What is Beta-Carotene?
Beta-carotene is one of a group of natural chemicals known as carotenes or carotenoids. Carotenes are responsible for the orange color of many fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.
Beta carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A. It is an antioxidant, like vitamins E and C.
Good sources of beta-carotene include dark green and orange-yellow vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, apricots, and green peppers.
Beta-carotene is not an essential nutrient, although vitamin A is.
Why Do People Use Beta-Carotene?
Prevention against cancer and heart disease
To slow the progression of cataracts
To prevent macular degeneration
To boost immunity
To protect the skin against sunburn
High blood pressure
Beta carotene is relatively safe. There is some concern that high doses of beta-carotene can cause a slight increase in the risk of heart disease and cancer, especially in people who smoke cigarettes and who consume excessive alcohol.
Other side effects include diarrhea and a yellowish tinge to the skin, both of which subside then the intake of beta-carotene is lowered.
Beta carotene, also known as pro-vitamin A, is a reddish-orange pigment found in fruits, vegetables, and other plants.
Beta carotene has two roles in the body. It can be converted into vitamin A (retinol) if the body needs more vitamin A. If the body has enough vitamin A, instead of being converted, beta carotene acts as an antioxidant which protects cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals.
Very large amounts of beta carotene from foods or from supplements can cause temporary yellowing of the skin.
Two large studies found that men who smoked and drank alcohol experienced slightly increased rates of lung cancer when they took large amounts of beta carotene supplements. Therefore, people who smoke and drink alcohol are advised to check with their doctors before using beta carotene supplements.
Olympian Labs Beta Carotene 25 000 IU
Country Life's Biochem Natural Beta Carotene