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Damage from Beta Carotene?

May 2, 2012
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May 2/London/The Huffington Post U.K. -- A recent study has suggested that too much of a good thing could be damaging our health, as researchers claim they have found a potentially dangerous “dark side” to the “healthy” pigment found in carrots.

Scientists from the Ohio State University discovered that if the body absorbs too much of the natural beta-carotene pigment mostly found in carrots, it partially blocks the vitamin from metabolizing in the body.

Vitamin A is essential for maintaining eye, bone and skin health, as well as keeping the immune system and metabolism healthy. If vitamin A absorption is blocked, researchers warn that it could cause a number of health hazards.

A potential danger could be an increased chance of lung cancer (as noted in a previous study), which found people who ate beta-carotene were more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than those who never ate foods with the pigment.

However, although researchers claims the pigment found in carrots “represent a dark side of beta-carotene” and “could basically disrupt or at least affect the whole body metabolism and action of vitamin A,” they added that they are not recommending individuals stop eating foods high in beta-carotene as more study is needed "to know for sure.”

The results will be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

 From the May 2, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily Update

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