Alpha carotene is a cyclic carotene having beta and epsilon ring at opposite ends respectively. It is regarded as the second most common form of carotene. It acts as a provitamin A and a plant metabolite. It is a precursor to form Vitamin A in the body. Similar to beta-carotene, alpha-carotene is fat soluble and is consumed with some form of fat. Foods rich in alpha-carotene include orange vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin and winter squash. Other food sources include tomatoes, tangerines, sweet potatoes, napa cabbage, collards, bananas and avocados. Our body could convert alpha and beta-carotene into Vitamin A to maintain healthy skin, bones, enhance immune system and good vision. Since the body could convert alpha carotene to Vitamin A, alpha carotene is known as a precursor to Vitamin A or provitamin A compound.
Moreover, alpha carotene helps to prevent cancer by stimulating cell to cell communication which is a process required to ensure proper cell division. It possesses flavonoids, antioxidant substances that provide color as well as flavor to various red and orange colored fruits and vegetables.
|Food name||Weight (g)||Alpha carotene (µg)|
|Acai berry drink||266||122|
Medicinal uses for Alpha-carotene
Alpha carotene contains antioxidant properties so when ingested, it lowers the chance of getting sick from cancer. Alpha carotene also neutralizes harmful free radicals which damages healthy cells by causing the growth of carcinogenic ones.
Health Benefits of Alpha carotene
- Acts as antioxidant
Study conducted on more than 15000 adults over a 14 year period found that those with high content of antioxidant alpha-carotene in their blood had 39 percent lower chances of death from ANY in comparison to those with low levels.
- Prevent lung cancer
Researchers found that people with high intake of alpha carotene rich vegetables helped to prevent lung cancer. Yellow to orange and dark green vegetables have high content of alpha-carotene which is strongly associated with lowering chances of lung cancer than intake of all other types of vegetables.
- Cell health
Additionally, recent studies shows that alpha carotene is the most powerful carotenoids and strong inhibitory effect on proliferation of various types of damaging cells which affects lungs, cervix, stomach, bladder, breast and mouth. It allows normal cells to send growth-regulating signals to premalignant cells.