Eating carrots may be good for seeing in the dark – but they also turn 3-year-old Leo Barnett bright orange!
Leo is thought to be the only person in Britain to suffer from hyper-beta carotenemia, a condition that means his body can’t digest carotene, the substance that gives foods like carrots their colour. When the carotene builds up in Leo’s body his skin becomes orange.
Leo’s mum Angie, 40, has been forced to put him on a strict diet and cut out all foods containing carotene. Angie said she first noticed the problem when Leo was 6 months old. She told the Daily Mail, “He’d had pneumonia and we were very close to losing him.”
Angie added, “His kidneys and liver had been failing so that’s where we thought the orangey-yellow colour had come from. But a month later he was still orange.”
Carotene had built up so much that Leo’s skin remained orange even after doctors’ suggest he stopped eating orange foods.
Angie told the Daily Mail, “We used to call him the Tango kid and Ooompa Loompa because of his colour!”
Eventually, the orange glow faded and mum Angie said she was looking forward to a bright future for Leo. “He is such a happy little chap,” she said.