Beta Carotene

Beta-carotene is one of several carotenoids that serve as precursors to Vitamin A; other carotenoids include lycopene and zeaxanthin. Beta-carotene is also called Provitamin A because it is converted to retinol (Vitamin A) in the gut. [1] Beta-carotene has one sixth (1/6) the activity of Vitamin A in the body. And like Vitamin A, beta-carotene is also a fat-soluble nutrient. Due to this characteristic, once the stores of Vitamin A are full, beta-carotene will not be converted in the gut. Excess amounts will then be excreted out of the body via feces or urine. In the early 20th century beta-carotene was believed to be a vitamin. We now know that this is not the case. However, beta-carotene is still considered conditionally essential in the event of Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiencies are very rare in the United States because many dairy products are enriched with this nutrient. In addition, Vitamin A is readily abundant in the majority of meat and animal products consumed by Americans. Vegetarians are also not at risk, as they obtain most of their vitamin A from the beta-carotene found in various fruit and vegetable sources regularly consumed. In other parts of the world, specifically non-Western societies, Vitamin A deficiency does still exist. Beta-carotene is a potent anti-oxidant. It quenches singlet oxygen and inhibits lipid peroxidation. It is equally effective at reducing oxidative damage caused by free radicals. [2] Beta-carotene is also considered an immunomodulating nutrient. It increases T helper cells and Natural Killer (Nk) cells, which are vital to our body's defenses against outside organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Beta-carotene is also believed to be an effective anti-cancer treatment by being anti-mutagenic. Recently, there have been mixed conclusions from various studies concerning this action. In certain populations, beta-carotene may have a correlation with increased risk of developing certain cancers, namely lung cancer in smokers. Individuals with a history of cancer or an increased risk of cancer (such as smokers) should consult their physician before beginning any supplementation with beta-carotene.

Products Containing Beta Carotene
Name Price Rating Serving Price # of Servings Manufacturer Health Condition
Clearin $23.36
$0.78 30 Vaxa Acne
Prenox D7 $34.95
$1.17 30 Progressive Health AIDS & HIV


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