Pigments provide some fruit and vegetables its rich red, orange or yellow color called Carotenoids. Carotenoids are natural antioxidants fighting against all sorts of diseases. Therefore, they can be used in many dietary supplements.

Even though, 600 carotenoid pigments were identified in nutriment, human organism is able to utilize only six of them. Except beta-carotene, the most known carotenoid, it concerns alfa-caroten, cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids are found in various fruit and vegetables, however nutriments with the greatest amount of carotenoids does not have to necessarily be part of one’s menu. Alfa-carotenoid is contained in carrot and pumpkin, lycopene in red fruits, for example in water melon, red grapefruit, and boiled tomatoes. Lycopene and zeaxanthin are components of dark green vegetables, pumpkin, and red paprika. Cryptoxanthin is contained in mango, oranges and peaches. To prevent some diseases, the most suitable supplements are those which contain a mixture of all six carotenoids.

Most frequent utilization of Carotenoids

Carotenoids might reduce the risk of some kinds of prostate and lung cancer. They might provide a protection from cardiac failures. Carotenoids slow down the process of macular degeneration. They also strengthen immunity.

Carotenoids – treatment and effects

The main beneficial effect of carotenoids is influenced by their antioxidant abilities. Antioxidants are substances protecting cells from lesions, unstable oxygen molecules so called free radicals. Even though carotenoids have similar structure, they affect different tissues. Similar to beta-carotenoid, alfa-carotenoid and cryptoxanthin have a ability to change into vitamin A.

Carotenoids and prevention: Carotenoids provide protection from some kinds of cancer because they limit abnormal growth of cells. For example, lycopene fights back creation of prostate cancer. Lycopene is probably also effective against ventricle and alimentary canal cancer. The research had shown that high income of cryptoxanthin and alfa-carotenoid reduces the risk of cervix cancer and alfa-carotenoid, lutein and zeaxanthin reduce the risk of lung carcinoma. Carotenoids might help in therapy of cardiac diseases. The scientists suppose, all carotenoids, especially alfa-carotenoid and lycopene, eliminate creation of harmful cholesterol which might lead to cardiac failures and other vascular diseases.

Other beneficial effects of carotenoids:
Lutein and zeaxanthin improve sharper sight by absorption of harmful ultraviolet rays and neutralizing free radicals on retinas. It probably helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration and heteroptics influenced by ageing and causing blindness of old people. Other carotenoids might protect crystalline lens from lesions and thus decreases the risk of cataract. Explorative research has shown that diet with high income of carotenoids might improve the health condition even in the early stage.

Recommended dosage of carotenoids

If nutriments are not sufficient of carotenoids, dietary supplements containing the mixture of alfa-carotenoid, beta-carotenoid, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin with minimally 2500 mg of vitamin A per day are recommended to use. Higher doses of carotenoids are effective to help in therapy of some diseases specified above.

How to use carotenoids

Carotenoid supplements are supposed to be used with nutriments containing little bit fat to help their absorption. Dividing the dose into two, human organism is able to absorb more of it.

Possible side effects of carotenoids

High dosage of carotenoids might tincture skin to orange, especially on hands and feet. This sign is harmless and disappear after reducing the dosage a bit. However no side effects are known, high doses of singular carotenoid might limit effects of others.

New findings about carotenoids

Wide European study has declared, lycopene is effective in prevention of urgent heart attacks. Men who use high dosage of lycopene are threatened only by half risk of heart attack than men who use only low doses. Preventive effect was more positive for patients who do not smoke than smokers.

Warnings about Carotenoids

Higher dosage of carotenoids should not be used during pregnancy. If you have health issues, consult usage of carotenoids with your physician.

Additional information about carotenoids

Broccoli and other dark green vegetables contain carotenoids. Green chlorophyll covers its yellow-orange pigment.

Resource: publication - Leciva moc vitaminu, bylin a mineralnich latek (The salutary power of vitamins, herbs and minerals) Reader´s Digest Choice