Inducing Carotenesis: Day 15

We’re back from Toorcamp. We may have tanned a bit over the last week (yeah right), between blazing hot Utah and then hanging outside for four days. But don’t let that confuse you. We’re looking for yellowy features, not sunburn red.

Speaking of, I’d mentioned in the first post that β-carotene may help prevent sunburn. I thought I might go into more detail about that. According to this meta-analysis, as of 2007, β-carotene does, in fact, protect against sunburn.

“Systemic photoprotection by  β-carotene supplementation could contribute significantly to skin health and add to photoprotection by sunscreens, because it could provide a lifelong, overall, basic protection against the development of sunburn reaction.”

Although the protection is not substantial compared to sunscreen, the results are still statistically significant, offering an SPF rating of appx 4. As for personal anecdote, I didn’t burn in Utah (I used SPF 40 sunscreen) and burned a little at Toorcamp (no sunscreen). I’ve only been using β-carotene a couple weeks though and it generally takes more than that to show the effects.

The moral of the story: don’t use β-carotene as your primary source of sun protection, but it offers an assist.

Now, for our results.

Diet: All over the place as we’ve been traveling. Table coming soon. We’ve made up for our day without last week. This morning we had all of our carrots for the day via juicing. Nothing added, just 100% carrot juice. Definitely the easiest was to eat all my carrots. And when you juice, it becomes so obvious just how sweet carrots are.

Physiological Observations: We feel normal but also are not seeing any color changes aside from tanning.


Anita and Drew, respectively. We’ve changed the location to a nearby building with consistent, bright light and darker colors to help show our skin to better effect. No yellow yet.


Featured photo sourced here.




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