Beta Carotene Information and Facts

Beta-carotene is a compound produced by plants and is converted by the body into vitamin A. It also acts as both an antioxidant and an immune system enhancer. Beta-carotene is the most abundant carotenoid in human foods and is generally thought to be the most important carotenoid for humans. Other members of the carotenoid family include cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, and lycopene. However, unlike beta-carotene, most of these antioxidants are not converted into vitamin A in significant amounts.

Like other antioxidants, beta carotene helps to protect the body against free radicals. Beta carotene can also help to strengthen the immune system, increase lung capacity, reduce the skin's risk to sun and DNA damage, as well as reduce cholesterol levels. Adequate amounts of beta carotene are essential for a healthy body and its benefits can increase when taken with other antioxidants like vitamins C and E.

Getting enough beta carotene means eating a well-rounded diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. The National Institute of Health recommends 9 milligrams of beta carotene daily for adult men and 7 milligrams for adult women. Foods with high levels of beta carotene include: pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, cooked greens, apricots, sweet peppers, kale, turnip greens, broccoli, mango, and squash varieties. Not enough beta carotene can lead to an increased risk of joint problems.

Beta Carotene supplements are helpful in disease prevention for those who do not get enough beta carotene in their diet. Dosage

The Dietary Supplements Information Bureau recommends a dosage range of 6 mg to 30 mg of this supplement for optimal results.