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Is carotene vitamin A? What's the difference?

what is caroteneCarotene is the source of vitamin A, mainly in α, β, γ three basic forms, corresponding to a different structure [1].The most important of these...

Aug 15,2023 | Icey

carrot

what is carotene

Carotene is the source of vitamin A, mainly in α, β, γ three basic forms, corresponding to a different structure [1].

The most important of these is beta-carotene, dha algal oil in milk a fat-soluble compound. It is the most widely distributed natural pigment in nature. Plants produce carotene, but animals do not.

Carotene is a carotenoid, and carotenoids are natural pigments. beta carotene coloring There are more than 700 kinds of natural carotenoids, which can be divided into carotenoids (containing only hydrocarbons and no oxygen, such as B2 carotenoids and lycopene) and lutein (hydroxyl, ketone, carboxyl, methoxyl and other oxygen-containing functional groups, such as lutein and astaxanthin) according to their chemical structure.

What is vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble organic compound, stable to heat, acids and bases, Cabio Biotech and easily oxidized. Ultraviolet light can promote oxidative damage. Vitamin A includes A1 and A2. Vitamin A1 is retinol and vitamin A2 is 3-dehydroretinol, which is 40% of the physiological activity of vitamin A1. What we usually say about vitamin A supplementation generally refers to vitamin A supplementation 1[2].

Vitamin A1 plays a very important role in biological mechanisms [3]:

Skin and mucosa health: Vitamin A is an important coenzyme that regulates glycoprotein synthesis and plays a stable role in the development of epithelial tumor cell membranes. Vitamin A deficiency affects epithelial tissue through drying, the gradual transformation of normal columnar epithelial cells into angular coated squamous cells, resulting in keratosis of these cells;

Maintenance and promotion of immune function: Vitamin A regulates the nucleoretinol receptor. Retinoic acid provides cellular immunity by regulating the target genes of nuclear receptors, promoting the production of antibodies by immune cells, and promoting the production of some lymphocyte cytokines by T cells. Vitamin A deficiency, retinoic acid receptor expression does not affect immune function;

To promote growth and maintain reproductive function: reproductive tissue and mammalian embryogenesis depend on gene regulation of retinoic acid receptors. When vitamin A deficiency, long bone formation and tooth development are impaired, male testicles atrophy, sperm count decrease, and motility decrease;

In addition to the above functions, vitamin A plays a more important role in the body's hematopoietic function and bone metabolism. however

The most important effect of vitamin A is its effect on visual function.

Especially dark vision. There are rods and cones in the retina through two kinds of optic cells. In human, the number of rod cells is more, and the number of cone cells is less. Both of these cellular functions can fully sense light stimulation and convert light energy into electrical energy to release neurostimulatory economic signals [4]. The difference in development is a simple question:

Rod cells: There are about 120 million rod cells in the human body. Cells that sense weak light are very sensitive to light intensity, but not to different colors

Cone cells: there are about 6 million to 8 million rod cells in the human body, which are not as responsive to light intensity as rod cells, and have high resolution to strong light and color;

The photosensitive material of rod cells is rhodopsin, and the photosensitive material of cone cells is rhodopsin. Rhodopsin/rhodopsin are both composed of rhodopsin and retinol, and light, the oxidized form of vitamin A, can cause structural changes in retinol (11- converting retinol to all-reverse retinol), resulting in the breakdown of both rhodopsin and retinol leading to vision [5].

Both vitamins A1 and A2 can be involved in the formation of rhodopsin and rhodopsin. Compared with rhodopsin, vitamin A1 involved in rhodopsin synthesis can cause human visual spectrum redshift, absorption spectrum bandwidth is wider, color sensitivity is reduced, and thermal noise is increased. Organisms adjust the ratio of A1 to FA2 as their environment changes or needs to survive. [6]

Carotene still needs vitamin A

Based on this, we know that plants can produce carotene (beta-carotene), and how people use vitamin A to produce vision.

So what's the relationship between the two?

The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. In the case of beta-carotene, an enzyme called oxidase breaks down to produce two retinols, which in turn form retinol or vitamin A under the action of dehydrogenase.

Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A mainly in the small intestine, where cells contain beta-carotene dioxygenase.

The conversion efficiency of β-carotene in different food species is different. Generally, we can consider that a vegetable or some fruit rich in beta-carotene has a conversion technical efficiency of 10~ 20:1 (weight ratio), and the food that is currently considered to have the highest conversion efficiency of the enterprise is spirulina and golden rice (a kind of genetically modified rice).

It is not difficult to see that the absorption process of vitamin A in the human body is simple and direct. According to current experiments, the absorption rate is 7 to 30 times higher than that of carotene. However, too much vitamin A can cause poisoning, allergic reactions, etc. If you want to boost your vitamin A levels in the short term, you can take vitamin A directly. Β beta-carotene is transformed according to the body's own needs. Therefore, from a dietary supplement point of view, taking beta-carotene is better than taking vitamin A.


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