Nature's Life - Mixed Carotenoids 25,000 - 100 Softgels
Nature's Life Mixed Carotenoids 25,000 is derived from the unique microalgae, Dunaliella salina. this marine algae is an excellent natural source of mixed carotenoids. Beta Carotene is converted to essential Vitamin A which helps maintain healthy skin and eyes. Beta Carotene is also an antioxidant and helps support a healthy immune system.
“Colorful Health Protectors”
Carotenoids, or carotenes, are a large group of fat-soluble pigments that give plants their vivid yellow, orange and red colors. While over 700 carotenoids have been discovered, only 50-60 are found in foods. Of these, about 20 are absorbed.
Carotenoids play many roles in the body such as:
- act as antioxidants to destroy free radicals, safe guarding the body from damage
- stimulate the bacteria-killing ability of the immune system
- help protect the body from pollution and smoke
- help defend cell membranes and arteries.
Carotenoids are often called pro-vitamin A, since the body can convert some carotenoids to vitamin A. The carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A are alpha, beta and gamma carotenes and beta cryptoxanthin. The body uses vitamin A to maintain healthy vision, skin and nails, a strong immune system, and for reproduction and growth. The carotenoids without pro-vitamin A activity continue to be studied, but a few are so newly discovered that little is known about them.
Besides acting as pro-vitamin A, carotenoids are antioxidants. Antioxidants are the body’s first line of defense against free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive, unstable molecules created by smoking, pollution, sunlight, radiation, injury, some medications and even during normal metabolic processes. Left unchecked, free radicals can damage the body’s cells, and even DNA. Fortunately, carotenoids are potent antioxidants that protect the body’s cells, DNA and other substances from free radical damage.
A mixture of carotenoids may provide more powerful antioxidant protection than single carotenes alone, research indicates. According to an animal study, a mix of carotenoids is more effective than isolated carotenes in preventing free radical damage.
Carotenoids: A Powerful Family
Beta carotene is the most familiar and well-studied carotene. Beta carotene’s antioxidant abilities can be very useful to the body, especially since one molecule of beta carotene can neutralize up to 1,000 molecules of free radical oxygen.
Beta carotene has been shown to strengthen immunity in many ways, such as by protecting the immune system from free radical damage, as well as boosting the potential of many of the immune system’s cells.
Research shows that as blood levels of beta carotene drop, heart health worsens. Researchers believe that beta carotene promotes cardiovascular health by protecting the lipoproteins (cholesterol carrying substances in the blood) from free radical damage.
The average American diet provides only 1,400 IU of beta carotene daily. Furthermore, some research suggests that the beta carotene in foods is less available to the body. In fact, this research shows that beta carotene from supplements is better absorbed than the beta carotene in an equivalent amount of food, such as carrots or spinach.
Alpha carotene, another strong antioxidant, may even be a more effective antioxidant than beta carotene. Women generally have higher plasma levels of alpha and beta carotene than men. Alpha carotene, along with beta carotene and lutein, has been found to protect the lungs from free radical damage.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are not converted to vitamin A, but do have very effective antioxidant capabilities. These two carotenoids are present in high concentrations in the eye, the retina in particular, where they are thought to protect the macula (the central part of the retina) from UV and blue light damage.
A now famous Harvard study examined the relationship between lutein, zeaxanthin and the macula. People with the highest intake of lutein and zeaxanthin-rich foods (such as spinach, kale and other vegetables and fruits) showed a 43% lower incidence of damaged retinas and maculas. Damaged retinas and maculas are the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
A second study, also from Harvard, found that spinach, but not carrots, provided significant protection for the lens of the eye. This suggests that lutein may also protect the lens from oxidative damage. Other preliminary studies suggest that lutein may protect many parts of the body.
Lycopene is a red carotenoid found primarily in tomatoes. It cannot be converted to vitamin A but is abundant in the body. In fact, there is more lycopene in our blood than beta carotene. Lycopene is a very potent antioxidant, perhaps even more potent than beta carotene. Plenty of lycopene is present in the skin, where it sacrifices itself to protect the skin from UV exposure.
In men, lycopene is found in high concentrations in the prostate gland. In another recent study from Harvard, involving almost 50,000 men, those consuming the most lycopene-rich foods, such as tomatoes and tomato products, were more likely to have healthy, normal prostates. In general, levels of lycopene in the blood decline with age. So, it may be wise to supplement lycopene in order to ensure adequate levels.
Phytoene and phytofluene are two of the latest carotenoids to be found in human blood. They are found in orange and red fruits and vegetables.
Food Sources of Carotenoids
Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of carotenoids. In general, the more intense the color, the more carotenoids are present. For example, a cantaloupe generally has higher carotene levels than a honeydew melon; broccoli more than iceberg lettuce; and peaches more than pears. Since the bright green color of chlorophyll hides the yellow, orange or red of the carotenoids, other vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and kale, also contain ample amounts of carotenoids. A diet that includes two to four servings of fruits and three to five servings of vegetables each day should provide enough carotenoids and other essential nutrients.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not set a recommended daily intake (RDI) for beta carotene, since it is not considered an essential nutrient. Rather, the FDA considers beta carotene merely a precursor of vitamin A (the RDI for vitamin A is 5,000 IU). However, the US Department of Agriculture and the National Cancer Institute recommend 5-6 mg of beta carotene each day.
The carotenoids appear to be non-toxic, even at high doses. Carotenemia, a yellowish discoloration of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, can occur at higher intakes of carotenoids. However, this condition is harmless and reverses when carotene intake is reduced. Beta carotene and other pro-vitamin A carotenoids are converted to vitamin A as the body requires it, so carotenoids do not lead to hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A overdose).
Carotenoids are safe even for pregnant women and their babies. They are not carcinogenic, mutagenic, embryotoxic or teratogenic. Long term use (over 15 years) of large amounts (up to 180 mg/day) of beta carotene have produced no evidence of toxicity.
Nature’s Life is committed to offering the finest carotene supplements available. Nature’s Life offers eight powerful carotenoids in seven formulas for maximum antioxidant protection.
Nature’s Life Lutein is a bright yellow-orange pigment naturally extracted from Marigold petals (Tagetes erecta). One concentrated Lutein softgel is equivalent to the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin found in 11 cups of fresh, chopped spinach.
Marine Source Mixed Carotenoids are derived from Dunaliella salina, a carotenoid-rich marine algae. Through photosynthesis, this remarkable algae converts solar energy into carotenoids. Ounce for ounce, D. salina provides 10,000 times more beta carotene than carrots.
“Cis” and “trans” are scientific terms that refer to the specific shape of a molecule. Some researchers suggest that the cis form is the most potent antioxidant. While other beta carotenes may contain little or no cis-beta carotene, Nature’s Life Marine Source Mixed Carotenoids contains both cis- and trans-beta carotene in a concentrated 50/50 mixture. It also provides other health-enhancing carotenoids, such as alpha carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein.
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