publish date 2022-01-03 09:09:23
Many health experts are reluctant to recommend certain vitamins or supplements based on recent scientific evidence.
And a US national task force warned against taking a dietary supplement because it can increase the risk of cancer or fatal cardiovascular disease, according to what it published on Sunday.
Avoid this supplement
In May 2021, the US Preventive Action Task Force (USPTF) published a draft statement on its website saying that it had “officially recommended against taking beta-carotene supplements.”
“Studies suggest that beta-carotene supplementation may increase the chances of developing lung cancer in people already at higher risk (such as smokers),” the research team said.
Five studies also found a “statistically significant increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease” in people who took beta-carotene supplements after 4 to 12 years of follow-up.
Beta-carotene can be harmful
“Evidence suggests that there is no benefit from taking vitamin E, and beta-carotene can be harmful, as it increases the risk of lung cancer, especially,” John Wong, MD, MD, of Tufts American Medical Center in Boston, said in a statement. For those who smoke, it also increases the risk of death from heart disease, or stroke.”
What is beta-carotene?
Beta-carotene is a “carotenoid”, or in other words a natural plant chemical, and is one of the many red, orange, and purple pigments found in fruits and vegetables.
It is found naturally in foods such as carrots, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes and apricots.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent for your health, and there is strong evidence to suggest that eating them daily reduces the risks of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, to name a few.
But isolating certain chemicals from fruits and vegetables in supplement form is a different story, and some commercial beta-carotene supplements can contain double doses of the substance, which are more than what experts recommend getting from a healthy diet.
Experts advise eating a varied diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and other nutritious whole foods.
“Grains do not necessarily improve health and prevent chronic disease,” said Larry Appel, director of the Johns Hopkins Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research.
He added: “Other nutrition recommendations have much stronger evidence of benefits, such as eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and sugar you eat.”
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