Beta Cryptoxanthin is a provitamin A compound, one of approximately 50 carotenoids that can be converted in the body into retinol, an active form of vitamin A. Beta Cryptoxanthin has approximately half the vitamin A activity of beta-carotene.
Functions of beta cryptoxanthin
Prevention of Vitamin A Deficiency - foods that contain beta-cryptoxanthin help prevent deficiency of vitamin A. In addition to alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, beta Cryptoxanthin is among the most commonly consumed carotenoids in different types of diets.
Antioxidant and immune activity - beta Cryptoxanthin can help fight cancer and is a compound used in anti- aging. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects body cells from damage caused by free radicals. In addition to its ability to destroy free radicals, it also stimulates the expression of the RB gene - anti-oncogenes, which protects cells from turning into cancer. Increased intake of this carotenoid reduces the risk of cancer of the esophagus and lung.
Enhancing lung function - studies show that beta Cryptoxanthin can promote respiratory health. Concentrations of this carotenoid are associated with improved lung function.
Low intake of foods containing carotenoids like beta cryptoxanthin is not known to directly cause disease or health complications, at least in the short term. However, if the intake of beta-cryptoxanthin and other carotenoids is too low, it can cause symptoms associated with deficiency of vitamin A. In the long run, this low intake is associated with chronic diseases, including heart disease and various cancers. For its part, the high intake of foods and supplements containing carotenoids is linked to various toxic effects.
Carotenoids such as beta cryptoxanthin are substances dissolving in fat and as such require the presence of dietary fat for proper absorption through the digestive tract. Therefore, the status of beta-cryptoxanthin in the body can be disturbed by a diet that is extremely low in fat, or if you have a disease that causes a reduced ability to absorb dietary fat and pancreatic enzyme deficiency, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, surgical removal of part of the stomach, gallbladder disease, and liver are among them. It was found that smokers and people addicted to alcohol consume less foods that contain carotenoids. It is also shown that cigarette smoke destroys them. This leads to the need for these people to obtain the necessary quantities of beta cryptoxanthin and carotenoids with different foods and supplements.
Medicines to lower cholesterol associated with isolation of bile acids, lead to lower blood levels of carotenoids. Also, some foods such as margarine enriched with plant sterols and fat replacers that some snacks add may reduce the absorption of carotenoids.
Carotenoids are essential for human health and help to prevent the following diseases: AIDS, angina, asthma, cataracts, cancer of the cervix, cervical dysplasia, heart disease, laryngeal cancer, lung cancer, male and female infertility, osteoarthritis, pneumonia, prostate cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, skin cancer, vaginal candidiasis and others.
Foods containing beta-cryptoxanthin
Beta Cryptoxanthin is contained in many foods such as red peppers, papaya, cilantro, oranges, corn, watermelon, avocado and grapefruit. One needs to consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day to obtain the required daily amount of carotenoids.