Studies on hypercarotenemia due to excessive ingestion of carrot, pumpkin and papaw

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Feb;62(1):20-5. doi: 10.3109/09637486.2010.511164. Epub 2010 Sep 27.


Hypercarotenemia is diagnosed by yellowing of skin. The present study was carried out to study the carotenoids, their metabolites and the vitamin A levels in hypercarotenemics on reporting, changes in serum carotenoids following cessation of feeding carotenoid-bearing foods, and to determine the carotenoids in stools of hypercarotenemics and non-hypercarotenemics. Hypercarotenemic subjects (n = 35) were tested on reporting for a 2-month to 3-month period. Feces from hypercarotenemics (n = 5) and non-hypercarotenemics (n = 8) were extracted and subjected to reverse phase-high-performance liquid chromatography. A questionnaire was administered to parents (n = 35) of these hypercarotenemic children. The serum α- and β carotenoids varied from 119 g/dl to trace and from 149 g/dl to trace respectively, with the monohydroxy metabolites varying from 214 g/dl to nondetectable and polyhydroxy metabolites from 823 g/dl to 7.0 g/dl. Longitudinal studies indicated that serum carotenoid levels declined while vitamin A levels were maintained. α-Carotenes and β-carotenes were not detected in the feces of hypercarotenemics but were present in non-hypercarotenemics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asimina*
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Carotenoids / blood*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cucurbita*
  • Daucus carota*
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hypervitaminosis A / blood*
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Parents
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin A / blood*


  • Vitamin A
  • Carotenoids