Tags: beta-carotene | antioxidant | supplements | benefits | health

Top Health Benefits of Beta-Carotene

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 01:43 AM

Since its discovery in 1931 by Ferdinand Wackenroder, beta-carotene is known as a healthy vitamin supplement offering health benefits including those to the immune system, the reproductive system, and in protecting body cells. Its health benefits include treating night blindness and cataracts, a role in repairing torn ligaments, and above all, its antioxidant properties, especially in cancer treatment.

Various sources contain carotenoids or plant pigments with antioxidant properties. Beta-carotene is mainly found in carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and oranges. Apart from food sources, this fat-soluble form of carotenoids is also available as vitamin supplements in the market. Let us discuss the top health benefits of its natural food sources and the fat-soluble form in vitamin supplements.

 
Health benefits
 
Beta-carotene in natural food sources or as a dietary supplement offers tremendous health benefits. The below list provides details of the top health benefits.
  • Beta-carotene as an antioxidant: Beta-carotene’s range of health benefits is topped by the benefit it offers as an antioxidant and its use in anticancer drugs. The antioxidant property of carotenoids is acknowledged for benefits offered in cancer treatment. Beta-carotene, being fat-soluble, is used as an antioxidant. As an antioxidant, it controls free radicals that cause damage to the cells via oxidation. Thus, it helps fight various chronic illnesses. Antioxidants fight free radicals and help reduce risk from cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants and their supplements reduce pain caused by ulcers.
  • Beta-carotene as a vitamin supplement: Apart from its antioxidant properties, beta-carotene supplements are rich in vitamins. Therefore, they are used for treating many diseases, especially those related to vitamin A deficiency. Health conditions such as the loss of vision, cataract, and night blindness are caused by a vitamin A deficiency. As beta-carotene supplements are rich sources of vitamin A, their benefits include treatment of eye defects. These supplements are also used for treating many other age-related eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.
  • Benefits of beta-carotene for the immune system: These supplements help in increased production of T-helper cells that enhance the immune system.
  • Benefits of beta-carotene for various other diseases: Its antioxidant properties make beta-carotene essential for use in treating various chronic diseases and in repairing any tears in ligaments. Both the food sources like carrots and pumpkins rich in beta-carotene and supplements have health benefits as they treat metabolic disorders that can lead to diabetes or heart diseases. Studies also show that these supplements offer health benefits by treating osteoarthritis.

Though beta-carotene and its supplements are rich sources of antioxidants with all the above listed health benefits, they may cause a risk to health if taken in very high doses.

Beta-carotenes can also be risky for smokers, pregnant women, or breastfeeding children.

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Health-Wire
Carotenoids are plant pigments with antioxidant properties. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid, which is believed to convert to vitamin A in the body. It benefits the treatment of cancer and in improving immunity, the reproductive system, and in protecting the body cells.
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2014-43-07
Monday, 07 Apr 2014 01:43 AM
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