What are carotenoids & how important are they for us?
Our bodies are amazing but, being technical, Carotenoids are a class of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) and are found in the cells of a wide variety of plants, algae and bacteria. They help plants absorb light energy for use in photosynthesis. They also have an important antioxidant function of deactivating free radicals and gives us a massive defence against, as yet unknown, future illness.
They are essential for us in preventing illness and our best defence in supporting good health at molecular level – something that most of us would have never considered in our day to day life.
Single oxygen atoms can damage our cells by reacting with other molecules, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.
Carotenoids also act as antioxidants in the human body, which means that they have strong cancer-fighting and illness beating properties, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Some carotenoids are converted by the body to vitamin A, which is essential to vision, normal growth and development. Carotenoids also have anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits and are sometimes associated with cardiovascular disease prevention.
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If you are considering, or already taking supplements, it is essential that you can monitor how these are working for you.