Immunomodulation in humans caused by beta-carotene and vitamin A

Rao H. Prabhala, Harinder S. Garewal, Frank L. Meyskens, Ronald R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Carotenoids and retinoids can stimulate some human immune responses. These include cytoine release with anti-tumor cell activity, increased natural killer cells and activated lymphocytes after both in vitro and in vivo treatment with beta carotene. Such stimulations seem only partly due to retinoids formed from carotenoid metabolism and may be due to effects caused by the structure of beta carotene. Changes in immune functions could explain in part the cancer resistance provided by high carotenoid or retinoid intakes in animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1473-1486
Number of pages14
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1990


  • activated lymphocytes
  • beta carotene
  • cancer
  • natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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