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Enrich Your Body With Beta Carotene

Mar 4, 2008
Beta Carotene is a healthful supplement to most diets. Beta Carotene comes from the orange coloring naturally present in foods such as pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes. The scientist who discovered the nutrient of "carotene," did so by crystallizing a mixture created from carrots.

Not only is this a powerful antioxidant, beta carotene is a provitamin A compound. This compound converts to Vitamin A once ingested. Among the many benefits of Vitamin A are healthy skin, hair, vision and an improved immune system. Alpha, beta, and gamma carotene nutrients are all considered "provitamin" because they are converted to Vitamin A in the body.

Vitamin A deficiencies have been linked to a number of health problems. Those include bone development disorders and reproductive disorders. Commercial grade beta carotene typically changes to retinol in the body and this is essential to good vision.

Beta Carotene is in the same carotenoid family as the oft-discussed lycopene, another powerful weapon against many diseases. Beta Carotene holds many benefits in itself. The compound also contains flavonoids. Flavonoids are also antioxidants and are found in most red and orange fruits.

Other items that contain beta carotene include: tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, apricots and mangoes. Food items containing a spectrum of the carotenoid, including beta carotene are: spinach, broccoli, kale, and lettuce.

Foods that contain the healthful flavonoids hold them just around the skin so it isn't recommended that you peel these fruits. If you remove the skin, you will likely strip away these beneficial nutrients.

Beta carotene has been studied for its effectiveness with such diseases and disorders as: anemia, cataracts, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, benign breast disease, immune system enhancement, Graves' Disease, improving lung function, macular degeneration, osteoarthritis, angioplasty, cancer, cardiovascular disease, postoperative injury prevention, stroke, sepsis and many others. All scientific proof has resulted in a diverse report on each theory. Your health care professional will have further information.

Beta carotene supplements come in capsules, chewable tablets or typical tablets. If you want a natural way, this will require five to eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day. This amount seems to be prohibitive to many and supplements may be ideal for such a situation.

As wonderful as Vitamin A is for the healthy body, there are some cautions you should consider before making this a part of your daily regimen. Smokers or those who drink alcohol should not use this supplement. People who are allergic to orange foods should not take beta carotene. As with any change in your diet, discuss the benefits or risks of beta carotene with your physician prior to using the supplement.

There are little in the way of scientific study or research involving children and beta carotene. There is also minimal information in regards to pregnant or nursing women using this supplement. Your healthcare provider should be consulted in either of these situations.

Carefully study product labels. The FDA does not usually regulate the use of herbs or supplements. There is also the fact that many supplements are produced synthetically with the use of palm oil, algae or fungi. Hence, make sure the supplement you purchase is from a reputable name brand company that gets tested regularly for quality assurance.
About the Author
More information on the powerful antioxidant beta carotene is available at VitaNet , LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/
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