23 August 2022
Beta-Carotene: A Powerful Antioxidant That Does Much More Than Just Boost Your Summer Tan!
Whether we're talking about hiking in the mountains, festivals or sunbathing on a blanket by the lake or sea, in summer we're naturally drawn to the sun. We're trying to catch some of that summer bronze, not get sun burnt and then keep the tan as long as possible. Beta-carotene helps us incredibly! But did you know that it's also a brilliant antioxidant that brings our bodies a ton of health benefits? Read on to find out how beta-carotene's supportive properties for tanning actually work and why it's recommended that you supplement it to your body, not just during summer. You'll be amazed!
A miraculous carotenoid!
Let's go back almost two hundred years, to 1831, when a remarkable experiment took place in the laboratory of the eminent German scientist H. Wachenroder—he managed to isolate this important substance from carrots. Hence the name beta-carotene, derived from the Latin word 'carota' (carrot).
Beta-carotene is one of the carotenoids, i.e. pigments, of which there are about 700 different kinds in nature. In addition to carrots, it is also found in other vegetables and fruits such as papaya, apricots, peaches and sweet potatoes, as well as spinach, parsley and broccoli. In nature, beta-carotene helps with processes such as photosynthesis and is similarly important for our body. However, our body cannot produce it on its own and therefore we have to supply it. Once ingested, it converts it into vitamin A, an important micronutrient that supports the health of the eyes, the immune system and our skin.
Fruits, veggies and a bit of high-quality oil
Although we can find many different dietary supplements with beta-carotene in the pharmacy, experts say it is enough to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, which will also provide us with other necessary vitamins, minerals and plant compounds.
Because it dissolves in fat, we recommend that you always eat vegetables rich in beta-carotene with a little bit of olive oil or other high-quality, cold-pressed oil. Of the European oils, rapeseed oil is the most nutritionally valuable, so it is a great local choice. And if you really want to get your beta-carotene fix in the summer before sunbathing, reach for Mana Apricot. It contains the same amount of beta-carotene as two beautifully ripe apricots, as well as quality fats to aid absorption, while giving you a balanced combination of 42 plant-based essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.
A beautiful and safe tan? No problem
Have you ever wondered how beta-carotene affects the shade and durability of your tan? It's actually quite logical. Beta-carotene is a fat-soluble pigment, which also colours the skin and subcutaneous tissue. At the same time, when we expose our skin to the sun in early summer after a long winter, it protects it from a sunburn. By increasing our intake of beta-carotene, we can prevent the first problems with skin irritation and start tanning naturally right away.
In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1993, beta-carotene was found to reduce skin damage, give the skin a generally healthier appearance, and protect against the appearance of pigment spots or premature skin aging. That’s what you want!
But apart from uneven tanning, sun exposure brings much greater health risks. Tanning exposes us to UV radiation, which produces free radicals. These free radicals can trigger the effects of aging and skin sagging, leading to sunburn and damage to skin cells. Duch long-term damage can lead to skin cancer at its worst. According to a 2012 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, beta-carotene supplementation acts as a protection against this so-called photo-oxidation when tanning by mitigating the impact of free radicals on our bodies.
But that doesn't mean that if we eat beta-carotene, we don’t need to use sunscreen. Antioxidants only work in the deeper layers of the skin, so they tend to repair the damage that has already been done. They are far from protecting against sunburn. So before sunbathing, we need to give the body enough beta-carotene as well as sunscreen.
ManaDrink Apricot contains approximately as much beta-carotene as 2 large ripe apricots, as well as high-quality fats to support its absorption from the drink. Excellent as a tanning aid and for the general health of your skin.
Plus, it's wonderfully refreshing.
But beta-carotene does much more than just give you a beautiful tan and protect your skin:
- boosts metabolism
- contributes to the maintenance of mucosal function
- improves skin health
- contributes to the maintenance of eyesight
- helps maintain immune system function
- participates in the process of cell specialization
Beta-carotene as an antioxidant
As a carotenoid, beta-carotene is one of the effective antioxidants that neutralize harmful free radicals. These are formed in our body spontaneously and to an increased extent, for example, during stress, poor diet, during a stay in polluted air or as part of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Free radicals damage cells through oxidation, resulting in so-called oxidative stress. This damage can lead to chronic diseases, and since heart disease is the most common cause of death in Europe, it is certainly a very good idea to supply the body with antioxidants—it cannot produce enough of them on its own.
Preventing eye diseases and promoting eye health
Well, there is some truth to the saying "Eat lots of carrots, you'll have healthy eyes" after all! Beta-carotene is needed for balanced levels of vitamin A, which supports proper eye function. The results of a 2015 study from JAMA Ophthalmol showed that increased intake of fruits and vegetables with carotenoids like beta-carotene has a protective effect against AMD (age-related macular degeneration). AMD is an eye disease that causes blurred vision, especially in old age. In a study spanning nearly two decades, it was found that individuals who regularly consumed carotenoid-rich foods had up to a 35% lower risk of developing AMD in old age.
Effects of beta-carotene on cognitive function and memory
The positive effects of beta-carotene on our mental processes are also worth mentioning. A 2007 US study for The Physicians' Health showed that long-term use of beta-carotene in men over 65 clearly improves their cognitive performance. Adding to this claim are the results of studies published in the Cochrane Library, which have shown that systematic supplementation with antioxidants such as beta-carotene helps combat cognitive decline and reduces the risk of diseases such as dementia.
How much beta-carotene should we give our body?
So now you know how beta-carotene works in your body and why you need to replenish it constantly. Although, unlike Vitamin A, we can take a really high dose of beta-carotene without having to worry about side effects, it's better to follow the recommended daily intake.
Within the daily intake, nutritionists recommend 6 to 15 mg per day for adults and 3 to 6 mg per day for children. However, the conversion of beta-carotene is governed by the level of vitamin A in the body, so if we have enough of it in the body, the conversion is reduced. So if you overdo it with beta-carotene, you're not in any danger of anything major except a scary Donald Trump-style skin tone.
One serving contains 2.7 mg of beta-carotene, that’s about one-fifth of the recommended daily allowance. Thanks to its perfectly balanced recipe and the taste of juicy apricots,
it is not only nutritious, but also extremely refreshing and delicious!
Carrot Feast or Mana?
Does that mean you have to eat carrots from morning till night to get enough beta-carotene? Absolutely not. In addition to the 42 essential nutrients, Mana contains plenty of beta-carotene. You'll even find 2.7 mg of beta-carotene in one serving of ManaDrink Apricot or ManaPowder Apricot, which is about one-fifth of the recommended daily intake. Combined with the healthy fats found in Mana from six plant sources, your body can absorb beta-carotene perfectly.
Mana Apricot is not just a refreshing partner for your summer adventures that will fill you up and give you plenty of energy. It also helps you maintain a regular intake of beta-carotene, which, as you now know, helps in many ways all year round. So pack Mana in your backpack and enjoy the rest of your summer to the fullest!
 F. Grodstein, J. H. Kang (2007) A Randomized Trial of Beta Carotene Supplementation and Cognitive Function in Men.
 Juan Wu, E. Cho, W. Willett (2015) Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration During 2 Decades of Prospective Follow-up.
 H. Khoo, H. S. Ng, Wai-Sum Yap (2019) Nutrients for Prevention of Macular Degeneration and Eye-Related Diseases.
 A. Rutjes, D. Denton, M. Di Nisio, L. Chong (2018) Vitamin and mineral supplementation for maintaining cognitive function in cognitively healthy people in mid and late life.
 The Mayo Clinic (2020) Sun allergy.
 D. Hornero Mendez, M. I. Minguez (2007) Bioaccessibility of carotenoids from carrots: Effect of cooking and addition of oil.
 M. R. Prince, J. K. Frisoli (1993) Beta-carotene accumulation in serum and skin.
 Bezpečnost potravin: Beta karoten.