11 Benefits of Carotene for the Body

Before recognizing what carotene is, it helps us first to recognize about carotenoids. Carotenoids are red, orange and yellow pigments. These pigments are synthesized in the chloroplasts and chromoplasts of living things that undergo photosynthesis. Several types of carotenoids are needed by humans and animals. Humans and animals cannot produce carotenoids on their own so that the acquisition of carotenoids is obtained from the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

In terms of structure, carotenoids are divided into two. The first is xanthophylls, carotenoids that contain oxygen and the second is called carotenes, which are carotenoids that do not contain oxygen.

Carotene Absorption in the Body

Carotene will be absorbed by the body with the help of fat. To ensure that carotene can be absorbed by the body at least 3 to 5 grams of fat are needed. It is not uncommon to find carotene supplements in the form of oil capsules. In the cells lining the intestines, carotene will be incorporated into lipoproteins that are rich in triglycerides. Furthermore, carotene will be released into the blood circulation. Triglycerides in chylomicrons will be depleted by lipoprotein lipase and chylomicron remnants are formed. The remaining chylomicrons will be secreted by the liver and carotene will be incorporated into lipoproteins and will be re-secreted into the blood circulation. There are two types of carotene needed by the body, namely alpha carotene and beta carotene.

The following are the benefits of carotene for the human body:

1. Functions as Provitamin A

The main benefit of carotene is as a provitamin A. Vitamin A plays an important role in the growth process and also for maintaining healthy vision. Vitamin A also plays an important role in the immune system. Three types of carotene, namely beta carotene, alpha carotene, and beta cryptoxanthin are contributors to the formation of retinol in vitamin A. Beta carotene makes up 1/12 of the amount of retinol in vitamin A. While alpha carotene and beta cryptoxanthin make up 1/24 of the amount of retinol in vitamin A.

2. Serves as an Antioxidant

In plant growth, carotene functions as an antioxidant that functions to deactivate singlet oxygen. Singlet oxygen is an oxidizing agent that is formed during the process of photosynthesis. Carotene also functions to inhibit fat oxidation, it’s just that the process in humans is more complex. Lycopene is a type of carotene which is very important as an antioxidant. Lycopene is usually found in tomatoes.

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Sources of antioxidants for the body can be obtained from:

3. Filtering Light Entering the Eyes

Carotene has long single and double bonds. This bond allows the absorption of sunlight. In the human vision system, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin function to absorb blue light from sunlight so that the eyes are not damaged.

4. Works for Intersel Communication

Carotene can stimulate the synthesis of connexin protein in body cells so that it can be used as a facilitator in communication between cells in the human body. Inside the cell membrane, connexins will form pores. These pores will help communication between cells through the exchange of small molecules. Intercellular communication is of great benefit to maintain the condition of cells in the body. In its function as a facilitator for communication between cells, carotene does not function as an antioxidant or as vitamin A.

5. Boost the Immune System

One type of carotene, namely beta carotene contained in vitamin A plays a major role in increasing endurance.

6. Prevents Heart Disease

Beta carotene works together with vitamin E to prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol in the blood vessels. As a result, the buildup of cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels can be prevented so that the narrowing of the arteries which causes coronary heart disease can be prevented.

Herbs for other heart diseases are also obtained from:

7. Launch the Respiratory System

Beta carotene which works together with vitamin C is believed to increase the capacity in the lungs so that the lungs feel more relieved and breathing problems can be prevented. Some respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, amphysema can be overcome by consuming beta carotene along with vitamin C.

8. Prevents Cancer Cell Growth

Carotene is one of the compounds that play an active role as an antioxidant. Its ability to increase the body’s resistance is very good to fight toxins caused by free radicals. In addition, carotene which has an active role in the communication system between cells can improve cell health so that the development of cancer cells can be prevented.

9. Protects the Body from Radiation

Sunlight and chemotherapy for some people will have bad side effects on the body. Beta carotene, together with vitamin C and vitamin E can protect the body from solar radiation and also the effects caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients.

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10. Prevent Diabetes

Intake of carotene in accordance with the dose into the body will control blood sugar levels so that the body avoids diabetes. In fact, several studies have proven that someone who consumes less beta carotene will be more susceptible to diabetes because their blood sugar levels tend to be uncontrolled.

This diabetes solution is also obtained from:

11. Prevents Arthritis

Arthritis is a disease that is very susceptible to elderly people. Food intake and lifestyle factors are the biggest influences on arthritis. The benefits of carotene for the body can prevent arthritis. Together with vitamin C, carotene will prevent inflammation in the joints.

Carotene Dosage for the Recommended

There are two types of carotene that we often encounter through the food we consume daily. The two types of carotene are alpha carotene and beta carotene. Both have equally important roles to maintain body condition, especially those related to the immune system. However, the intake of carotene, both alpha carotene and beta carotene also cannot be arbitrary. That is, its consumption must also be in accordance with the recommended dosage.

Until now there is no definite recommendation that states the amount of alpha carotene needs for the body. Usually the older a person is, the need for alpha-carotene will also increase along with the risk of the emergence of various types of diseases in the body. It’s just that the consumption of foods that contain lots of alpha carotene such as fruits and vegetables is a recommendation by health experts to meet the needs of alpha carotene for the body.

Cases of overdosing on alpha-carotene are rare. It’s just that it’s not impossible for someone to consume foods or supplements with too high alpha carotene content. If this happens, it is likely that some side effects can occur, such as changes in skin color (yellowing of the skin), experiencing jaundice, and impaired liver function.

The amount of beta-carotene needed by the human body is not the same in everyone. This depends on a person’s age, the older a person’s age usually the higher the beta carotene requirement. In general, children aged 1 to 4 years should have sufficient beta-carotene intake of 60-90 mg/day, a person aged 5 to 9 years need beta-carotene intake of 90-120 mg/day, ages 13 to 16 years need beta-carotene intake. carotene by 150-180 mg / day, while for someone over the age of 16 years requires beta-carotene intake of 180 mg / day.

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Intake of beta-carotene that is not in accordance with the recommended dosage can cause various side effects. For someone who consumes less food or supplements containing beta-carotene, his body will be susceptible to various diseases considering beta-carotene has a function as an antioxidant. If the intake of beta-carotene in doses that are too high, usually will appear some side effects, such as jaundice, diarrhea, dizziness, and pain in the joints.

Food Sources Rich in Carotenoids

Both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are two types of carotene nutrients that are very beneficial for the body, both as a fulfillment of vitamin A and as an immune system. Therefore, consuming foods rich in carotene is very important, especially at the recommended dosage amount. Various types of foods such as vegetables and fruits are two types of foods that are rich in alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. What vegetables and fruits are rich in alpha-carotene and beta-carotene?

  • Food Sources of Alpha-Carotene

Alpha-carotene is a type of carotene that contains flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants that usually give fruits and vegetables their red color. Therefore, various types of vegetables and fruits that are red in color are likely to contain a lot of alpha-carotene. Some vegetables and fruits that are rich in alpha-carotene include pumpkin, carrots, tomatoes, red cabbage, red peppers, tangerines, sweet potatoes, asparagus, apples, parsley, melons, and mangoes.

  • Food Sources of Beta-Carotene

Beta-carotene is an important compound that plays a role in maintaining healthy skin and eyes. Beta-carotene deficiency can cause hair loss, skin irritation, and dry or inflamed eyes. Beta-carotene is a type of carotene nutrient that can cause vegetables and fruit to turn orange. Some types of vegetables and fruits that are rich in beta carotene include sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, melon, red peppers, apricots, peas, and broccoli.

Those are some types of foods that are rich in carotene. Maintaining the intake of vegetables and fruit is very important to maintain a healthy body because the content of carotene is very high. In addition, fruits and vegetables are also rich in fiber so it is good for digestive health.

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