Beta Carotene: What to Look For
Look on any store shelves and there are massive amounts of vitamin and mineral supplements. One of the most popular is beta carotene, but you must be careful; not all beta carotene manufacturers are created equal.
With all the different beta carotene suppliers, it can be very confusing. Which is best? Are there really differences in the various distributors? What should you look for? Perhaps more importantly, what should you look out for?
What is beta carotene?
The pigment that gives many of the fruits and vegetables we eat their bright colors. It is both a carotenoid (fat soluble nutrient), and an antioxidant. It is the most abundant carotenoid and you can find it in more than 30 different plants.
Most people know that it can be found in carrots. It’s also in other colorful vegetables that are rich in vitamin A like peas, onions, red peppers and broccoli. Additional sources include mangoes, grapefruit, melons, pumpkin and sweet potatoes.
Fruits and vegetables are well known beta carotene suppliers, but it can also be found in products you don’t expect such as ketchup, mustard, and colorful spices like paprika and oregano. There is more than 9,000 milligrams in just one cup of carrots.
What are the health benefits of beta carotene?
Beta carotene is important in the food chain because it is a precursor for vitamin A. This means that our bodies convert it into the vitamin A we need for good health.
Vitamin A and beta carotene are known to benefit our skin, eyes, and immune system. It is critical for pregnant and breastfeeding moms as well as the development and growth of infants and toddlers.
Studies suggest that it may help to prevent or lessen numerous health issues such as osteoarthritis, COPD and sun sensitivity. It may also reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and memory loss or dementia.
There is also evidence that it may prevent complications after childbirth, like fever and diarrhea. In some people, it may also help to enhance strength and performance.
Beta carotene is also typically prescribed as a treatment for several skin conditions, such as age spots, eczema and psoriasis. It may also speed up the healing for boils, cuts and lesions.
What beta carotene products are available?
You can find beta carotene supplements in pill, powder and emulsions.
Altratene® is Allied Biotech’s line of beta-Carotene formulations. Altratene® can also be used as ProVitamin A, a safe form of Vitamin A, in dietary supplements and to fortify functional foods.
What should you look for in your beta carotene supplements?
It is estimated that more than 60 percent of adults take some type of supplement each day. It’s no wonder there are so many on the market. Therefore, it’s vital to know what to look for in beta carotene supplements.
Quality control is a huge issue in the supplement industry. Make sure you read the label first to be certain that there is a significant amount of the supplement in the product.
You should also look for United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification. There may also be a symbol from ConsumerLab.com. These denote the purity, potency and dissolvability of the beta carotene supplement.
One of the most crucial factors to look for is the name, phone number and address of the manufacturer on the label. The price can be another sign of whether you are getting a quality product. Third party certification costs money, which tends to be reflected in the cost to the consumer. Therefore, the cheapest is typically not the best.
Like what you read? Learn about all beta carotene benefits here.