The beta-carotene oxygenase 1 enzyme (encoded by the BCO1 gene) controls the first step involved in converting beta-carotene to active vitamin A. Beta-carotene is the most important carotenoid (plant-sourced vitamin A).
Studies show that genetic variants in the BCO1 gene can influence the conversion of dietary beta-carotene by decreasing the activity of the enzyme, thereby increasing the risk of vitamin A deficiency. The four common BCO1 variants in our DNA Nutrition Test are:
- rs12934922 T
- rs6564851 G
- rs7501331 T
If you have one or more of these BCO1 variants, it is more beneficial to eat foods that are high in active (preformed) vitamin A, such as beef, liver or eggs.