Health Glossary - For Everyone

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What is beta-carotene?

Beta-carotene is a vitamin that has potent antioxidant properties, protecting the cells in the body from oxidation by free radicals.

Beta-carotene is found in fruits and vegetables - it is the substance that gives orange fruits and vegetables their colouring. Other non-orange coloured vegetables also contain beta-carotene.

The beta-carotene in food that is eaten, is converted into the more active, fat-soluble Vitamin A in the liver, where it is stored until it is required by the body.


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Important beta-carotene facts

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Why beta-carotene is important

Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant and so protects the body cells from oxidative damage from free radicals. As it occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, it is very important to sustaining good health.

Fruits and vegetables that have high levels of beta-carotene:

Getting beta-carotene from food sources is possibly better for your health than taking beta-carotene supplements as the other healthful nutrient compounds found naturally in food work together to enhance the effectiveness of each other.


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Last reviewed: 14 January 2007 || Last updated: 21 August 2007


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More information

To learn more, go to the following web sites:


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.


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