Retinyl palmitate is a version of Vitamin A that is typically sourced from animals, though it can be prepared in a lab. Beta carotene, on the other hand, is found in plants and can also be synthetically produced. While Retinyl palmitate and beta carotene are both fat-soluble, Vitamin A in the form of Retinyl palmitate can lead to toxicity if amounts in excess of the Upper Limits (UL) are consistently taken. Beta carotene, on the other hand, is an antioxidant that gets converted to Vitamin A by the liver only if the body needs it. Because beta carotene is only converted to Vitamin A as needed, there isn’t the same concern regarding toxicity. So, in addition to being sourced from plants instead of animals, beta carotene has the added benefit of being used only as needed, though both forms are often used in supplemental vitamin A.