If your diet is low in carotene-abundant foods (fruits and vegetables) then you may be at an increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers. These cancers may include colon cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer, and cervix cancer.

Inadequate amounts of beta carotene in the body's system may also lower the effectiveness of it's immune system boosting abilities. This creates a lowered defense system within the body and attracts ill effects of health.

What is the daily recommended intake of beta carotene?

Beta carotene does not have an established RDA. However, there are of course a few recommendations by several groups. One of these groups is called the “Alliance For Aging Research” and it is a non-profit group that is made up of highly respected researchers in the field of nutrition. They are also the very first group that suggested a daily recommendation of beta carotene intake. And that intake amount is recorded as 10 – 30 mg daily for the promotion of better health and prevention of disease.

What foods are good sources of beta carotene?

Good dietary sources of beta carotene are dark green, dark yellow, and orange vegetables, such as spinach, collard greens, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, and yellow fruits, such as apricots and peaches. These foods supply significant amounts of beta carotene and are low in fat and calories. The deeper the green, yellow, or orange color, the higher the content of beta carotene. At least one serving of a dark green or orange vegetable and four additional servings of other vegetables and fruits should be included in the diet daily.

Can you build up a toxicity to beta carotene?

You do not have to worry about getting too much beta carotene in your system and creating a toxic environment. Even when large amounts are consumed at one time, there is no research that shows this to be damaging to the body.

Blood levels of beta carotene fluctuate with dietary intake. Consequently, as intake increases, so do blood levels, with higher blood levels associated with a reduced risk for developing several diseases, including cancer.

The only adverse side effect to consuming large amounts of dark green, yellow, or orange fruits and vegetables is a yellowing of the skin as carotenes are deposited into the fatty cell membranes of skin cells. Even this condition disappears when fruit and vegetable intake is reduced.

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