Any dietary or drug treatment with high doses of micronutrients may override the body's own control mechanisms; therefore, micronutrient therapies may be associated with potential side effects and toxicities. High-dosed micronutrients should not be used without medical supervision.
Studies suggest that high doses of beta-carotene may decrease sensitivity to the sun: in people with ‘erythropoietic protoporphyria’, a rare genetic photosensitivity disorder leading to abnormal skin reactions to sunlight, beta-carotene in doses of up to 180 mg has been shown to reduce sun sensitivity (38).
Much lower doses of 10-20mg beta-carotene may protect from UV-induced erythema (sunburn) and protect from the skin from photoaging (72, 73).
Several reports suggested that supplementation with beta-carotene influences and strengthens our immune system, i.e. the number of common colds are reduced in smokers. Other reports points to a reduction of the inflammatory burden, such as in diabetic patients (37) or in patients with cystic fibrosis.
Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Dr. Adrian Wyss on 28.09.17 .