What is Alpha Carotene and Benefits of Alpha Carotene

Alpha Carotene is a Provitamin A and one of the fifty carotenoids able to be converted in the body into retinol or Vitamin A. It is also known as  α-carotene- a form of carotene with a β-ring at one end and a ε-ring at the other. It’s a very potent antioxidants and recent research has shown that this perhaps more potent antioxidant than Beta Carotene. Alpha Carotene is very beneficial for those who are in the habit of smoking and alcohol consumption. Also, people with low intake of fruits and vegetables need more Alpha Carotene.
Alpha Carotene contains flavonoids (large classes of plant pigments having a chemical structure based on or similar to flavone) which are responsible for the color in many fruits and vegetables.

Food Sources of Alpha Carotene
1.       Sweet Potatoes
2.       Carrots
3.       Kale
4.       Spinach
5.       Pumpkin
6.       Winter Squash
7.       Turnip Greens
8.       Collard Greens

9.       Romaine Lettuce
10.   Broccoli
11.   Fresh Thyme
12.   Cantaloupe
13.   Apples
14.   Avocados
15.   Cilantro
16.   Green Beans

Foods rich in Alpha Carotene are good for the cells. Antioxidant property in Alpha Carotene protects the cell from free radical damages. Free radicals break down the cells which can lead to many dangerous diseases. Alpha Carotene enhances the function of the immune system. Alpha Carotene also promotes the reproductive system.

Alpha Carotene and Health Conditions:
Alpha Carotene may play an important role in the prevention of following diseases and conditions:

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Asthma
  • Angina pectoris
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Cervical cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Laryngeal cancer

  • Lung cancer
  • Infertility
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Photosensitivity
  • Pneumonia
  • Skin cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Photosensitivity

Deficiency Symptoms of Alpha Carotene
Long-term inadequate intake of Alpha Carotene can lead to many chronic diseases. Low Alpha Carotene in the body increases the chance of free radical damage or tissue damage. This can result in heart disease and cancers. Most importantly, prolonged Alpha Carotene deficiency in the diet can lead to Vitamin A deficiency.  High intake of carotenoid-containing foods and supplements do not have any toxic side effect.

Benefits of Alpha Carotene
·         Alpha Carotene is a Provitamin A which our body converts into Vitamin A. In this way Alpha Carotene is a good source of Vitamin A and helps to prevent the Vitamin A deficiency. It is important to maintain healthy skin and bones, good eyesight, and a healthy immune system.

·         Alpha Carotene is also an antioxidant. Thus it helps to fight free radicals and protect our body from free radical damage. Therefore, it is a good anti-aging compound and also protects us from the diseases like cancer and heart disease.

·         Alpha Carotene is also known for its ability to enhance immune system. Like other carotenoids, Alpha Carotene stimulates cell communication. Thus it prevents overgrowth of cells- which can lead to cancer.

Alpha Carotene Supplements
You can find Alpha Carotene dietary supplements from algae Dunaliella and from mixed carotenes from palm oil. Smokers should use carotenoid supplements with caution. There have been some studies that indicate carotenoid supplements may do more harm than good for smokers.

 Related and Recommended

Facts About Vitamin A: What is Vitamin A?

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for our health and mostly found in foods of animal origin. Vitamin A plays an important role for preventing and treating many diseases.Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which is also known as Retinol. It is first identified in 1913 and also called as anti-infective vitamin. Vitamin A is very good for the eye sight and immune system. Vitamin A can be found in two major forms in foods- retinol and carotenoids. While retinol is associated with foods of animal origin, carotenoids can be found in some fruits and vegetables. Retinol is called preformed Vitamin A and carotenoids are referred to as provitamin A...

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