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Beta Carotene

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Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoid family and has over 500 relatives.
Carotenoids are yellow-to-red pigments found in all green plant tissues and in
some species of algae. So far 21 different carotenoids have been found in human
blood. The most abundant ones are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein,
lycopene, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. A molecule of alpha-carotene, beta-
carotene, or cryptoxanthin can be split into two molecules of vitamin A in the
body but the conversion of beta-carotene is by far the most effective. The six
carotenoids are all antioxidants. They are very effective in neutralizing a
highly reactive for of oxygen called singlet oxygen but also, to some extent,
act to break up the chain reactions involved in lipid peroxidation. Numerous
studies have shown that people who consume a diet rich in dark yellow orange
vegetables (carrots) and dark green vegetables (broccoli) are much less likely
to develop cancer and heart disease. It has also been established that people
with low levels of beta-carotene in their blood have a higher incidence of heart
disease and cancer, particularly lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute
endorsed a study which found that women who consume lots of beta-carotene rich
fruits and vegetables have a lower chance of getting cancer, including breast
cancer. The Institution says that regularly eating lots of fruits and
vegetables plays a key roll in cancer prevention, but whether the preventative
action comes from beta-carotene or other nutrients in the produce has yet to be
determined. For people who don't like eating their fruits and vegetables, a
beta-carotene supplement pill was introduced into the market. Millions of
vegetable hating Americans hoped that by taking a pill instead of eating
vegetables, they could get the same rewards as their counterparts who enjoy the
taste of fruits and vegetables. But officials at the National Cancer Institute
released the results of two large studies designed to put the benefits of beta-
carotene supplements to the test. One followed 22,071 doctors who for 12 years
smokers had to be stopped prematurely because it seemed to me making the rate ...

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Keywords: beta carotene foods, beta carotene vitamin, beta carotene supplements, beta carotene uses, beta carotene structure, beta carotene color, beta carotene vs vitamin a, beta carotene meaning

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