Skip to main content


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 29, 2022.

What are other common names?

  • A-Beta-Carotene
  • Canthaxanthin
  • Carophyll Red
  • Carotenes
  • Carotenoids
  • Food Orange 8
  • Mixed Carotenoids
  • Provitamin A
  • Provitamine A
  • Roxanthin Red 10
  • Tanning Pill
  • Tanning Tablet

What is this product used for?

Beta-carotene is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is also sold as a dietary supplement product. Beta-carotene helps to stop cell damage. It helps your body make vitamin A. Certain people who are sensitive to the sun may take this product to protect them from sunlight. Eating more fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene may help to lower the risk of some cancers. It is also used together with other nutrients for macular degeneration, an eye problem that can occur with age. Other people take this product to give a natural looking tan or skin color.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with other drugs or natural products.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this natural product.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery.

  • This product may interfere with some lab tests. Be sure to talk with your doctor about this and all drugs you are taking.

  • This product may cause a higher risk of cancer in smokers. It can also cause a higher risk of cancer in people who have been exposed to asbestos.

  • Take extra care if you are taking drugs to control cholesterol. These are drugs like atorvastatin, cholestyramine, or niacin.

  • Avoid taking high doses of this product. High doses of beta-carotene my decrease the ability of your body to use other carotene-like compounds.

  • Take extra care if you use drugs to decrease stomach acid. These are drugs like omeprazole and lansoprazole. These drugs may decrease the amount of beta-carotene in your body.

  • If you are an alcoholic or drink a lot of alcohol, using this product may increase the risk of cancer.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have cancer.

What should I watch for?

  • Yellow or orange color of urine or stool

  • Yellow or orange color of the palms of the hands, soles of the feet

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Very bad belly pain

  • Very bad loose stools

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This generalized information is a limited summary of diagnosis, treatment, and/or medication information. It is not meant to be comprehensive and should be used as a tool to help the user understand and/or assess potential diagnostic and treatment options. It does NOT include all information about conditions, treatments, medications, side effects, or risks that may apply to a specific patient. It is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for the medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a health care provider based on the health care provider's examination and assessment of a patient’s specific and unique circumstances. Patients must speak with a health care provider for complete information about their health, medical questions, and treatment options, including any risks or benefits regarding use of medications. This information does not endorse any treatments or medications as safe, effective, or approved for treating a specific patient. UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates disclaim any warranty or liability relating to this information or the use thereof. The use of this information is governed by the Terms of Use, available at


Copyright © 2022 UpToDate, Inc. and its affiliates and/or licensors. All rights reserved.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.