- Dietary Supplements
- Health Conditions
- Healthy Nutrition
- Cardiovascular Health
- Skin Care
- Natural Remedies
Why Does Your Body Need a Carotene Vitamin?
- Many plant sources contain carotenoids, and when they have been digested into the body, they can be converted into vitamin A.
- Vitamin A in itself is an important nutrient which performs a number of vital functions within the body including fighting free radicals..
Beta carotene is an excellent source of vitamin A. Vitamin A can be sourced from animal products or plant products, but beta carotene is found in plants. Vitamin A itself is formed from molecules called retinoids. Many plant sources contain carotenoids, and when they have been digested into the body, they can be converted into vitamin A. Carotenoids can be found in citrus fruits, pineapples, peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, apricots, papaya, carrots, pumpkins, watermelons, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, and sweet potatoes. Carotenoids give those fruits and vegetables their orange, red, or yellow color. Other good carotenoid sources include peas, spinach, broccoli and kale.
There are advantages to taking a beta carotene supplement over a pure vitamin A supplement. An excess of vitamin A can cause a toxic reaction. But with beta carotene, once the body has absorbed all the vitamin A it requires, the remaining beta carotene can be used for other purposes.
Vitamin A in itself is an important nutrient which performs a number of vital functions within the body. For example, vitamin A supports vision, and if the ingestion of vitamin A is deficient, complications such as night blindness can result. Vitamin A is also important for maintaining healthy skin and retinoids can often be found in skin treatments including acne and anti-aging creams. Vitamin A also plays a vital role in helping to ensure healthy bones and a properly functioning immune system.
Medical studies suggest that beta carotene may also help to prevent certain forms of cancer, in particular cancer of the esophagus, lungs and stomach. There is also research to suggest that it may also reduce the risk of developing mouth cancer, throat cancer, cervical cancer and cancer of the colon as well. Scientists have found that where cancer is concerned, beta-carotene and other carotenoids have significant preventive properties.
The preventive properties of beta carotene can be partly explained by the fact that it is an antioxidant. Antioxidants operate by scavenging free radical particles which can be damaging in the body at the cellular level. Free radicals cause damage to cell proteins and other genetic material. This damage can mean that the cell is left vulnerable to cancer. Research has also shown that free radicals may also be partly responsible for the aging process through the damage they do, and may also contribute to the development of a number of illnesses and conditions. Antioxidant enzymes such as those found in beta carotene help to neutralize free radicals, which will help to limit or stop the damage caused by them.
In addition to acting as an antioxidant, Beta-carotene has also been found to assist by regulating proteins that facilitate cell to cell communication. Cellular communication has been found to be an important factor in the prevention of cancer.
Beta carotene is therefore an excellent nutrient found in natural sources that is critical to your body in many ways and will provide some important nutritional functions. It is an excellent source of vitamin A and has a number of proven health benefits.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Mineral Nutrients26 Jan 2009|