Beta carotene is converted by the human body to vitamin A (retinol) – beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for healthy skin and mucus membranes, a strong immune system, a normal eye, and eyesight health.
Beta carotene is not a necessary nutrient in and of itself, but vitamin A is. The chemical formula for beta carotene – C40H56 – was found in 1907.
Vitamin A can be obtained through diet, such as beta carotene, or through supplementation. The benefit of eating beta carotene is that the body transforms only what is required.
Vitamin A in excess is harmful. Vitamin A poisoning can develop if you take an excessive amount of supplements.
Beta carotene’s uses and benefits
Beta carotene can help human health in a variety of ways. We provide several instances below:
Beta carotene is a carotenoid that acts as an antioxidant.
As with all carotenoids, beta carotene is an antioxidant. An antioxidant is a chemical that prevents other molecules from oxidizing; it protects the body from free radicals.
Through oxidation, free radicals cause cell damage. Eventually, the damage induced by free radicals might result in the development of a variety of chronic disorders.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that consuming antioxidants boosts the immune system, protects against free radicals and reduces the chance of getting cancer and heart disease.
According to several research, persons who take at least four servings of beta carotene-rich fruits and/or vegetables daily may have a reduced chance of acquiring cancer or heart disease.
Beta carotene may be beneficial in reversing cognitive deterioration.
Men who have taken beta carotene pills for 15 years or more are significantly less likely than other males to have cognitive deterioration, Harvard Medical School researchers observed in Archives of Internal Medicine (November 2007 issue).
The researchers highlighted that oxidative stress is regarded to be a significant component in cognitive deterioration. Antioxidant supplements have been demonstrated to aid prevent cognitive decline.
Their study, which included 4,052 males, compared those who took beta carotene pills to those who received a placebo for an average of 18 years. They observed no difference in the risk of cognitive deterioration between the two groups of men in the short term, but beta carotene supplementation made a substantial effect in the long run.
The researchers stressed that additional factors could have led to the beta carotene group’s males seeing a slower drop in cognitive ability.
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Beta carotene helps maintain the health of the lungs as people age.
The British Medical Journal released research in March 2006 demonstrating that elevated blood beta carotene levels compensate for some of the lung damage induced by oxygen free radicals.
They determined the FEV1 and beta carotene blood levels of 535 individuals. FEV1 is a measure of how much air you can exhale in a single breath. They discovered that individuals with high beta carotene levels had a significantly slower drop in FEV1 measurements.
Which foods contain a significant amount of beta carotene?
A diverse and healthy diet can meet an individual’s beta carotene requirements.
Beta carotene-rich foods include the following:
- Avocados Apricots Asparagus
- Carrots Broccoli
- Cabbage chinoise
- Leaves of dandelion
- Chilli powder, oregano, paprika, and parsley
- Numerous margarine
- Peppers Peas
- Squash Pumpkin Spinach
You do not require supplements if you consume a nutritious diet high in beta carotene. As previously stated, supplements can result in harmful beta carotene excesses; however, this cannot occur if your source is food.