It’s the yellow/orange pigment that gives their rich colours to fruits and vegetables. H. Wachenroder crystallized beta-carotene from carrot roots in 1831, and came up with the name “carotene”.
Beta-carotene’s chemical formula – C40H56 – was discovered in 1907.
We are in need of vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune apparatus, and great eye health and vision.
Beta carotene by itself is not an essential nutrient, but vitamin A is.
Beta carotene from food is a safe source of vitamin A
Vitamin A can be sourced from the food we eat, through beta-carotene, as an example, or in supplement form. The bonus of dietary beta-carotene is the body only converts as much as it needs.
Extra vitamin A is toxic. Vitamin A levels that are hazardous can happen in the event you have way too many nutritional supplements.
Is beta carotene an antioxidant
Free radicals damage cells through oxidation. Eventually, the damage caused by free radicals can cause chronic illnesses that are several.
Several research show that antioxidants through diet help people’s immune systems, shield against free radicals, and lower the chance of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease. A number of research have suggested that those who consume at least four daily servings of beta-carotene rich fruits and vegetables possess a lower risk of developing cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Sources of beta carotene
The following foods are rich in beta-carotene:
– Chinese cabbage
– Dandelion leaves
– Many margarines
– Sweet potatoes
If you follow a nutritious diet rich in beta-carotene supplements are not needed by you. As mentioned above, supplements may lead to undesirable excesses in beta carotene levels – this cannot happen if your source is in the food you eat.
Smokers and beta-carotene lung cancer danger
A French study involving adult females published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (September 2005 issue) found that smokers with high beta carotene levels had a higher risk of lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers than other smokers. In addition they found that non-smokers with high beta-carotene intake had a lower risk of lung cancer.
They found that the risk of lung cancer more than a ten-year span- 181.8 per 10,000 women for non smokers with low beta-carotene consumption
– 81.7 per 10,000 girls for non-smokers with high beta carotene intake
– 174 per 10,000 girls for smokers with low beta carotene intake
– 368.3 per 10,000 girls for smokers with high beta-carotene intake
Additional research has suggested that the high intake among smokers is almost always due to nutritional supplements, and not food consumption.
Beta-carotene may slow down cognitive decline
Oxidative stress is regarded as a key element in cognitive decline, the researchers explained. Studies show that antioxidant supplements might help prevent the deterioration of cognition.
Their study, , compared men involving 4,052 those on beta-carotene supplements for an average of 18 years to others who were given placebo. Over the short-term, they discovered no difference in cognitive decrease threat involving the two groups of men, but in the long-term it had been clear that beta-carotene supplements made a substantial difference.
The researchers emphasized that there might have been other factors which contributed to the slower decrease in cognitive abilities among the men in the beta carotene group.
Beta-carotene drug interactions
Drug interaction describes a substance intervening in how a drug works, increasing its potency by either making it less effective, or altering what it is designed to do.
The following drugs may be influenced by beta-carotene supplements:- Statins – the effectiveness of simvastatin (Zocor) and niacin may be decreased if the patient is taking beta carotene with selenium and vitamins E and C.
– Some cholesterol-lowering drugs – cholestyramine and colestipol can reduce blood degrees of dietary beta carotene by thirty to forty per cent.
It may sabotage the absorption of beta carotene by up to 30%, causing lower blood beta carotene levels. They should be taken by those choosing to take a multivitamin while two hours before having their drugs.
– Mineral oil – used for the treatment of constipation can lower blood levels of beta carotene.
Long-term alcohol consumption can communicate with beta-carotene, raising the likelihood of developing liver problems.
Beta-carotene slows lung power decrease as individuals age down
The British Medical Journal published a report in March 2006 which showed that high blood beta carotene levels compensate for some of the injury to the lungs brought on by oxygen free radicals.
They measured the FEV1 of 535 participants and quantified their beta-carotene blood levels.
FEV1 quantifies how much air you can breathe out in one go.
They found that people that have high beta-carotene levels had considerably slower fall in FEV1 measures.