Beta Carotene: Super Antioxidants. Carotenoids are natural compounds found in the pigment in plants. Although more than 600 carotenoids have been isolated, only a fraction are found in sufficient quantities in human blood and Network. The most prominent carotenoids are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, Cryptoxanthin, and lycopene. Carotenoids work together to prevent and control free radicals and to limit free radical / oxidative damage. Beta carotene is an antioxidant to fight free radicals as well as vitamins C and E, alpha-lipoic acid, polyphenols, and the enzyme superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.
Much has been written about the dangers of free radicals, which are the result of metabolic processes berasaI from environmental pollutants (nitrogen dioxide and ozone in the air polluted), heavy metals (cadmium, mercury, etc.), halogenated hydrocarbons, ionizing radiation, and cigarettes. Unless destroyed by antioxidants, free radicals attack is very strong cell walls and cell constituents such as DNA. Another possible target is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). When reacting with PUFAs, free radicals can produce a chain reaction in the profession, damaging the structure and function of cells, nucleic acids, proteins and regions of dense electron. Oxidative damage from free radical attack is associated with many degenerative diseases and conditions, including cancer.
Carotenoids have a diverse range of biological functions. For example, some carotenoids such as beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A and can be metabolized and converted into vitamin A, which is soluble in fat in the body. Alpha-carotene and Cryptoxanthin is also a carotenoid provitamin A.
Beta-carotene, which is perhaps better known as carotenoids, is a family of phytonutrients that represents one of the major groups of pigments in plants. This is one of the most abundant carotenoid and one of about 50 carotenoid compounds known as "provitamin A", and can be converted in the body into retinol, which is the active form of vitamin A.
Beta-carotene produces color from orange to yellow. Foods rich in beta-carotene may have a color other than the colors. This is because other phytonutrients pigments blend together with Beta-carotene so as to provide a unique color. Besides other orange and yellow colors are pink, red or white.
- Prevent deficiency of vitamin A. Until the end of the 20th century, the function of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, only discusses the potential activity of vitamin A. Beta-carotene is one of about 50 carotenoids, compounds called "pro-vitamin A "because the body can convert them into retinol, the active form of vitamin A. As a result, foods containing beta-carotene may help prevent deficiency of vitamin A. In addition to alpha-carotene and beta-Cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene is a provitamin A carotenoid that The most commonly consumed.
- Antioxidants and boost immune activity. In recent years, carotenoids including beta-carotene have received a tremendous amount of attention as a potential anti-cancer compounds and anti aging. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant, which protects cells from free radical damage. It is also believed that carotenoids boost immune system function.
- Encourage communication between cells more smoothly. Aside from being an antioxidant and boost immune activity, carotenoids including beta-carotene demonstrated its ability to stimulate communication between cells. Researchers now believe that poor communication between cells may be one cause excessive cell growth, a condition that eventually causes cancer. By building good communication between cells, carotenoids may play a role in cancer prevention.
- Supporting reproductive health. Beta-carotene is also believed to play a role in female reproduction. Although the exact function in female reproduction has not been identified, it is known that the corpus luteum has the highest concentration of beta-carotene and every organ in the body. Nutrition plays an important role in the reproduction process.
Beta-carotene deficiency Symptoms
A low dietary intake of carotenoids such as beta-carotene are not known to directly cause disease or health conditions interfere, at least in the short term. However, if the too low intake of vitamin A, dietary beta-carotene and / or provitamin A carotenoids can exhibit symptoms associated with a deficiency of vitamin A.
Additionally, intake of carotenoids is less in the long term can lead to chronic diseases, such as heart disease and various cancers. One important mechanism for the association between carotenoids and disease is the appearance of free radicals. Research shows that a diet low in beta-carotene and carotenoids can increase the body's susceptibility to damage and free radicals. As a result, in the long term, dietary beta-carotene may increase tissue damage and free radical activity, and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Excess Beta-carotene Symptoms
A sign of excessive intake of beta-carotene is a yellowish color change in the skin, and most often occurs on the palms and soles of the feet. This condition is called carotenodermia. It is reversible and harmless.
A high intake of carotenoid-containing foods or supplements are not associated with toxic side effects. Therefore, the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences does not specify tolerances for the highest intake carotenoid when discussing this compound in 2000.
However, the results of the two studies showed that those who smoke heavily and drink alcohol regularly, can increase their chances of getting cancer of the lungs and / or heart disease if they take supplements of beta-carotene in amounts greater than 20-30 milligrams per day.
How to Cooking, Storage and Processing
In certain cases, cooking may increase the availability of carotenoids in the diet. Steaming carrots and spinach briefly can improve your body's ability to absorb carotenoids in this food.
In most cases, it is important to note that cooking vegetables in a long time can reduce the availability of carotenoids by changing the shape of the natural carotenoids from the trans-configuration to the cis-configuration. Whiskers, fresh carrots contain 100% trans beta-carotene, whereas canned carrots contain only 73% of trans beta-carotene.
Factors that Influence Function Beta-carotene
Carotenoids are fat-soluble substances, and thus require the presence of dietary fat for proper absorption through the digestive tract. Therefore, the status of carotenoids you may be disturbed by a diet very low in fat or if you have a medical condition that causes decreased ability to absorb fats and foods such as deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, Crohn's disease, ulcers, surgical removal of part or all of the stomach, gall bladder disease and liver disease.
Due to the lack of eating fruits and vegetables, many teenagers and young adults do not get beta-carotene intake is sufficient. Additionally, if you smoke or drink alcohol, you may have high levels of beta-carotene lower. Smokers and drinkers consuming Iebih few foods that contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene. Also, researchers suspect that cigarette smoke damage the carotenoids.
Interaction of Nutrition, Substance
Beta-carotene supplements to reduce levels of lutein while they can also increase the levels of beta-Cryptoxanthin. Supplementing your diet with pectin can lower the absorption of carotenoids.
Benefits of Beta-carotene for Health
Carotenoids may play a role in the prevention of the following health conditions:
- Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
- Age-related skin degeneration.
- Cervical cancer.
- Cervical dysplasia.
- Infection kiamidia.
- Heart disease.
- Cancer of the larynx (laryngeal cancer).
- Lung cancer.
- Infertility in men and women.
- Prostate Cancer.
- Rheumatoid arthritis.
- Skin cancer.
- Vaginal candidiasis.
Food Sources of Beta-carotene
Foods that are a source of beta-carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, turnip greens, winter squash, collard greens, cilantro, fresh thyme, melon, romaine lettuce and broccoli.
Prompts for Public Health
According to research conducted by experts, discovered the efficacy of providing patients with 1 mg per kg of beta-carotene up to 50 kg, or 50 mg for those with more weight and 50 kg, for 12 weeks, followed by 10 mg for 12 weeks, or placebo. The volunteers were also given pancreatic enzyme supplements and vitamins A, C, and E.
National Academy of Sciences supports the recommendations of the various health institutions, which encourages individuals to consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The level of intake of fruits and vegetables provides about 3-6 milligrams of beta-carotene.
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