The Functions Of Beta Carotene Biology Essay

Unlike addendums, nutrients rich in beta-carotene airs no lung malignant neoplastic disease hazard. Man-made beta-carotene addendums have been found to increase the hazard of both colorectal and lung malignant neoplastic disease in tobacco users, particularly those who besides drink intoxicant. A survey published by an international squad in the January 2004 issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention indicates that beta-carotene consumed as portion of whole nutrients has no such negative effects. This survey, which pooled informations from seven big cohort surveies running between 7 and 16 old ages and affecting a capable population of 399,765 participants in North America and Europe, found that beta-carotene from nutrients was non associated with any increased hazard of lung malignant neoplastic disease among current tobacco users or non-smokers. Other carotenoids in nutrients ( xanthophyll, zeaxanthin and lycopene ) were besides found to hold no association with lung malignant neoplastic disease hazard. ( February 26, 2004 )

Food beginnings of beta-carotene include sweet murphies, carrots, boodle, Spinacia oleracea, Brassica rapa leafy vegetables, winter squash, collard leafy vegetables, coriander and fresh thyme. To maximise the handiness of the carotenoids in the nutrients listed supra, the nutrients should be eaten natural or steamed lightly.

For functioning size for specific nutrients, see Alimentary Rating Chart below at the underside of this page.

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Lack Symptoms

Toxicity Symptoms

Cooking, storage and processing

Factors that affect map

Drug-nutrient interaction

Alimentary interaction

Health conditions


Food Beginnings

Public Recommendations



What is beta-carotene?

Beta-carotene is likely the most good known of the carotenoids, a phytonutrients household that represents of the one most widespread groups of of course happening pigments. It is one of the most abundant carotenoids in the North American diet every bit good as one of about 50 carotenoids known as “ provitamin A ” compounds, able to be converted in the organic structure into vitamin A1, an active signifier of vitamin A.

While beta-carotene green goodss colourss in the orange and xanthous scope, beta-carotene rich nutrients may be other colourss besides from these two. That is because other phytonutrients pigments blend together with the beta-carotene to give the works nutrient its alone chromaticity that, in add-on to orange or yellow, could be other colourss including pink, ruddy or white.

How it Functions

What are the maps of beta-carotene?

Preventing Vitamin A Deficiency

Until late in the twentieth Century, the maps of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, were discussed merely in footings of their possible vitamin A activity. Beta-carotene is one of about 50 carotenoids of the known 600, that are called “ provitamin A ” compounds because the organic structure can change over them into vitamin A1, an active signifier of vitamin A.

As a consequence, nutrients that contain beta-carotene can assist forestall vitamin A lack. In add-on to alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene is among the most normally consumed provitamin A carotenoids in the North American diet.

Antioxidant & A ; Immune-Enhancing Activity

In recent old ages, carotenoids including beta-carotene have received a enormous sum of attending as possible anti-cancer and anti-aging compounds. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the cells of the organic structure from harm caused by free groups. It is besides one of the carotenoids believed to heighten the map of the immune system.

Promoting Proper Cell Communication

In add-on to their antioxidant and immune-enhancing activity, carotenoids including beta-carotene have shown the ability to excite cell to cell communicating. Research workers now believe that hapless communicating between cells may be one of the causes of the giantism of cells, a status which finally leads to malignant neoplastic disease. By advancing proper communicating between cells, carotenoids may play a function in malignant neoplastic disease bar.

Supporting Reproductive Health

It is besides believed that beta-carotene may take part in female reproduction. Although its exact map in female reproduction has non yet been identified, it is known that the principal luteum has the highest concentration of beta-carotene of any organ in the organic structure, proposing that this food plays an of import function in generative procedures.

Lack Symptoms

What are lack symptoms for beta-carotene?

A low dietetic consumption of carotenoids such as beta-carotene is non known to straight do any diseases or wellness conditions, at least in the short term. However, if your consumption of vitamin A is besides low, a dietetic lack of beta-carotene and/or other provitamin A carotenoids can do the symptoms associated with vitamin A lack.

In add-on, long-run unequal consumption of carotenoids is associated with chronic disease, including bosom disease and assorted malignant neoplastic diseases. One of import mechanism for this carotenoid-disease relationship appears to be free groups. Research indicates that diets low in beta-carotene and carotenoids can increase the organic structure ‘s susceptibleness to damage from free groups. As a consequence, over the long term, beta-carotene lacking diets may increase tissue harm from free extremist activity, and increase hazard of chronic diseases like bosom disease and malignant neoplastic diseases.

Toxicity Symptoms

What are toxicity symptoms for beta-carotene?

A tell-tale mark of inordinate ingestion of beta-carotene is a xanthous stain of the tegument, most frequently happening in the thenar of the custodies and colloidal suspensions of the pess. This status is called carotenodermia, and is reversible and harmless.

High consumption of carotenoid-containing nutrients or addendums is non associated with any toxic side effects. As a consequence, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences did non set up a Tolerable Upper Intake Level ( UL ) for carotenoids when it reviewed these compounds in 2000.

However, the consequences of two research surveies indicate that those who smoke to a great extent and imbibe intoxicant on a regular basis, may increase their opportunity of developing lung malignant neoplastic disease and/or bosom disease if they take beta-carotene addendums in sums greater than 20-30 mgs per twenty-four hours.

Impact of Cooking, Storage and Processing

How make cookery, storage, or treating affect beta-carotene?

In certain instances, cookery can better the handiness of carotenoids in nutrients. Lightly steaming carrots and spinach improves your organic structure ‘s ability to absorb carotenoids in these nutrients.

It is of import to observe, nevertheless, that in most instances, prolonged cookery of veggies decreases the handiness of carotenoids by altering the form of the carotenoid from its natural trans-configuration to a cis-configuration. For illustration, fresh carrots contain 100 % all-trans beta-carotene, while canned carrots contain merely 73 % all-trans beta-carotene.

Factors that Affect Function

What factors might lend to a lack of beta-carotene?

Carotenoids are fat-soluble substances, and as such require the presence of dietetic fat for proper soaking up through the digestive piece of land. Consequently, your carotenoid position may be impaired by a diet that is highly low in fat or if you have a medical status that causes a decrease in the ability to absorb dietetic fat such as pancreatic enzyme lack, Crohn ‘s disease, celiac psilosis, cystic fibrosis, surgical remotion of portion or all of the tummy, saddle sore vesica disease, and liver disease.

Due to low ingestion of fruits and veggies, many striplings and immature grownups do non take in adequate beta-carotene. In add-on, if you smoke coffin nails and/or imbibe intoxicant, you may hold lower than normal blood degrees of beta-carotene. Statistically speech production, tobacco users and drinkers eat fewer nutrients that contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene. Besides, research workers suspect that coffin nail smoke destroys carotenoids. However, if you do smoke or imbibe, utilize carotenoid addendums with cautiousness ( see Toxicity subdivision ) .

Drug-Nutrient Interactions

What medicines affect beta-carotene?

The cholesterol-lowering medicines referred to as bile acid sequestrants ( Cholestyramine, Colestipol, and Colestid ) lower blood degrees of carotenoids. In add-on, oleos enriched with works steroid alcohols such as Benecol and Take Control, may diminish the soaking up of carotenoids. Olestra, a fat replacement added to nosh nutrients, may besides diminish the soaking up of carotenoids.

Alimentary Interactions

How make other foods interact with beta-carotene?

Beta-carotene addendums cut down blood degrees of xanthophyll while they may besides increase blood degrees of beta-cryptoxanthin.

Supplementing your diet with pectin may diminish the soaking up of carotenoids.

Health Conditionss

Carotenoids may play a function in the bar of the undermentioned wellness conditions:

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome ( AIDS )

Age-related macular devolution

Angina pectoris



Cervical malignant neoplastic disease

Cervical dysplasia

Chlamydial infection

Heart disease

Laryngeal malignant neoplastic disease ( malignant neoplastic disease of the voice box )

Lung malignant neoplastic disease

Male and female sterility




Prostate malignant neoplastic disease

Rheumatoid arthritis

Skin malignant neoplastic disease

Vaginal moniliasis

Form in Dietary Addendums

What forms of beta-carotene are found in dietetic addendums?

In dietetic addendums, beta-carotene is available as man-made all-trans beta-carotene, beta- and alpha-carotene from the algae Dunaliella, and assorted provitamin As from palm oil.

It is of import to observe, nevertheless, that, due to the inconsistent consequences from research surveies aimed at measuring the wellness benefits of beta-carotene addendums, the National Academy of Sciences cautiousnesss against taking high dosage carotenoid addendums, except as a method for forestalling vitamin A lack.

Food Beginnings

What foods supply beta-carotene?

Beta-carotene can be found in concentrated sums in a assortment of nutrients including Sweet murphies, carrots, boodle, Spinacia oleracea, Brassica rapa leafy vegetables, winter squash, collard leafy vegetables, coriander, fresh thyme, cantaloup vine, cos boodle and Brassica oleracea italica.


Food Source Analysis non Available for this Food

Public Health Recommendations

What are current public wellness recommendations for beta-carotene and carotenoids?

To day of the month, no recommended dietetic consumption degrees have been established for carotenoids. In an attempt to put such recommendations, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences reviewed the bing scientific research on carotenoids in 2000.

Despite the big organic structure of population-based research that links high ingestion of nutrients incorporating beta-carotene and other carotenoids with a decreased hazard of several chronic diseases, the Institute of Medicine concluded that this grounds was non strong plenty to back up a needed carotenoid intake degree because it is non yet known if the wellness benefits associated with carotenoid-containing nutrients are due to the carotenoids or to some other substance in the nutrient.

However, the National Academy of Sciences supports the recommendations of assorted wellness bureaus, which encourage persons to devour five or more helpings of fruits and vegetable every twenty-four hours. This degree of consumption of fruits and veggies provides about three to six mgs of beta-carotene.


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