Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Nutr. 2014 Jun 28;111(12):2153-66. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514000166. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

A review of vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene in various food matrices for human consumption.

Author information

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Geert Grooteplein 8, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Schaafsma Advisory Services in Food, Health and Safety, Rembrandtlaan 12, 3925 VD, Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands.


Vitamin A equivalency of β-carotene (VEB) is defined as the amount of ingested β-carotene in μg that is absorbed and converted into 1 μg retinol (vitamin A) in the human body. The objective of the present review was to discuss the different estimates for VEB in various types of dietary food matrices. Different methods are discussed such as mass balance, dose-response and isotopic labelling. The VEB is currently estimated by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) as 12:1 in a mixed diet and 2:1 in oil. For humans consuming β-carotene dissolved in oil, a VEB between 2:1 and 4:1 is feasible. A VEB of approximately 4:1 is applicable for biofortified cassava, yellow maize and Golden Rice, which are specially bred for human consumption in developing countries. We propose a range of 9:1-16:1 for VEB in a mixed diet that encompasses the IOM VEB of 12:1 and is realistic for a Western diet under Western conditions. For a 'prudent' (i.e. non-Western) diet including a variety of commonly consumed vegetables, a VEB could range from 9:1 to 28:1 in a mixed diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center