Carotenoid Challenge

Working in the field of nutrition research, you are likely to come across some unique ways to measure nutrient intake. A study that I am currently working on is evaluating consumption of fruits & vegetables using a skin scan. How is this possible?! Has your mother ever warned you about turning orange if you eat too many carrots? This is no joke! It’s entirely possible due to a little phytochemical called carotene. As explained in one of my previous posts, “A phytochemical is a natural, biologically active compound found in plants that doesn’t necessarily provide nutritive value, but still plays an important role in our bodies.” 

On a side note, I was watching Dr. Oz talk about Pumpkin yesterday (10/30/17) and he mentioned carotenoids being an ‘important vitamin’ #WRONG Carotenoids are a precursor to Vitamin A, but they themselves are not a vitamin! Two forms of carotene: beta & alpha, can be converted to Vitamin A in your body.

So, over the past month, a co-worker and I have been increasing our carotenoid intake (THINK: carrots, squash, sweet potato, pumpkin, mango, apricot, etc.) to see who can get their skin scan reading the highest! Since this test is meant to be a comparison against one’s self, we decided that whoever had the highest percentage increase would win. Results are as follows:

October 1st

October 31st

% Change
Kristen 77,000 86,000 + 12%
Co-worker 22,000 27,000 + 22%


Although I had a higher score, I lost the competition (but still have bragging rights… 💁‍obviously). This friendly competition really helped me increase my vegetable intake and become more aware of the carotenoid-filled fruits and veggies in my diet! Even though you may not have access to a skin scanner, I encourage you to experiment with adding carotenoid-rich foods to your diet.

Another benefit of consuming carotenoids is that many are pre-cursors of Vitamin A. A precursor means that it can turn into the active form of Vitamin A if our bodies need it. Vitamin A provides our bodies with a plethora of benefits including eye & skin health, and cancer prevention!


Stay Spicy! XoXo


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