What is Beta-Carotene?
The name beta-carotene is derived from the Latin name for carrot and is a pigment found in plants that gives them their color. It gives yellow and orange fruits and vegetables their rich hues. Also, It is used to color foods such as margarine. It is also a provitamin A carotenoid, one of two sources of vitamin A. Beta-carotene is mainly found in carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and oranges. Apart from food sources, this fat-soluble form of carotenoids is also available as vitamin supplements in the market. Vitamin A is important to your overall health and immunity and in protecting body cells. Also a good source of Vitamin A, it is also help in keeping your skin healthy and other organs.
Health Benefits of Beta-Carotene
Beta-carotene is used as an antioxidant that controls free radicals that cause damage to the cell via oxidation, help reduce risk from cancer and heart disease. It is also fat-soluble nutrient and since it’s a carotenoid, it is acknowledge for benefits offered in cancer treatment and a good pain reducer caused by ulcers. Thus, it helps fight various chronic illnesses.
Beta carotene supplements are rich in vitamins, they are used for treating diseases related to Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency may result to loss of vision, cataract, and night blindness. Therefore, daily intake of beta-carotene supplements would help in the treatment of eye defects. Beta-carotene help in production of T-helper cells that enhance the immune system.
The antioxidant properties of beta-carotene is use in treating various chronic diseases and repairing any tears in ligaments, use in treating metabolic disorders and also osteoarthritis. Beta-carotene is considered a provitamin because it converts to an active form of vitamin A called retinol. Retinol an essential nutrient that can benefit the skin. Human skin is susceptible to injury, disease and sun exposure that can accelerate aging. Vitamin A can help in wound healing and skin cell turnover for healthier, glowing skin by enhancing immunity, strengthening tissue and moderating skin renewal. A well-regulated system of vitamin A storage, release and activation keeps these functions in check.
Vitamin A can be obtained through animal products containing pre-formed Vitamin A – retinol and its retinyl ester form – including meats, fish, liver, eggs and milk. The other is through plant foods rich in provitamin A carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene that are taken in very high doses may cause a risk to health and can also be risky for smokers, pregnant women, or breastfeeding children.