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Beta Carotene is the Best Source of Vitamin A

Author:   Peter Sedesse MD

Beta Carotene as a source of Vitamin A

Carotenoids such as Beta Carotene are molecules that are converted to Vitamin A easily by the body. Most health professionals will recommend beta carotene be used as the main source of Vitamin A consumed even though the term used on nutrition labels is Vitamin A. Beta carotene and other carotenoids are mainly found in vegetables and fruits that contain a variety other minerals and vitamins in addition to having low fat content. Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A once the small intestines absorb it. Vitamin A in its´full form is mainly found in eggs and butter. in most situations, getting the recommended amount of Vitamin A in its final form would require also eating large amounts of saturated fats.

Functions of Vitamin A and Beta Carotene

Vitamin A has many important functions in the body including eye sight ( especially night vision) as well as cell growth and division, and the immune system. Vitamin A also acts as a very important antioxidant in the body that helps prevent free radicals from causing cell death.

Health Benefits of getting Vitamin A as Beta Carotene

Vitamin A is a required nutrient, but can be consumed in either its final form, or in a precursor form such as Beta Carotene. The most important reason to consume Beta Carotene rather than Vitamin A directly are the other things that come along with foods that contain Beta Carotene. Beta Carotene is found in fruits and vegetables that also contain many other nutrients, especially other vitamins and minerals. The final form of Vitamin A is found in foods that are usually also high in bad saturated fats. While either form will prevent a deficiency of Vitamin A, foods high in Beta Carotene will also provide other useful health benefits.

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