Found in many yellow, orange and red fruits and veggies, carotenoids are a class of compounds related to vitamin A. The carotenes include beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Beta-carotene, often used in place of vitamin A for supplementation, is converted to vitamin A in the liver when your body needs it. The beta-carotene that is not converted still has antioxidant power. It protects the body against free radicals which cause damage to cellullar genetic material, causing cancer. Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect the body against environmental pollutants and other substances that lead to aging.
Lycopene is a carotenoid that functions as an antioxidant for the prostate gland and has been shown to help lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Lutein and zeaxanthin work in the eye as antioxidants. Studies show that they also protect the eye from damage and can reduce the incidence of eye disease, such as macular degeneration.
The carotenoids are most effective when taken together in a complex. Pathway Carotenoid Complex is a comprehensive formula contains five natural carotenes, including beta-carotene and alpha-carotene from carrot oil, lycopene (a tomato extract from varieties of lycopersicum esculentum), and lutein and zeaxanthin from marigold flowers (calendula officinalis). Together, these nutrients provide powerful free-radical protection to the body.