Alpha-Carotene is a form of carotene with a β-ionone ring at one end and an α-ionone ring at the opposite end. It is the second most common form of carotene. Vegetables rich in alpha carotene:
- Yellow-orange vegetables : Carrots (the main source for U.S. adults), Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin, Winter squash
- Dark-green vegetables : Broccoli, Green beans, Green peas, Spinach, Turnip greens, Collards, Leaf lettuce, Avocado
Alpha-Carotene can be used to make vitamin A, though not very efficiently. It’s main role is more likely to be as a cofactor for other substances. Alpha-carotene has been implicated in helping prevent cervical cancer.
- Dietary intake affects blood levels of α-carotene, which in one study was associated with significantly lower risk of premature death.
- However, alpha-carotene may be even more effective than beta-carotene in its role as an antioxidant.
Antioxidants are enzymes that stop free radicals from causing cells to break down, or oxidize. Powerful antioxidants like alpha-carotene remove destructive free radicals from the body before they cause the tissue damage that can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
- In addition, alpha-carotene may help prevent cancer by stimulating cell-to-cell communication, a process which researchers now believe is necessary to ensure proper cell division.
- Alpha-carotene contains flavonoids, which are antioxidant substances that give color and flavor to many orange- and red-colored fruits and vegetables. Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, kale, cantaloupe, brussels sprouts, kiwi, spinach, mangos, squash, and spinach are all good sources of alpha-carotene.
- Many flavonoids in fruits and vegetables are in the skin, so it’s best not to peel fruits and vegetables when possible. However, lightly steaming some foods, such as carrots and spinach, can actually improve the body’s ability to absorb them.
- Alpha-carotene is a fat-soluble substance, which requires the presence of dietary fat for proper absorption. Medical conditions that interfere with the digestion of fats, such as Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, surgical removal of the stomach, pancreatic enzyme deficiency, and gall bladder and liver disease, can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb alpha-carotene and other carotenoids.
- People that take cholesterol-lowering medications, smokers, those that regularly consume alcohol, and those that have diets low in calories or lacking fruits and vegetables may also have lower than normal blood levels of alpha-carotene.
- Please consult your doctor.
- We currently have no information for Alpha Carotene.
Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha-Carotene
Juicing the Rainbow, http://juicingtherainbow.com/785/vitamins/alpha-carotene/