What is beta-Carotene?
Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoid family of plant pigments, which are responsible for the yellow, orange and red colours of certain fruits and vegetables. Beta-carotene is also known as pro-vitamin A, as it is converted by the body into vitamin A. Vitamin A only occurs in animal tissues (particularly liver, fish liver and dairy products), whereas beta-carotene occurs in plant tissues (particularly carrots). In addition to being a pre-cursor of vitamin A, beta carotene is important as an antioxidant, and in helping to maintain healthy vision, reproductive and immune function.
What does beta-Carotene do?
Beta-carotene is converted in the intestinal mucosa into retinol (vitamin A). Beta-carotene is also one of the most potent antioxidants, helping to maintain the body’s defence against the damaging effects of free radicals. Beta –carotene protects the skin from the effects of exposure to ultraviolet light, and helps maintain normal fertility. Beta-carotene and vitamin A are required for normal growth and development, for tissue maintenance and repair, and for bone and tooth formation.
How much beta-Carotene should you take?
The generally recommended intake for beta-carotene is 25,000IU (15mg)/day.
Are there adverse effects from taking beta-Carotene?
Beta-carotene is generally well tolerated with a very low risk of toxicity. In contrast with vitamin A (excess intake of which may cause liver damage or birth defects), it is virtually impossible to overdose with beta-carotene, as the body eliminates any of the latter substance which is surplus to requirements. No adverse effects have been reported in pregnant or lactating women taking up to 50,000IU/day, and intakes up to 1000mg/Kg body weight given to rats showed no long term toxic effects. Very high intake of beta-carotene (more than 100,000IU/day) may cause areas of the skin to take on an orange tone, which is harmless. Patients with diabetes, renal or liver disease, or with hyperthyroidism should take beta-carotene with caution.
About Pharma-Nord Bio-Carotene
Each Pharma-Nord Bio-Carotene capsule contains 9mg of pure beta-carotene (equivalent to that contained in 4 large carrots) in a stable and readily absorbable form. Each Bio-Carotene capsule contains the vitamin A equivalent of 1500microgm (approximately 180% of the Recommended Daily Allowance). Pharma-Nord recommends 1 capsule/day. Bio-carotene is manufactured under Danish pharmaceutical control.