Sweet potato A vitamin data


This is obviously wrong, no?


I’ve heard sweet potatos have a large amount of Vit. A. I have no idea if its correct or not.


It looks like it’s too high, but not by much - about 20% higher than it should be.


Yes, those puppies are very nutritious and super-high in beta carotene. That’s what makes the orange ones orange.

(And if you eat a lot of them, you actually will pick up a bit of color in your skin from the stored beta carotene, same as from carrots.)


I don’t have any links to back this up, but I remember reading once that beta carotene won’t directly cause vitamin A overdose. I think your body turns it into Vit. A, so if it doesn’t need it, it won’t use it… At least thats how I understood it…


That’s right; Vitamin A is also called retinol. One beta carotene is chemically chopped into two retinol by our bodies, as needed. This happens in our portable chemical factory, the liver.

Beta carotene is only one of several carotenoids from plants that our body can use to make vitamin A, but it’s the most well-known. Plants have very little actual retinol (vitamin a), but they have a variety of carotenoids from which we get our vitamin A. That’s why these carotenoids are all called Provitamin A.

It’s good thing plants don’t have much retinol, because we don’t deal well with it (in the diet). If you get excessive retinol, you may have a variety of toxicity symptoms. The body doesn’t deal with it well. But if you get a massive dose of beta carotene, you have no problems, and the body stores the beta carotene and converts it to retinol later, as needed.

Fortunately, there aren’t many foods that can lead to retinol toxicity - but you can get sick on vitamin A overdose from eating dog liver, bear liver, moose liver, walrus liver… don’t do that! You can also run into problems by consuming too much cod liver oil, but it’s not as concentrated as those mammal livers.

Beta carotene is orange (it’s named that way because it’s what makes carrots orange), and a lot gets stored (safely) under our skin when we consume an excess, so it really can turn us orange! Some early “tanning pills” were actually nothing but super-high doses of beta carotene. That’s why some people with artificial tans have such orangey skin… but I suppose it’s possible they just have a diet super-high in carrots or supplements, or that they have some sort of problem processing the beta carotene into vitamin A, or something like that. John Boehner always comes to mind.