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Nutritional Information – What is Beta Carotene?

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Beta carotene is a form of vitamin A referred to as carotenoid. Carotenoid is the name given to a group of nutrients found in high concentrations in the pigments of fruits and vegetables. Plants are sources of beta carotene and once you consume it and it reaches your liver, it is transformed to vitamin A.

How can Beta Carotene benefit you?

There are always ongoing researches on vitamin benefits. It has been recently discovered that beta carotene can aid in preventing and treating cancer and heart disease. These benefits are attributed to its ability to boost the immune system and act as a powerful antioxidant.

A survey of a study conducted at Harvard University showed that taking 50 mg of beta carotene per day slashed the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 50%.

This nutrient is also believed to improve vision and combat skin disorders, such as psoriasis and eczema. Additional benefits include protection of the throat, mouth, and lungs from pre-cancerous cell propagation.

Precautions

Study in Finland, which is now famous, but was criticized for potential flaws, came to a conclusion about the counter action between smoking and beta carotene. It was found that male smokers who also took beta carotene had an increased incidence of lung cancer. Smokers must avoid taking beta carotene, unless until further studies are carried out and result come up.

Other than this, there is nothing to worry about beta carotene; it seems to be a very safe nutrient. Although, Vitamin A leads to toxicity, beta carotene does not. This is because beta carotene is converted to vitamin A only on demand.

Many experts advise taking between 2,500 IU to 10,000 IU of beta carotene daily.

Not all beta carotene supplements are the same in potency and, consequently, efficacy. For example, most manufacturers use synthetic beta carotene, which is cheap to cut the cost.

Natural Beta Carotene, on the other hand, is more expensive. But this has been shown to be superior in clinical trials. For instance, in one study, the synthetic version of beta carotene tested on rats with tumors had no effect, while the natural version treated tumors and they almost disappeared. So, be careful when choosing a supplement.

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Source by Jean Helmet

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