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Carrots


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#1    Mauritania

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 10:41 AM

Many people believe that eating carrots helps you to see better at night, and this idea comes in part from Cunningham's wartime reputation as a night fighter pilot - which was popularly attributed to his eating carrots. Here's the real story:

The eye's retina detects light via rods and cones. The cones detect detail and colour, but need plenty of light to function (like a 'slow' film emulsion). The rods have low acuity and can't distinguish colour at all but need less light (like a 'fast' emulsion) so are used for night vision.

The rods work by virtue of something called rhodopsin (visual purple), an ingredient of which is vitamin A. Therefore a deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night blindness, and night blindness caused in this way can be treated with supplements or foods rich in Vitamin A (carotene) - this includes carrots, but also (better) apricots, dark-leaved vegetables such as spinach, and bilberries.

However, this is about correcting defective night vision by correcting a vitamin deficiency; there is no basis for believing that you can enhance night vision beyond normal levels by taking an overdose of carotene - any more than you can put more petrol in an already full tank. Excessive amounts of carotene can cause the skin to turn orange, though.


#2    Bebi

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 10:58 AM

Quote


Many people believe that eating carrots helps you to see better at night, and this idea comes in part from Cunningham's wartime reputation as a night fighter pilot - which was popularly attributed to his eating carrots. Here's the real story:

The eye's retina detects light via rods and cones. The cones detect detail and colour, but need plenty of light to function (like a 'slow' film emulsion). The rods have low acuity and can't distinguish colour at all but need less light (like a 'fast' emulsion) so are used for night vision.

The rods work by virtue of something called rhodopsin (visual purple), an ingredient of which is vitamin A. Therefore a deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night blindness, and night blindness caused in this way can be treated with supplements or foods rich in Vitamin A (carotene) - this includes carrots, but also (better) apricots, dark-leaved vegetables such as spinach, and bilberries.

However, this is about correcting defective night vision by correcting a vitamin deficiency; there is no basis for believing that you can enhance night vision beyond normal levels by taking an overdose of carotene - any more than you can put more petrol in an already full tank. Excessive amounts of carotene can cause the skin to turn orange, though.


Yup good one, and did you know that the carrots in sick are actually pieces of stomach lining?  lol

First Aid courses are great for gruesome info.....


ph34r.gif

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#3    Randomperson101

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 01:12 PM

Also, did you know that carrots were once purple?


#4    Darkmage515

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 02:49 PM

The only way to see better at night is to drink bats blood.


#5    justcallmefox

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 02:55 PM

^disturbing. blink.gif


but the article was quite interesting. *will eat more carrots*
i would like to know more about the "rods and cones" that were mentioned. what, exactly, ARE they?

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#6    Bebi

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 03:01 PM

Quote


^disturbing. blink.gif
but the article was quite interesting. *will eat more carrots*
i would like to know more about the "rods and cones" that were mentioned. what, exactly, ARE they?


As far as I'm aware they're the cells at the back of the eye...  but don't quote me on that lol

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#7    justcallmefox

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 03:31 PM

oh, OK.
you wouldn't happen to have a link for that, would you?

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#8    Bebi

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 03:37 PM

Quote


oh, OK.
you wouldn't happen to have a link for that, would you?



Link for Foxy  ohmy.gif)

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Edit:  Wtf happened there with that smiley sneaking into my link pmsfl another Unexplained Mystery I guess...

Edited by Bebi, 02 November 2005 - 03:38 PM.

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#9    Doctor_Strangelove

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 11:30 PM

Quote


Yup good one, and did you know that the carrots in sick are actually pieces of stomach lining?  lol

First Aid courses are great for gruesome info.....
ph34r.gif

That explains why there almost always carrots in your vomit. blink.gif Thats one great mystery of life solved.

Edited by MJB222, 02 November 2005 - 11:30 PM.

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#10    Lord Umbarger

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 10:02 PM

I did not know that they were originally purple! I did read some thing a few days ago about a farmer who had a whole row of them that color though. They made it out like it was some great mystery. Now it would seem that they were just a through back to an earlier form. Great info.

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#11    hyperactive

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 11:48 PM

the story goes that carrots were used as a cover by the US airforce when they were developing their fight prep systems.  It indeed goes to the time it takes for the rods and cones of the eye to adapt to low level lighting.  Rather than reveal to the pilots about light testing, they also had them eating carrots, and gave the cover story that it was the carrots that allowed them to adjust to low light faster (opposed to the lighting conditions in the flight prep/briefing rooms).



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#12    fawkes2

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 12:45 AM

my cousin use to eat a lot of carrots because she heard they were good for our eyes then when she was ten her eyes were bad that she needed glasses laugh.gif talk about life's irony.
anyway she doesn't care much for carrots anymore.

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#13    Welsh Shaun

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 01:13 AM

Quote

Yup good one, and did you know that the carrots in sick are actually pieces of stomach lining? lol

First Aid courses are great for gruesome info.....


Thats the best bit of useless info I've heard in ages, can't wait to tell them down the pub. grin2.gif

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#14    angrycrustacean

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 08:36 PM

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Also, did you know that carrots were once purple?


Yes, they were bred to be orange by the Dutch, because the royal color of the Netherlands is orange.

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#15    AztecInca

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Posted 07 November 2005 - 02:46 AM

You can still buy the purple carrots although I wont be anytime soon.





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