Beta-carotene is a nutrient containing the carotene, phytonutrient and provitamin A which greatly protects the heart and fights cancer. It is also a powerful antioxidant which neutralizes the free radicals that cause damage to cells and promotes premature aging and diseases. It has the ability of boosting the immune system. Beta-carotene was discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Wackenroder in 1831 and since then been used as a good supplement.
1. How beta-carotene works
It is a fat soluble plant component that is easily converted by the body into vitamin A whenever required. It belongs to the Carotenoid family which is a pigment responsible for colors of vegetables and fruits and numbers more than 500 types. Beta-carotene, lycopene, alpha carotene, lutein are some of the primary dietary beta-carotene.
2. Its source
It is found in vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and orange colored fruits. Spinach is also a great source of beta-carotene containing about 5.9mg per 100g. Carrots give 5.9mg per 100g and potatoes 11.5mg per 100g.
3. Health benefits
Beta-carotene has an overall health benefit, particularly for improving vision and night blindness. It does this by keeping moist the inner lining of the eyes, skin and mucous. It also prevents formation of cataract from its early stage and eases ulcer pains. It has the ability to repair torn ligaments, sprains and promotes healthy reproductive system and in the healthy growth of the body. It also increases the number of helper T-cells and strengthens the immune system greatly.
4. Deficiency symptoms
It can indirectly cause vitamin A deficiency although it does not have any direct symptoms otherwise. Deficiency of Vitamin A results in long term vision problems, dry skin and increased risk of infection. Chronic diseases may be caused due to long term deficiency of beta-carotene.
5. Overdose symptoms
Your skin could turn orange color due to excessive carotenemia, which is harmless. This can be easily reversed with less intake of carotene.
6. Daily dosage
Beta-carotene prevents build up in the arteries and it shows that daily intake of 50mg can prevent strokes or heart attacks.Doctors believe that daily dosage of 50mg and 15 milligrams builds up enough fuel in the body to produce Vitamin A.
7. False misconception
A study conducted in Finland pointed out that beta-carotene supplement could cause cancer which naturally made people apprehensive. However, proper investigation and further study revealed several flaws in the Finland study. Based on the previous 50 reputed study carried out, it was conclusively proved that beta-carotene indeed fights cancer and is beneficial for health.
8. Beta-carotene supplement
Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A and is non-toxic. It means that whenever the body requires, beta-carotene can be changed into Vitamin A. If it is not needed, then it is not channeled. Doctors recommend at least one tablet of beta-carotene after meals and to supplement it along with Vitamin E to prevent drying out of the skin. This will greatly enhance your vision and at the same time, promote a healthy constitution.
About the author: Bethany is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of gadgets. Recently an article on natural remedies attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing articles on Gucci Watches.