CAROTENOIDS FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

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CAROTENOIDS FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
CAROTENOIDS FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. Carotenoids make the orange, yellow, and red colors in plants such as carrots, tomatoes, and pumpkins. In plants, these chemicals have antioxidant effects, and they could act as antioxidants in humans as well. The body converts a carotenoid called betacarotene into vitamin A. Some studies suggest that supplements of beta-carotene improve immune system functioning, but this may be because vitamin A is important for the immune system.

Beta-carotene also can prevent vitamin A deficiency. Other studies, however, have found that beta-carotene supplements might increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers and former smokers. For now, scientists say that not enough is known about betacarotene’s action to recommend supplements. Lycopene, the carotenoid found in tomatoes, seems to be of value in cancer prevention.

Several studies conclude that diets rich in tomatoes, especially concentrated as sauce or paste, reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. Lutein, a carotenoid in green, leafy vegetables, may protect against eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration (a cause of blindness in the elderly). Lutein is found in the retina of the eye, where it absorbs blue light.

It may prevent eye damage caused by light exposure. In four studies, researchers found that people who ate diets rich in spinach, kale, and broccoli were less likely to develop cataracts than other people. However, the researchers were not sure if this result was due to the lutein or to other factors. Studies about the value of lutein and other carotenoids in preventing disease are on going.


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CAROTENOIDS FOR THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Information on this article from many source, is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a medical or health condition. You should consult a therapist or a physician in all matters relating to your health, and particularly in respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

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