What is Beta-Carotene 1%?
Beta-carotene (provitamin A) is a powerful antioxidant like vitamin C and vitamin E. It helps neutralize free radicals in the body, molecules that damage basic cell structure.
The compound was isolated from carrot roots in the early 19th century and named carotene. It is also referred to as a-beta-carotene, carotenes, and carotenoids (Wikipedia). Beta-carotene is one of nearly 600 different carotenoids, highly pigmented, fat-soluble compounds that give red, orange and yellow plants their color.
Beta-carotene is a provitamin of vitamin A, meaning it is transformed to active vitamin A in the body. This occurs in the intestines and liver. Vitamin A, also known as retinol and retinal, plays a key role in health.
Vitamin A can be toxic if taken in excess. Beta-carotene is not converted to 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. As a general rule, the greater the intensity of the color, the more beta-carotene a plant contains. Beta-carotene has about 1/12th the potency as pure vitamin A. It takes 12 micrograms (mcg) of beta-carotene to provide the equivalent of 1 mcg of vitamin A.
Why Purchase Beta-Carotene 1%
Beta-carotene is a precursor to vitamin A and aids in similar processes.
Beta-carotene helps protect the eyes. The body utilizes beta-carotene to manufacture retinol, a necessary compound for healthy vision.
Low-fat diets rich in fruits and vegetables (foods that are low in fat and may contain dietary fiber, Vitamin A or Vitamin C) may reduce some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Purity and Concentration of Beta-Carotene 1%
This beta-carotene 1% is a blended product of Beta Carotene 8% with a maltodextrin carrier (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.
Potential Side Effects of Beta-Carotene 1%
Beta-carotene is generally recognized as safe. Occasionally people taking this supplement may experience side effects including gastric upset and a yellowish skin tone, easily resolved by lowering intake. 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. Do not take beta-carotene without first consulting a medical professional if pregnant or breast-feeding, undergoing any heart procedure, or if you smoke or drink heavily.
Bioavailability, Mixing and Solubility of Beta-Carotene 1%
This blended powder is soluble in water.
References & Further Research
The FASEB Journal: Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans
University of Maryland: Beta-carotene
Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center: Vitamin A
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