Serum β-carotene and α-carotene have been found to be associated in protection from diabetes mellitus (DM) and diabetes retinopathy (DR) respectively, according to a new cross-sectional study published in Current Molecular Medicine. The cross-sectional study conducted on 747 subjects in a Chinese urban population (Beijing, China) investigated the relationship between serum carotenoid concentrations and the risk for diabetes mellitus and diabetes retinopathy. It’s a joint research between the popular Beijing Tongren Hospital and Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou.

In this study, 272 diabetic retinopathy patients, 190 diabetic patients without retinopathy and 285 non-diabetes mellitus healthy control were assessed for their history of diabetes, lifestyle information as well as health status information. They also underwent ocular and anthropometric examinations and laboratory test. Fasting blood samples were collected from all participants to check for the carotenoid levels using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

The levels of β-carotene were statistically significantly lower in patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. Meanwhile, lower concentrations of α-carotene were displayed in diabetic retinopathy non-smoker group, which is also backed up with statistical significance. The level of β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene were also lower in diabetes mellitus and diabetes retinopathy group respectively, however both are not statistically significant. This study demonstrates the protective effect of β-carotene on diabetes mellitus and α-carotenes on diabetes retinopathy which is inferred to arise from its antioxidant properties.

“Micronutrients deficiency and malnutrition have become significant issues recently. These are mainly due to life style changes, lack of exercise, and imbalance diet / fruits and vegetables – which could contribute to the increased incidence of diabetes worldwide. Hence, supplementation of natural carotenes play an important role to provide sufficient carotene intake which would help to promote healthy metabolite function. EVTene™ is a natural non-GMO mixed-carotene complex consists of significant amount of α-carotene and β-carotene. It’s the perfect and most natural carotene for your formula!” says Ms. Diyanah Roslan, Nutritionist at ExcelVite.

“One in every 11 adults is now suffering from diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation. That figure is 10 million more than the number in 2015. An urgent action has to be taken to control this alarming increase of diabetic patients. Back in 2016, a cohort study was published in British Medical Journal’s Open Diabetes Research and Care that demonstrated a long term high consumption of carotenoids, especially pro-vitamin A carotenoids, could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in middle aged and older Japanese patients. We welcome this research which further supports the protective effect of α-carotene and β-carotene on diabetes mellitus and diabetes retinopathy respectively.”


She, C., Shang, F., Zhou, K., & Liu, N. (2017). Serum carotenoids and risks of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in a Chinese population sample. Current Molecular Medicine.



Disclaimer: The statements in the above article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.