WHAT IS CAROTENE TEST?
Carotene is a fat-soluble precursor of vitamin A that exists in green and yellow vegetables. A small portion of carotene is absorbed from the intestines and contributes to the yellow serum colour. The carotenes include 13-Carotene, α-carotene and γ-carotene. 13-Carotene from the diet, when reaching the small intestine, is broken down by fats and bile salts into retinal for use by the body; A portion is also stored in the liver until needed by the body. α-carotene is also obtained from the diet, particularly from vegetables that are yellow, orange, or green in colour. Because low values indicate poor dietary intake or malabsorption, this test is most commonly used as a screening test for malabsorption syndrome. Carotenemia, or elevated carotene levels, is characterised by yellow skin pigmentation with no scleral colour change. The client may also have malaise, itching, or weight loss. The condition is usually benign and treated with changes in diet.