Carrots, stick like vegetables of intensive orange color, have been considered as very healthy for many years. What is definite is that carrots are rich in beta-carotene, substance which is essential for production of vitamin A. Vitamin A belongs to a group of liposolubile vitamins and is produced by conversion of beta-carotene. Vitamin A is important to our bodies since it supports maintaining the good eyesight. The daily intake of vitamin A is strict and limited since if it is exceeded it may be harmful or even fatal. Vitamin A toxicity is a state of over exceeding the daily doses usually taken in a form of pre-formed vitamin A. This form of vitamin is also potential as a contributor of osteoporosis even if taken within prescribed range.
The orange color of carrots originates from carotene. The substance is named after the carrot. It is one powerful antioxidant, preventing the cell damage caused by oxygen. Since damage of the cells represents the first step towards carcinogenesis this antioxidant is considered to be useful in prevention of this horrible disease. But if one eats a lot of carrots per day or food rich in beta carotene he/she may develop so called "carotenosis". In this condition skin and mucous membrane become orange. The condition itself is not so dangerous apart from the distinguish color of the body. The carrot is rich in flavonoids as well. These components give certain vegetables various colors and are considered to be of health benefits for humans.
What needs to be emphasized is that there is probably more than one component present in carrots which is beneficial for our health. Carrots are rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, phytonutritiens and dietary fiber.
A lot of scientists have isolated the components of the carrot and studied their effects on animals. The aim was to establish possible benefits of taking these components in form of a pill. In many cases compounds which have been created synthetically have proved to be potentially toxic for humans. This only implies that natural way of taking nutritious and healthy components differs more from the intake of synthetically created supplements. Today vitamin supplements are tested carefully and are much more appropriate than before.
Some researchers have tried to reproduce the positive effect of fruits and vegetables rich in carotene. In these studies beta-carotene, vitamin A and E and other supplements were used. What was found was that not only that these supplements did not reduce the growth of the cancer but they also increased the rate of growth and even the risk of mortality due to lung cancer. After that a warning regarding supplements containing these isolated compounds was called. This way people are also stimulated to intake these components naturally rather than synthetically. One fresh carrot is still better than a pill of beta carotene.