Big unknown about beta carotene
Beta & Alpha carotenoids produce essential pro-Vitamin A in the body. So what are they and what benefits do they give us? How can we make sure we have enough carotene in our diet!
So what is Beta-Carotene? Why should we worry about them?
Beta-carotene is a natural pigment typically red in food, yellow or orange in food. It is sometimes called the vitamin A messenger, which means that the body converts it into vitamin A.
Beta-carotene is the most important of the carotenoids, as about 500 types of carotene are known to date.
Recent studies have focused on their effects on health. It is recommended that eating an average of 87 grams of fruits and vegetables a day is enough to get the effect of carotene. Unfortunately, for many people this is not enough, so they need to take extra doses.
Nowadays, it is believed that additional doses and artificial vitamins can become toxic in overdose. Natural Beta-carotene is non-toxic because the body synthesizes it in the amount it needs.
We all know what vitamin A provides to our health in general. However, synthetic vittamine A can be toxic in overdose.
Compared to Vitamin A, carotenes are pro-Vitamin A and are synthesized in the body to meet its vitamin needs. Carrots are a very well-known source of beta-carotene.
But carotenes have a broader effect than protecting our eyes. They are important elements in the overall diet, helping to strengthen bones and teeth, maintain good skin and hair and generally protect our resistance to infections.
Our parents and teachers know by telling us why we should use vegetables. Because green vegetable leaves, carrots, cabbage (broccoli), spinach, mango fruit and papaya contain natural carotenes.
One thing that adults have not told us is the influence of free radicals.
To understand the importance of beta-carotene, it is useful to know a little about free radicals.
A free radical is a molecule that contains an oxygen atom that lacks an electron. When looking to replace a missing electron, it usually borrows it from another molecule. There are millions of free radicals in our body that attack healthy cells all the time. This causes an oxidation or "rotting" process, which generally damages our health, reduces the immune system's defenses.
Indeed, there are many diseases that result from the action of free radicals, such as cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, vision problems, kidney and skin diseases and nervous system disorders, and many more.
How to fight free radicals? By protecting itself, the body produces its own antioxidants. These are chemical elements that combine with odd electrons to leave free radicals harmless, which are unable to cause further damage.
The more antioxidants, the more effectively we can stop free radical damage, improve the immune system, accelerate healing and slow down the aging process.
However, natural antioxidants are usually in our body in insufficient amounts to fight the amount of free radicals that are produced in the body. Therefore, we need to absorb a lot of antioxidants when consuming food.
Previous studies have suggested that Beta-Carotene and Vitamin C and E are effective in relieving oxidative stress in certain cases, but research is ongoing to find stronger antioxidants.
The first trials in 1990 showed that Beta-carotene reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. In a study involving more than 25,000 men and women over the age of 14 years. It was concluded that the risk of heart attacks increased with decreasing beta-carotene levels.
Medical journals have published in recent years that Beta-carotene also protects immune system cells from free radical damage. A daily dose of beta-carotene over a period of nine months has been found to improve the number of cells in the immune system, which is an indicator of immune system function.
Mixed carotenoids also play a key role in reducing the risk of heart attacks. Total blood carotenoid levels were measured in 1,899 men and their heart condition was monitored for 13 years. Men with higher levels of carotenoids in the blood had 36% fewer heart attacks and deaths than those with lower levels of carotenoids.
For cancer, the studies were carried out in 332 lung cancer patients who were given some carotenoids and compared with 865 non-cancer patients. After smoking and other risk factors, the researchers reported that those with the highest carotene dose (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lutein) had the lowest risk of developing lung cancer.
Meanwhile, the scientific community continues to undertake research into the value of carotenoids, with many experts believing that a regular daily dose of carotenoids can be taken with food.
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