Beta-carotene 's Cancer Risk among Smokers

Beta-carotene 's Cancer Risk among Smokers

Beta-carotene 's Cancer Risk among Smokers
Beta-carotene 's Cancer Risk among Smokers

By: Arlene Gentallan

        You're not going to like this...

        Several studies confirms a strong link between daily intake of beta-carotene supplement among smokers and development of cancer. But, isn't beta-carotene an antioxidant? Aren't antioxidants supposed to protect us against cancer?



What is Beta-carotene?

        Beta-carotene is an important antioxidant our body needs in order to make Vitamin A which is essential for good eye sight, healthy skin, and functioning immune system.

        Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which means your body can store it in your liver where it can accumulate into toxic level over time if your intake is too much.

        On the other hand, taking beta-carotene is relatively safe because it does not reach toxic level in the body. Your body regulates how much beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A.



Research shows...

        29,133  smokers who jointed the ATBC (Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene) study in Finland were split into 4 groups and assigned a daily regimen of supplement: 50mg alpha tocopherol, 20mg beta-carotene, a combination of alpha tocopherol and beta-carotene, or a placebo. This eight year study (1985 and 1993) prove detrimental to it's participant who saw a strong link  between beta-carotene intake and development of lung cancer among those who took beta-carotene.

        18,314 smokers and asbestos-exposed individuals joined the CARET study in United States where they were split into two groups to received a daily dose of either a placebo or 30mg beta-carotene plus 25,000 IU retinly palamitate for about 4 years. Likewise, the result of the study was devastating, revealing a 28% increase in lung cancer cases among those who took beta-carotene compared to those who did not, which in 1996 put an end to this study.



What is the recommended daily intake of beta-carotene?

        Regulating authorities has not set a recommended dietary allowance for beta-carotene because of lack of basis.



Beta-carotene isn't all that bad!

        With all the good stuffs internet is feeding us about the miraculous benefit of antioxidant in the fight against cancer, how come?

        If you're that kind of person who thinks that taking mega doses of vitamins will do miraculous wonder to your body, you have it all wrong.

        You still need beta-carotene, but not in high doses.

        According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), there was no increase in cancer incidence among heavy smokers who take 6-15 mg per day of beta-carotene for 5-7 years.



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