Beta carotene for immune system

Beta carotene has been shown to stimulate and enhance many immune system processes. It increases the numbers of immune cells such as B and T lymphocytes, and may enhance natural killer cell activity. T cells play a very important role in determining immune status and are produced by the thymus gland, which is particularly sensitive to free radical damage.

Beta carotene for immune systemBeta carotene protects macrophages, white blood cells which engulf and destroy foreign substances. It also facilitates communication between immune cells and makes the stimulatory action of interferon on the immune system more powerful.

In a 1997 double-blind, placebo-controlled study done in the UK, researchers tested the effects of daily doses of 15 mg of beta carotene in 25 healthy, adult male nonsmokers. Their findings showed improvement in function in various parts of the immune system, including white blood cells known as monocytes, which are involved in surveillance of tumors.

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