Beta carotene


Beta carotene
An antioxidant that protects cells against oxidation damage. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A. Food sources of beta carotene include vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and other leafy green vegetables; and fruit such as cantaloupes and apricots. Excessive carotene in the diet can temporarily yellow the skin, a condition called carotenemia, commonly seen in infants fed largely mashed carrots. Beta carotene is a vitamin. The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk (1884-1967). At the Lister Institute in London, Funk isolated a substance that prevented nerve inflammation (neuritis) in chickens raised on a diet deficient in that substance. He named the substance "vitamine" because he believed it was necessary to life and it was a chemical amine. The "e" at the end was later removed when it was recognized that vitamins need not be amines. The letters (A, B, C and so on) were assigned to the vitamins in the order of their discovery. The one exception was vitamin K which was assigned its "K" from "Koagulation" by the Danish researcher Henrik Dam. The vitamins include: {{}}Vitamin A: Retinol. Carotene compounds (found, for example, in egg yolk, butter and cream) are gradually converted by the body to vitamin A (retinol). A form of vitamin A called retinal is responsible for transmitting light sensation in the retina of the eye. Deficiency of vitamin A leads to night blindness. Vitamin B1: Thiamin, acts as a coenzyme in body metabolism. Deficiency leads to beriberi, a disease of the heart and nervous system. Vitamin B2: Riboflavin, essential for the reactions of coenzymes. Deficiency causes inflammation of the lining of the mouth and skin. Vitamin B3: Niacin, an essential part of coenzymes of body metabolism. Deficiency causes inflammation of the skin, vagina, rectum and mouth, as well as mental slowing. Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine, a cofactor for enzymes. Deficiency leads to inflammation of the skin and mouth, nausea, vomiting, dizziness , weakness and anemia. Folate (folic acid): Folic acid is an important factor in nucleic acid synthesis (the genetic material). Folate deficiency leads to megaloblastic anemia. Vitamin B12: An essential factor in nucleic acid synthesis (the genetic material of all cells). Deficiency leads to megaloblastic anemia, as can be seen in pernicious anemia. Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid, important in the synthesis of collagen, the framework protein for tissues of the body. Deficiency leads to scurvy, characterized by fragile capillaries, poor wound healing, and bone deformity in children. Vitamin D: A steroid vitamin which promotes absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. Under normal conditions of sunlight exposure, no dietary supplementation is necessary because sunlight promotes adequate vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Deficiency can lead to osteomalcia in adults and bone deformity (rickets) in children. Vitamin E: Deficiency can lead to anemia. Vitamin K: An essential factor in the formation of blood clotting factors. Deficiency can lead to abnormal bleeding.

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the β isomer of carotene (q.v.). [USP] a preparation of β-carotene, administered orally to prevent vitamin A deficiency and to reduce the severity of photosensitivity in patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria. Written also β-carotene and betacarotene.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Béta-carotène — Carotène La coloration des plumes du flamant rose est dû à l accumulation de carotène contenu dans son alimentation. Le carotène est un terpène découvert en 1881 par Wachenroder. C est un pigment de couleur orange, dimère de la vitamine A. Il est …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beta-carotene — Bêta carotène β carotène Général Synonymes C.I. 40800 C.I. 75130 C.I. Food Orange 5 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • beta carotene — n. a yellowish form of carotene: a dietary deficiency of this is associated with a greater risk of certain cancers …   English World dictionary

  • Bêta-carotène — β carotène Général Synonymes C.I. 40800 C.I. 75130 C.I. Food Orange 5 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Beta-carotene — Chembox new ImageFile=Beta carotene 2D skeletal.png ImageSize= 250px ImageFile2=BetaCarotene 3d.png ImageSize2= 250px IUPACName=1,3,3 trimethyl 2 [(1E,3E,5E,7E,9E,11E, 13E,15E,17E) 3,7,12,16 tetramethyl 18 (2, 6,6 trimethyl 1 cyclohexenyl)… …   Wikipedia

  • beta-carotene — noun an isomer of carotene that is found in dark green and dark yellow fruits and vegetables • Hypernyms: ↑provitamin A, ↑carotene, ↑carotin, ↑carotenoid * * * ˌbeta ˈcarotene 7 [beta carotene] …   Useful english dictionary

  • beta carotene — A substance found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and in dark green, leafy vegetables. The body can make vitamin A from beta carotene. Beta carotene is being studied in the prevention of some types of cancer. It is a type of… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • beta-carotene — noun A common form of carotene See Also: alpha carotene …   Wiktionary

  • beta-carotene — be·ta car·o·tene or ß carotene kar ə .tēn n an isomer of carotene that is found in dark green and dark yellow vegetables and fruits …   Medical dictionary

  • beta-carotene — noun Date: 1934 an isomer of carotene found in dark green and dark yellow vegetables and fruits …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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