All About Beta Carotene
Did your mother ever tell you to eat your carrots if you wanted to see better at night? If so, your mother knew what she was talking about! Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a substance that is partially responsible for improving night vision among other things.
Is it Vitamin A?
Technically speaking, beta-carotene is not a vitamin. Beta-carotene is part of the chemical family of carotenoids and it converts inside the body into vitamin A.
Beta-carotene is a very safe and naturally occurring source of vitamin A, and you can find the richest sources of beta-carotene in fruits and vegetables. Vegetables that are dark green, orange, red and yellow are rich in beta-carotene, as well as orange and red fruits.
What’s the Risk?
The breakdown of beta-carotene to vitamin A occurs in the liver, and although there is no real risk of overdosing on beta carotene, excess beta-carotene is stored in the fat reserves in your body and may give your skin an orange or yellow tinge.
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant and it has been linked with reducing the risks of cancer, increasing the immune system function, and preventing heart disease.
Early studies show that beta-carotene oxidizes in the lungs with the free radicals from the cigarette smoke, and the antioxidant capacity is actually all used up, causing more harm than good.
In conclusion, beta-carotene acts as an excellent anti-oxidant, however it is most effective in its natural state. There is no major reason to supplement with beta carotene if you eat a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. The best way to include beta-carotene in supplement form is as a multivitamin and we recommend Total Balance.
Follow us in Google+ to receive latest news and updates.
Image Source: sheknows.com