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Jpn J Cancer Res. 2000 May;91(5):464-70.

Effects of three-month oral supplementation of beta-carotene and vitamin C on serum concentrations of carotenoids and vitamins in middle-aged subjects: a pilot study for a randomized controlled trial to prevent gastric cancer in high-risk Japanese population.

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  • 1Epidemiology and Biostatistics Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute East, 6-5-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa 277-8577, Japan.


Prior to a randomized controlled trial to prevent gastric cancer by oral supplementation of beta-carotene and vitamin C in a high-risk Japanese population, we examined the serum response to three-month oral supplementation of beta-carotene (0, 3, 30 mg / day) and vitamin C (0, 50, 1000 mg / day) by a three-by-three factorial design using 54 subjects (age range = 40 - 69 years). Serum concentrations of carotenoids, alpha-tocopherol, and ascorbic acid were examined at baseline, and one, two, and three-month points. Both serum beta-carotene and ascorbic acid were significantly higher in high-dose groups than in each placebo group during the supplementation. The serum beta-carotene increased gradually (597 - 830% increase) during the study, whereas the serum ascorbic acid reached nearly a steady-state at the one-month point and remained stable thereafter (88 - 95% increase). No statistically significant interaction between beta-carotene and vitamin C supplementations was observed either for serum beta-carotene or for serum ascorbic acid. Among carotenoids and alpha-tocopherol examined, serum lycopene in the high-dose beta-carotene group was significantly higher than in the placebo group at all points. No unfavorable change in carotenoids and alpha-tocopherol was observed in any group.

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