Carotene, beta: An antioxidant, a substance that protects cells against oxidation damage which, it is thought, can lead to cancer. Beta carotene is converted, as needed, to vitamin A.
Food sources of beta carotene include vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and other leafy green vegetables; and fruit such as cantaloupes and apricots.
Excessive carotene in the diet can temporarily yellow the skin, a condition called carotenemia, commonly seen in infants fed largely mashed carrots.
Carotenemia: An excessive blood level of carotene, which causes a temporary yellowing of the skin (pseudojaundice). Carotenemia is most commonly seen in infants fed too much mashed carrots and adults consuming high quantities of carrots, carrot juice, or beta carotene in supplement form.
Carotenoid: One of a group of compounds that includes beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin which are converted to vitamin A and are referred to as provitamin A carotenoids. The sole known role of carotenoids is to act as a source of vitamin A in the diet. Fruits and vegetables are the main source of carotenoids in […]
Carotid: Pertaining to the carotid artery and the area near that key artery, which is located in the front of the neck.
- Carotid artery
Carotid artery: Either of the two key arteries located in the front of the neck, through which blood from the heart goes to the brain. The right and left common carotid arteries are located on each side of the neck. Together, these arteries provide the principal blood supply to the head and neck. The left […]
- Carotid body
Carotid body: A small “body” of tissue rich in capillaries, at the spot the carotid artery branches in the neck, containing cells that sense the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in blood and from which messages are dispatched to the medulla (in the brain) to regulate the heart rate.