Beta Carotene is a carotenoid . Carotenoids are light absorbing pigments occurring in plants and animals. Beta carotene stores light in plant leaves during the process of photosynthesis. Found in many plants including asparagus, apricots, broccoli, carrots, kale, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and tomatoes; it can easily be added to the diet naturally.

This carotenoid can absorb light wavelengths that evade chlorophyll. This can help to increase the range of usable light waves during photosynthesis. It also helps the plant reach for the light unless the light is too severe then it sends the plant growing into the opposite direction.

In the human body beta carotene through a series of conversions joins with opsin, the red pigment of the retina to make rhodopsin which is necessary for night vision. Rhodopsin is also called visual purple and it is the substance in the back of the eye that is responsible for the first steps in light recognition. Beta carotene may also serve as a cofactor in enzyme systems. These serve the enzyme in its catalyst functions.

The human body converts every one beta carotene molecule into two vitamin A molecules which are stored in the liver. People on average store a two year supply of this vitamin in the body. There are some vitamins which need to be replenished on a daily basis because they are not stored in the body. By contrast vitamin A is to be supplemented only with great caution because of the potential risk of overdose.

Beta Carotene not only helps with night vision, it aids in the treatment of some eye disorders. It helps to promote bone growth and teeth development and aids in the reproduction process Beta Carotene helps us to maintain healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes. It also builds the body’s resistances to infections, especially respiratory as it is an antioxidant and helps to remove free moving radicals in the body. Its thought to help prevent acne, impetigo, boils and open ulcers when applied to the skin. The symptoms of Beta Carotene deficiency are Night blindness, inability to create tears, subtle changes in the eyes, xeroderma, weight loss, poor bone growth, weakened tooth enamel, diarrhea, acne, insomnia or fatigue.

It will take several months of a Beta Carotene deficient diet before symptoms will begin to develop so don’t be concerned about a few days without eating carrots. Also don’t take beta carotene if you are allergic to Vitamin A. If you are pregnant do not take doses of Vitamin A larger than the Daily Value as it can cause growth retardation and urinary tract malformations in the fetus. Similarly don’t take doses higher than the daily value if you are breastfeeding.

Author's Bio: 

Author Vincent Platania represents Stanley Home Products. In business since 1931, Stanley Home Products has been offering families high-quality personal care and household products for 75 years. Stanley Home Products personal care and home cleaning products are environmentally friendly. Visit