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True Beauty Starts Inside

We have probably all heard that carrots are good for our health, particularly for our eye health.  This is primarily due to the very high levels of vitamin A and its natural precursor, beta-carotene, in carrots.  In fact, a single cup of carrots has been reported to provide over 650% of our daily needs for vitamin A, which is simply amazing.  In addition to being rich in vitamin A, carrots are a very good source of vitamins K and C, dietary fiber, and potassium.

While carrots are well known as a nutritionally rich, delicious-tasting vegetable that is good for eye health, few realize the possible benefits of carrots for healthy looking skin.  Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges oxidative free radicals and plays an important role in protecting plants from oxidative damage due to over exposure to sunlight [1].  Interestingly, beta-carotene may have the same function in our own skin.  Dietary consumption of a beta-carotene or beta-carotene rich supplements were reported to result in the elevation of beta-carotene levels in the skin and a decrease in the skin’s sensitivity to simulated sunlight [2, 3].  An analysis of several studies on the benefits of beta-carotene for skin appearance confirmed the results of this earlier study.  The results of this analysis showed that dietary beta-carotene has a significant protective effect against sunburn and the longer beta-carotene was taken the greater the protective effects; however, beta-carotene’s skin protective effects in this study were not seen until 10 weeks after adding it to the diet [4].  In addition to protecting the skin from sunburn, it has been reported that consuming a mixture of carotenoids (lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene) improved skin density and thickness, while reducing scaling and roughness  [5].

These recent studies demonstrate the skin health benefits of beta-carotene.  Carrots are one of the richest sources of beta-carotene making them an excellent and healthy option for increasing one’s beta-carotene intake.  Making carrots and other beta-carotene rich foods part of your daily eating pattern is a smart, skin-healthy choice.

Remember that our true beauty starts inside!

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Healthy Regards,

 

 

Aaron Tabor, MD
Diet, Anti-Aging, and Nutritional Cosmetic Expert

Author of Dr. Tabor’s Diet and FIGHT NOW: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer.
Learn more about Dr. Tabor’s diet and anti-aging research at www.DrTabor.com.

References:

  1. Stahl W, Sies H.  Bioactivity and protective effects of natural carotenoids.  Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2005; 1740:101-107.
  2. Stahl W, Heinrich U, Jungmann H, Sies H, Tronnier H.  Carotenoids and carotenoids plus vitamin E protect against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 71:795-798.
  3. Heinrich U, Gartner C, Wiebusch M, Eichler O, Sies H, Tronnier H, Stahl W.  Supplementation with b-carotene or a similar amount of mixed carotenoids protects humans from UV-induced erythema.  Journal of Nutrition 2003; 133:98-101.
  4. Kopcke W, Krutmann J.  Protection from Sunburn with b-carotene – a meta-analysis.  Photochemistry and Photobiology 2008; 84:284-288.
  5. Heinrich U, Tronnier H, Stahl W, Bejot M, Maurette J-M.  Antioxidant supplements improve parameters related to skin structure in humans.  Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 2006; 19:224-31.
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