dunaliella salina or palm oil rather than synthetic beta-carotene.

• Beta-carotene is a powerful pigment that contributes to the normal yellow component of skin and increased beta-carotene intake may protect from the effects of excessive exposure to sunlight and the symptoms of sunburn.

• Consumption of beta-carotene-rich food is associated with reduced risk of cancers, heart disease and eye disease; however, these benefits have not been found in large studies that have used synthetic beta-carotene with two studies finding an increase in lung cancer in heavy smokers and asbestos workers taking large doses of synthetic beta-carotene.

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