Distinguished by their orange, yellow, and red pigments, carotenoids are found in many plants, algae, and bacteria.
Carotenoids act as antioxidants within the body, protecting against cellular damage, the effects of aging, and even some chronic diseases.
1. Supports Eye Health
Do you remember adults telling you as a child that carrots were good for your eyes? As it turns out, this statement is founded in scientific truth. Carrots are an excellent source of carotenoids, including retinol and pro-vitamin A, both of which have therapeutic value for degenerative diseases of the retina.
2. Cardiovascular Health
Population-based studies have demonstrated that carotenoids are effective for supporting cardiovascular health. Other nutrients that work together with carotenoids for protecting heart health include glutathione, vitamin E, and vitamin C. These findings have been echoed in numerous studies.
3. Possible Anti-Tumor Properties?
It would be premature and overzealous to say that carotenoids prevent cancer, but it is known that carotenoids contain acetylenics, a group of metabolites known for combating tumor development. They also have action against harmful organisms and support the immune system. The combination of these properties have been so effective for fighting bacteria and immune-related infections that researchers are exploring their cytotoxic effects on multiple types of cancer.
4. Male Fertility
The antioxidant effect of carotenoids may protect sperm health, according a recent 2013 study. This research found that carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, and zinc notably improved the participants’ chances of becoming pregnant. These nutrients can be accessed easily with a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
5. Skin Health
Studies have reported that the carotenoids beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin protect skin, tissue, and cells from environmental toxins and disease. Recent research has demonstrated that non-provitamin A carotenoids, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin, also have protective benefits for the skin. To best support skin health, experts recommend vitamin A carotenoids from fresh vegetables and colorful fruits.
No side effects are known.
Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carotenoid#Properties
Globalhealing Centre, http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/what-are-carotenoids/
Image source: http://carotenoidsociety.sitegenetic.com/fpss/slideshows/carotenoid/images/carotenoid-fruits.jpg