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Do you have yellow palms?

You may have excessive BETA CAROTENE intake

What is Beta Carotene?

Beta carotene is a natural antioxidant which helps to protect the body from disease. Beta carotene is part of a larger family of nutrients called carotenoids, which are plant pigments with vitamin-like properties. 

Beta carotene is found in carrots, broccoli, and many orange or red fruits and vegetables. 

What are the benefits of beta carotene?

Like other antioxidants, beta carotene protects the body against free radicals. Beta carotene can also help to strengthen the immune system, increase lung capacity, reduce the skinís risk to sun and DNA damage as well as reduce cholesterol levels. Adequate amounts of beta carotene are essential for a healthy body and its benefits can increase when taken with other antioxidants like vitamins C and E.

Am I getting enough beta carotene?

Getting enough beta carotene means eating a well-rounded diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. The National Institute of Health recommends 9 milligrams of beta carotene daily for adult men and 7 milligrams for adult women. Foods with high levels of beta carotene include: pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, cooked greens, apricots, sweet peppers, kale, turnip greens, broccoli, mango and squash varieties. Not enough beta carotene can lead to an increased risk for joint problems.

Can I consume too much beta carotene?

Most sources say 15-20 milligrams is the most beta carotene an adult should consume in one day. Although beta carotene is not toxic for the average person who doesn't smoke or drink heavily, excess can cause some unpleasant side effects. High doses of beta carotene over periods of time may cause nausea, loose stools, bruising, joint pain, and a yellow/ orange coloring on hands and feet.

With regards to carrots, yes you can eat so many of them that your skin will turn yellow. One carrot (7 1/2" long) has 2025 RE of vitamin A, which is 203% of your Daily Value. One pound of carrots has 1276% of your RDA for vitamin A. So if you eat more than 3 carrots in a day (> 34,000 IU), you have probably saturated your body's ability to store vitamin A over a short time and so it is showing up as an orange tint on your skin. I would suggest you decrease your carrot consumption and increase other low vitamin A vegetables.

Broccoli (1 spear has 232 RE of vitamin A) and other foods high in vitamin A or carotene will do the same, but you would have to eat almost 9 broccoli spears to equal the vitamin A in one carrot. Eat any raw vegetable that you like and try a greater variety. 

Beware of carotene added to foods and drinks as a colouring. It is almost always synthetic and made from chemical precursors. 

Find out more about beta carotene

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