Toxicity of Carrot Juice

Drinking carrot juice may improve your vision, fight certain cancers and provide your body with essential nutrients including vitamins A and C. However, drinking too much carrot juice may turn your skin orange, raise your blood sugar and interfere with certain medications.

Carrot juice is healthy if you drink it in moderation.
Credit: Zerbor/iStock/Getty Images

Vitamin A

Carrot juice is loaded with vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Although not toxic, excessive amounts of beta carotene can cause your skin to turn a yellow-orange color. This won't make you sick, but people may look at you strangely. If this happens, reduce the amount or stop drinking carrot juice, and the color will eventually disappear.

Carbohydrate Content

If you have diabetes, a handful of raw carrots won't affect your blood sugar much, but a cup of carrot juice may. One cup of carrot juice contains over 21 grams of carbohydrate, more than one serving of carbs. Drinking too much carrot juice along with other carbohydrates in your meals may result in high blood sugar levels. If you love carrot juice, talk to your dietitian or health care provider for advice on how to include it in your meal plan.

Bacterial Toxins

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, carrot juice may contain toxins such as the botulinum bacteria, which causes food poisoning. The low acid content requires that carrot juice be pasteurized and kept refrigerated to prevent the growth of this harmful bacteria. If you juice your own carrots, wash them thoroughly or peel them, store your juice in the fridge and drink it within a day or two to prevent illness.

Potassium and Vitamin K

Carrot juice contains large amounts of potassium and vitamin K. Consuming excessive amounts of these nutrients isn't usually a problem unless you have kidney disease or take certain medications. If your kidneys don't function well, you may build up too much potassium in your blood, a condition know as hyperkalemia. When this happens you may feel nauseous and have irregular heartbeats. Potassium also interferes with ACE inhibitors, medications used for cardiovascular disease. Vitamin K helps clot your blood, and excessive amounts of carrot juice may interfere with anticoagulant medications. Talk to your health care provider if you have concerns.

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