The Importance of Beta-Carotene . . .
Beta-carotene deficiency is associated with hormone imbalance especially between estrogen and progesterone. An increased estrogen to progesterone ratio has been linked to the development of ovarian cysts (Pizzorno & Murray, 2012). Hormone balance is key to having a healthy reproductive system. In a study regarding the occurrence of ovarian cysts in cows, the importance of beta-carotene in the diet was discussed. Researchers hypothesize that since the corpus luteum has the highest concentration of beta-carotene af any organ that a proper ratio of carotene to retinol must be maintained in order for the corpus luteum to form properly (Pizzorno & Murray, 2012). The corpus luteum produces progesterone which means that impaired corpus luteum secretory function may result in irregular cycles, infertility and ovarian cysts. Supplemental beta-carotene may have the same effect on humans.
As noted in a previous blog post, beta-carotene can be found in orange vegtables. Carrots and sweet potatoes (yams) have the highest amount of beta-carotene as evidenced by their bright orange flesh.
Here’s a really easy and tasty sweet potato stew recipe from Jolinda Hackett
Also, here’s my first post regarding beta-carotene: Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene
For further reading . . .
Pizzorno, J. E., & Murray, M. T. (2012). Textbook of natural medicine. Paradise Valley: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.