Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, a pigment of plants that are known to have antioxidant and other effects. This substance is rapidly converted to vitamin A by the body. Beta-carotene is often considered a form of vitamin A itself, but actually is not. Having normal levels of vitamin A is the key to good vision, a strong immune system and healthy in general.

Beta-carotene is popular because of its antioxidant properties, thus protecting cells from damage. Numerous studies show that people who eat lots of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin beta-carotene and other minerals lowers risk of developing several types of cancer and heart disease. But so far studies have not found whether in the form of beta-carotene supplements have the same health benefits.

Beta-carotene supplements may help people with certain health problems. Supplements can be used for someone who is deficient in vitamin A. There is some evidence that shows that beta-carotene supplements may slow osteoarthritis. Consuming beta-carotene along with zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E also may help reduce damage to the retina caused by age, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

Beta-carotene supplements have been studied as possible treatments for many other diseases. For example; cataracts, Alzheimer's disease, and cystic fibrosis. The result is quite convince.

Benefits Beta carotene for health

Heart disease.
People Whose diets are rich in beta-carotene have lower risk of heart disease. Beta carotene works with vitamin E to reduce the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol, roomates lowers the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.

Respiratory system problems.
High intakes of beta-carotene and vitamin C were found can increase of lung capacity and relieve respiratory problems, and protecting you from breathing disorders such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.

Studies show that people who eat a diet rich in carotenoids, had a much lower risk of breast, colon cancer and lung cancer. One way that carotenoids fight cancer is through their antioxidant capacity. Another way is that they help to keep your cells in proper communication, an effective preventive measure against the growth of cancer cells.

Immune system.
Beta carotene helps activate your thymus gland, one of your most important sources of immune protection. The thymus gland stimulates your immune system to fight off infections and viruses, and destroy cancerous cells before they can spread.

Combining beta-carotene with vitamin C and vitamin E protect against ultraviolet offers significant radiation from the sun, as well as from chemotherapy. It's interesting to note that vitamin C and vitamin E do not offer this protection on their own. This reinforces the fact that antioxidants work as a team more Effectively.

Studies have shown that people with low levels in their bodies are much more Likely to Suffer from impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes.

Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Studies have shown that low levels of beta carotene and vitamin C have been found to be a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis.

Another benefits of beta carotene include:
Effective as a treatment for dry skin, eczema and psoriasis. Prevents oxidative damage from Strenuous Exercise. Plays a significant role in prevention vision problems

Recommended doses of Beta Carotene

There are no special restrictions on the intake of beta-carotene. Research generally using doses ranging between 15 and 180 milligrams per day. High doses or prolonged use can be harmful. Many experts recommend a combination of carotenoids or additional organic pigments (lutein, carotene, zeaxanthine, lycopene, etc.), not just beta-carotene. Appropriate doses for temporary or long-term use is still unclear.

Beta Carotene Rich Foods

Here are some fruits and vegetables that contain beta-carotene:

1. Sweet potato
In addition to easily obtainable and it tastes delicious, sweet potatoes also contain a lot of beta carotene.

2. Carrots
Carrots are vegetables rich in beta carotene. Carrots are known for its ability to reduce the risk of heart attacks, improve vision, and regulate blood sugar.

3. Spinach
Dark green vegetables also contain beta carotene. It's Phytonutrients, including beta carotene, have anti-cancer properties. Spinach can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, or made vegetable.

4. Cantaloupe
Is a kind of sweet cantaloupe melon with pale orange flesh. This fruit is a good source of vitamin A with beta carotene content of the concentrate.

5. Winter Squash
Winter squash, including butternut squash, Hubbard squash, acorn squash (pumpkin seeds), pumpkin (pumpkin), and turban squash is a rich source of beta carotene.

6. Broccoli
Dark green vegetables are rich in healthy nutrients, including beta carotene. Broccoli can be eaten raw or processed into various dishes.

Below is list of Beta Carotene Rich Foods

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Beta Carotene Side Effect

One study found that beta carotene may actually increase the risk of lung cancer, especially in smokers or people who have been exposed to asbestos. Therefore, it is recommended for smokers not to take beta-carotene supplements and limit the amount of foods that contain beta carotene. To get vitamin A intake, try to find from other sources.

Although in general beta-carotene is a compound useful, but must be aware of the dangers of consuming too much. Besides increasing the risk of cancer in smokers, beta carotene that is too much can cause carotenemia or carotenodermia. This condition is usually harmless, but can be a precursor of a more dangerous condition. Carotenemia or carotenodermia causes the skin to turn yellow.

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