Benefits of Beta Carotene

Heart disease, respiratory system problems, eye problems, cancer, the immune system, ultraviolet radiation from the sun, chemotherapy, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, treatment for dry skin, eczema and psoriasis, oxidative damage from strenuous exercise, pollution related health problems – if you suffer from any of these, then you should focus on the benefits of Beta Carotene. In fact, beta carotene is increasingly being touted as a nutrient that can protect against cancer and heart disease. These benefits are attributed to its ability to boost the immune system and act an a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals, which are highly reactive chemical substances that can damage cellular material, leading to premature disease and aging.
Beta carotene, a fat-soluble plant compound, is a nutrient that is converted by the body into vitamin A when needed. Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoid family. Carotenoids are the pigments that provide the red, yellow, orange, and green colors of fruits and vegetables, and more than 500 different types have been identified. The primary dietary carotenoids include beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin.
Carotenes have an antioxidant effect. They are able to form with cancer-causing chemicals in the body, neutraliaing them and destroying their ability to damage cells. Carotenes have several advantages over other free-radical fighters. They are unaffected by their reactions with cancer-causing substances therefore they can travel through the bodly killing many free radicals. They also work in areas of low oxygen, such as capillaries, which other free radical scavengers are unable to do.

Even doctors are taking beta-carotene and discovering its benefits. A study showed that doctors taking 50 mg of beta-carotene daily had half the strokes and heart attacks of doctors who took no supplements. It seems that carotenes prevent build-up in the arteries.

Even doctors are taking beta-carotene and discovering its benefits. A study showed that doctors taking 50 mg of beta-carotene daily had half the strokes and heart attacks of doctors who took no supplements. It seems that carotenes prevent build-up in the arteries.
Carotenes not only prevent cancer, but they also protect many areas of the body from damage and disease. Carotenes are necessary to keep the skin and mucous membranes healthy. Beta-carotene has shown to increase the number of helper T-cells, strengthen the immune system. Studies show that carotenes may prevent cataracts from developing and may ease the pain of ulcers. Carotenes maybe helpful in recovering from a sprain or torn ligament.
Many people became unnecessarily worried about taking beta-carotene when a study done in Finlandreported that beta-carotene supplementation could actually increase the risk of cancer. As further investigation ensued, several serious flaws were found in the study, while the long-standing knowledge of at least 50 other reputable studies show that beta-carotene does fight against cancer.
Vitamin A is very toxic when taken in excess, but beta-carotene is absolutely non-toxic. Beta-carotene is a pre-cursor to Vitamin A. This means that the body can make beta-carotene into Vitamin A when it needs it, but if it doesn’t need it, it won’t be channeled. When taking beta-carotene there is an increased need for Vitamin E. It is recommended to take one tablet daily with a meal. A word about Alpha-carotene.
Alpha-carotene is part of the carotenoid family, and is one of the most abundant carotenoids in a healthy diet. Your body can convert alpha and beta-carotene intovitamin A for the maintenance of healthy skin and bones, good vision, and a robust immune system.
Because the body converts alpha-carotene to vitamin A, alpha-carotene is called a precursor to vitamin A, or a provitamin A compound. As a precursor to vitamin A, alpha-carotene is only about half as effective as beta-carotene, another well-known carotenoid.
However, alpha-carotene may be even more effective than beta-carotene in its role as an antioxidant.

Best Food Sources of Beta Carotene 

  •  dark green leafy vegetables
  •  pumpkin
  •  fresh-squeezed carrot juice
  •  cooked carrots (more than raw)
  •  sweet potatoes
  •  cantaloupe
  •  squash
  •  cabbage
  •  lettuce.
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