Beta carotene is a powerful antioxidant derived from plants that protect body cells from damage caused by free radicals and this protects the body from disease such as cancer and heart disease. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the liver.)
Night blindness, inflamed gums, dry eyes, low resistance to infection, hardened or dry skin and or hair.
It is not possible to overdose on beta-carotene unless your body cannot convert it into vitamin A. the skin may take on a yellowish hue if beta carotene is taken in quantities over 100,000 iu daily.
Prolonged consumption of betacarotene may reduce levels of vitamin E.
Beta – carotene in food is a reliable source of vitamin A. This vitamin can come from food consumed after the body synthesizes beta carotene or as supplements . The advantage of beta carotene from natural sources is that the body converts it into vitamin A, depending on the amount it needs . Excess vitamin A is toxic and can be registered only after the use of supplements containing vitamin A.
Beta carotene , like all carotenoids , is an antioxidant . Antioxidants are substances that inhibit the oxidation of other molecules and protects the body from harmful action of free radicals. Oxidative free radicals destroy body cells . Finally , the damage caused by free radicals can cause several chronic diseases.
Beta carotene and lung cancer risk among smokers . In a recent study involving adult women , it was found that smokers who consumed higher amounts of beta carotene had a higher risk of developing lung cancer or other cancers associated with smoking than other smokers . Instead , it was found that non-smokers who had a high intake of beta- carotene had a lower risk of getting lung cancer .
Natural sources of beta carotene
The following foods are rich in beta carotene: apricots, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, bok choy, chives, grapefruit, spices – chili powder, oregano, paprika, parsley, kale, ketchup, peas, sweet potatoes , pumpkin and plum, peaches, fennel seed, red pepper, turnip, mustard and dandelion greens, carrot, spinach, silverbeet, tomato, alfalfa, lemongrass, peppermint, spirulina, papaya, cantaloupe, yellow squash, kelp and rose hip, and the list does not end here.