What is Beta carotene 1%?
Beta carotene, also known as provitamin A, is a powerful antioxidant like vitamin C and vitamin E. It helps neutralize free radical molecules that damage basic cell structures in the body. It’s the most well-known precursor to vitamin A and the most abundant of the 600+ carotenoids. Scientists discovered carotene in 1831 while analyzing the compounds in carrot juice. They subsequently named it after the Latin word for carrot, carota. Beta carotene is a highly pigmented, fat-soluble compound that gives red, orange, and yellow plants their color.
Beta carotene transforms into the active form of vitamin A in the intestines and liver. Vitamin A, also known as retinol and retinal, is a potent antioxidant that supports cognitive function, eye health, skin health, and more. Vitamin A can be toxic if taken in excess. However, beta carotene does not convert into retinol rapidly enough for acute toxicity, which is why some multivitamin manufacturers rely on beta carotene as a source of vitamin A.
The richest sources of beta carotene include dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, squash, and broccoli. Plants with a greater color intensity generally have more beta carotene.
Potential Beta carotene Benefits
Beta Carotene and Cognitive Function
Research shows that long-term beta carotene supplementation supports cognition and memory. Excessive levels of reactive oxygen species diminish cognitive performance. Beta carotene chelates oxygen free radicals, prevents lipid peroxidation, and scavenges lipophilic free radicals.
Beta Carotene and Eye Health
Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes and good vision. Oxidative stress damages eye health over time and contributes to retinal diseases. Insufficient vitamin A can also hinder the eyes’ ability to adapt to the dark and lead to night blindness. Severe deficiencies can cause total blindness. Pregnant women have an elevated risk of developing night blindness during the third trimester, as rapid fetal growth can cause vitamin A deficiencies.
Did You Know?
Carrots are a good source of vitamin A. While vitamin A is good for eye health, the myth that eating carrots allows people to see in the dark gained traction during World War II.
The British Royal Airforce had recently developed radar technology that allowed bomber pilots to pinpoint enemies in the dark. British propaganda contributed this ability to their pilots eating a lot of carrots to keep the technology a secret.
Beta Carotene and the Immune System
Vitamin A is critical for the immune system to function. It triggers the production of helper T-cells during periods of inflammation caused by infection. It also appears to protect against the development of autoimmune conditions.
Other Potential Beta Carotene Benefits
Beta carotene may support lung health by protecting them from oxidative damage. Research shows that individuals with high beta carotene levels perform better on pulmonary function tests that measure how much air they can expel in one breath.
Beta carotene may enhance skin health, too. Beta carotene’s antioxidant properties boost the skin’s natural defenses against UV rays. However, individuals still need to wear sunscreen, as beta carotene isn’t sufficient protection alone.
Potential Beta carotene Side Effects
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) reports that there are no significant side effects associated with beta carotene supplements. Some individuals may experience gastric upset. Consuming a lot of beta carotene may cause a harmless skin condition that temporarily turns the skin a yellowish orange.
Some studies suggest high amounts of beta carotene can cause a slight increase in the risk of heart disease and cancer, especially in people who consume excessive alcohol or smoke. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, individuals who smoke or drink heavily, and individuals undergoing any heart procedure should not take beta carotene without first consulting a medical professional.
Purity and Concentration of Beta carotene 1%
PureBulk’s beta carotene 1% contains a blend of beta carotene 8% with a maltodextrin carrier. Maltodextrin is a mildly sweet polysaccharide that prevents clumping. Other ingredients include dextrin, modified starch, plant gelatin, sucrose, vitamin E (as dl alpha tocopherol), and Vitamin C.
Beta carotene 1% Bioavailability, Mixing, and Solubility
PureBulk’s beta carotene 1% powder is soluble in water.
References & Further Research
References & Further Research
The FASEB Journal: Beta-carotene,
carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans
Linus Pauling Institute
Micronutrient Information Center: Vitamin A
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