Carotenoids are fat soluble plant pigments – highly colored and play two primary roles in humans: antioxidant activity and some are converted to vitamin A. There are pro-vitamin A carotenoids, such as beta carotene and alpha carotene, and carotenoids without provitamin A like lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin.
The carotenoid staxanthin comes from Hawaii and provides the red, orange and yellow colors to vegetables and the pink color in salmon and shell fish. Salmon farmers feed it to get the right color for the fish to go to the marketplace. You will find carotenoids in all plant foods, in general the greater the intensity of the color the higher the level.
In green leafy vegetables, beta carotene is predominant. The orange color of carrots, apricots, mangos, yams, and squash are stronger in other pro-vitamin carotenoids. Yellow vegetables have higher carotenoids of yellow, such as xanthophyll, and therefore have lower pro-vitamin A activity.
Some compounds such as lutein have significant health beneifts from their antioxidant effects. Red and purple carotenoids are found in tomatoes, red cabbage, berries, and plums, that contain a large portion of non-vitamin A active carotenoids. Legumes, grains and seeds are also significant sources of carotenoids.
Why Take Carotenoid Supplements?
Preliminary and experimental studies show that a higher dietary intake of carotenoids offers protection against developing certain cancers like: lung, cervix, skin, uterine, and GI cancer, and decreased macular degeneration, cataracts, and other health conditions linked to oxidative or free radical damage.
High intake of carotenoids from dietary sources are protective against heart disease in several population based studies. When you supplement with carotenoids there is more benefit when you get all six key carotenoids daily. Your body will have unsurpassed antioxidant protection to help fight cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Antioxidants can deactivate certain particles called free radicals that contribute to these diseases. Usually the free radicals that you are exposed to are in the form of the oxygen molecule. The reason this might not be good for you is because, if you remember from your high school chemistry class, the oxygen molecule wants to be oxidized – a process that can cause cancer.
Free radicals can be created by exposure to something in the environment such as tobacco smoke, radiation or chemicals; and they are also the natural by-products of many body processes in your cells. If you don’t try to get rid of these free radicals before they damage your cells, they can make you sick. Antioxidants play a great role in cleaning up the free radicals before they can harm you.
Who Should Take Carotenoids?
Research shows that people who smoke, drink heavily, take over the counter drugs frequently, or have impaired immune systems benefit from taking carotenoids daily. Because we are all exposed to free radicals in the environment, and many of us have heart disease or family risk of heart disease, antioxidants call help all of us.
Does the brand of Carotenoids Matter?
Not all brands supply all six key carenoids: lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, alpha and beta-carotene, and Astaxanthin. You want them all because they all have a role in supporting eye, prostate, cervix, heart and immune system.
Carotomax, a natural nutrition supplement from the Shaklee Corporation, offers an optimum blend of the six key carotenoids. It is a true prevention supplement that helps protect you from serious illness and disease. Many times when you get a disease that could have been prevented, only radical treatments may be an option. Shaklee stays current with research and recent updated the Carotomax formulation based on the most recent scientific findings. You won’t find that kind of science with every brand.
To learn more about Carotomax, visit What Are Carotenoids.