Provitamin A

Beta-carotene is converted to retinoic acid (vitamin A: see Vitamin A monograph) by an enzyme found in the intestinal mucosa and liver, with 2 /jg of all-trans carotene being equal to 1 ¡jg of all-trans retinol (vitamin A) or 3.33 IU (PDRHealth 2005). This Beta-carotene 80

conversion is regulated by vitamin A status and may be enhanced by alpha-

tocopherol (Wang & Krinsky 1998). Zinc may also be Important for byconversion, as Indicated by a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 170 pregnant women that found that supplementation zinc improved the postpartum vitamin A status of both mothers and infants (Dijkhuizen et al 2004).

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