Health benefits of carotenoids

Health benefits of carotenoids
The natural compounds found in the plants are not only the source of health rather they possess attractive colours too which grasp our attention. One such pigment present naturally is termed as carotenoids; these pigments are synthesised by photosynthesis of plants. Bright colours of various fruits and vegetables are due to the presence of carotenoids. Some of the day-to-day used carotenoids rich fruits and vegetables are carrots, cantaloupe, spinach, broccoli, kale, sweet potato, squash, dried apricots, etc. The carotenoids are further subdivided into the β-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin and lutein. β-carotene is a coloured pigment and occurs naturally in two forms (cis and trans). A diet which is rich in carotenoids has enormous health benefits, such as preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. One of the vital importances of carotenoids is the ability to scavenge the free radicals; hence, they act as anti-oxidants. The combination of β carotene with vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and zinc lowers the cancer rates in men. It is found to have various applications in our day-to-day lifestyle; it is widely used as sun protectant either if it is applied alone or in combination either with other forms of carotenoids or vitamins that have the capacity to eradicate the free radicals. Amount of carotenoids that is taken by infants to adults is as follows: males should consume 3,000 IU and females 2,310 IU; infants of 0-6 months age should take minimal of 1,320 IU; infants in the range of 7-12 months age should take 1,650 IU; children of age 1-3 should take 1,000 IU; children in between the age 4-8 should have at least 1,320 IU; and children of age 9-13 should take 2,000 IU. Therefore, it is more beneficial for the individuals to consume vegetables and fruits that are rich in carotenes.
How to cite this article:
Shamnaz A. Health benefits of carotenoids. BioLim O-Media. 07 May, 2015. 3(4).
Available from: http://archive.biolim.org/omedia/read/BOMA0080.