Every time anyone eats papaya, peach, or orange, he or she is receiving a nutritious quota of cryptoxanthin that belongs to a top quality collection of carotenoids and may be easily converted into vitamin A in our body. Basically, cryptoxanthin is essential for two groups of people - women and people who smoke or use tobacco products. A clinical study conducted in 1993 on women to compare the intensity of blood carotenoid in women suffering from cervical cancer and women free from this form of cancer demonstrated that cancer-free women possessed appreciably higher blood intensity of cryptoxanthin. The findings of the research imply that cryptoxanthin possibly has the potential to protect women from the pangs of the deadly cervical cancer. Scientists are of the view that if it is proved that cryptoxanthin has the potential to protect people from cancer; it would not be the first instance when a carotenoid would be found to have potent anti-cancer properties. Some earlier studies on the subject have demonstrated that beta-carotene, lycopene, and alpha-carotene are among the many carotenoids that are strong free radical (reactive molecule) foragers and cancer combatants.

Another research on the subject puts forward the theory that cryptoxanthin content in the body may perhaps be exhausted owing to smoking. During the course of this study, the scientists evaluated the intensity of carotenoids and vitamin E in people who smoked tobacco or chewed tobacco products against the blood levels in people who refrained from smoking or using tobacco merchandise in any form. The researchers found that while people who used tobacco products possessed drastically lesser levels of cryptoxanthin compared to people who did not smoke or were free from tobacco use. The researchers suggested that people with poor levels of cryptoxanthin should either consume more foodstuffs that were rich in cryptoxanthin content or take any carotenoid enhancement with cryptoxanthin. In fact, you will normally find cryptoxanthin incorporated in blended carotenoid formulae.

Also known as beta-cryptoxanthin, cryptoxanthin belongs to the carotenoid family - a cluster of flavonoids that is responsible for the color and flavor of the fruits and vegetables. The antioxidant properties of carotenoids have been established and their function is to protect the body from the damages done by the free radical or harmful activated molecules. That the carotenoids are effective in neutralizing the free radicals in the body is proved beyond doubt.

Similar to alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin too is a potent antioxidant that can easily be change to active retinol or vitamin A in our body. It is well known that vitamin A plays a crucial role in preserving healthy vision, encouraging reproduction as well as maintaining the tissues in the body. Several recent researches have demonstrated that cryptoxanthin also plays a crucial role in averting a number of forms of cancer. According to a study published in the Cancer Epidemiology Biomarker and Prevention's January 2004 edition, people who ingested foodstuffs containing high levels of cryptoxanthin were at least 30%t less susceptible to develop lung cancer. On the other hand, deficiency of cryptoxanthin in a person's diet is likely to expose him or her to various forms of cancer. Initial findings from researches on cryptoxanthin hint that women suffering from cervical cancer and all patients with colon cancer possess very poor levels of cryptoxanthin in their body. According to the researchers, cryptoxanthin has vital functions in preventing cancer - neutralizing the free radicals in the body through its antioxidant properties and also invigorating the RB gene that thwarts cells from becoming cancerous.

In addition to providing a shield against cancer and combating the deadly disease, cryptoxanthin also has the potential to protect us from other ailments that are linked to the aging process such as heart ailments, skin cancer, arthritis as well as prostate cancer. And similar to the other carotenoids, cryptoxanthin also plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the eyes as well as averting age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Several researches have also shown that the carotenoids also perform the vital function of preventing many severe health problems such as AIDS, asthma, insistent yeast contagion as well as sterility.

Several fruits like papaya, oranges, peaches and tangerines are rich in cryptoxanthin content. Other sources of this precious nutrient comprise cilantro, red bell peppers, corn and watermelon. Hence it is advisable that people, who are chain smokers, use other tobacco products, have a low intake of fruits and vegetable or follow a low-fat diet should actively think about a carotenoid enhancement along with their diet. It may be mentioned here that cryptoxanthin dissolves in fats and hence it should be ingested with fat so that the substance is properly assimilated in the body. As a result, certain conditions that diminishes the body's capability to soak up fat like pancreatic enzyme deficiency, celiac sprue, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, removal of some or all part of the stomach, liver disease as well as gall bladder disease may result into shortage of carotenoid in people. In case any of you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned condition, it is advisable that you also seriously consider taking carotenoid supplements with your food.

It may be mentioned here that cryptoxanthin is available in various forms - tablets, capsules and even soft gel amalgamation carotenoid enhancements at most drug stores and well as health food stores. It is interesting to note that cryptoxanthin is often also integrated in numerous new 'green drinks' available in the market. These 'green drinks' are also rich in other carotenoid contents. Many carotenoid supplements are marketed as agents that help in promoting vision or ensuring sound sleep. Ingesting a combination of cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene is very effective as beta-carotene helps in the assimilation of fat-soluble cryptoxanthin in the body.

An important study conducted on cryptoxanthin in 1996 that was called the 'Beta-Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial' (CARET) demonstrated that people who smoked tobacco and also took beta-carotene enhancement had a higher rate of lung cancer compared to smokers who did not take beta-carotene supplements. Following the findings of this study, the National Academy of Sciences cautioned people against using high doses of carotenoid enhancements barring cases where it is taken to avoid deficiency of vitamin A. Hence, it is advised that smokers and people suffering from ailments of the lungs should in all probability completely stay away from taking carotenoid supplements as they may prove to be detrimental for health.


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