Views:3 Author:golden horizon biologics Publish Time: 2016-02-09 Origin:Site
Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoid family, which are highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow), fat-soluble compounds naturally present in many fruits, grains, oils, and vegetables. Among the carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A in the human body, so-called ‘provitamin A carotenoids’, beta-carotene is the most abundant and most efficient one found in foods.
A sufficient intake of beta-carotene is important as it functions as a safe source of vitamin A, helping the body to reach the vitamin A levels that are essential for normal growth and development, good vision and eye health, a strong immune system, and healthy skin. An antioxidant, contributing to protecting the body against the damaging effects of free radicals, which can potentially increase the risk of developing certain diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Disease Risk Reduction
Studies indicate that increased intake of vegetables and fruits rich in beta-carotene may decrease the risk of lung cancer. It is not clear if these effects can be attributed to beta-carotene alone as the role of other carotenoids or vitamins from vegetables and fruits and associated dietary or life style patterns have not been adequately explored in the studies.
A number of studies have associated high blood levels of dietary beta-carotene and other carotenoids with a lower risk of developing diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (e.g., heart attack and atherosclerosis).
There is evidence that beta-carotene, alone and in combination with other carotenoids or antioxidant vitamins can protect the skin from sun damage. Oral supplementation of beta-carotene has been used successfully as sun protection in combination with sunscreens in the prevention of sunburn.
Age-related Eye Disorders
The results of population studies suggest that diets rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids may help to slow the development of age-related macular degeneration (deterioration of the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for central vision) and cataracts (clouding in the lens of the eye) causing vision loss if left untreated.
In a number of studies, supplementation with beta-carotene and other carotenoids was found to enhance certain immune responses potentially preventing infections.
Age-Related eye disorder
A clinical trial found that people with age-related macular degeneration (deterioration of the part of the retina that is responsible for central vision) could slow its progression by taking supplemental beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper. Further studies are needed to confirm this beneficial effect.
Studies suggest that high doses of beta-carotene may decrease sensitivity to the sun. People with ‘erythropoietic protoporphyria’, a rare genetic condition that causes painful sun sensitivity, are often treated with beta-carotene to reduce sun sensitivity.