Tuesday, September 20, 2016

β-Carotene (Pro vitamin A)

β-Carotene is a yellow-orange pigment that is converted to vitamin A in the body. The yellow-orange coloring in fruits and vegetables is mainly due to the presence of β-Carotene.

β-Carotene (C40H56) is a fat soluble plant pigment found in bright orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, peaches and sweet potatoes.

It is a very important antioxidant as it can help prevent damage to tissues by free radicals – extremely reactive damaging forms of oxygen and other chemicals. β-Carotene lowers low density lipoprotein (LDL)O, the undesirable form of cholesterol, and raises high density lipoprotein (HDL), the desirable form.

Vitamin A is essential for the human body in that it boost the body’s immune system and helps battle eye disease, such as cataracts and night blindness, various skin ailments such as acne, signs of aging, and various forms of cancer.

Epidemiological studies have linked high intake of food rich in β-Carotene and high blood levels of the micronutrient to a lower risk of cancer.

Commercially, β-Carotene is used as a safe food coloring. β-Carotene is the most plentiful of the orange-yellow plant pigments in foods, and it has the highest vitamin A activity.

Because of differences in uptake, storage and chemical processing, only about one-sixth of the β-Carotene in a plant food ends up as vitamin A (retinol) in the body.
β-Carotene (Pro vitamin A)
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