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Curr Opin Lipidol. 1999 Feb;10(1):29-33.

Beta-carotene supplementation: a good thing, a bad thing, or nothing?

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Available data from several completed large-scale randomized trials indicate that beta-carotene supplementation for durations up to 12 years has no overall benefit in well-nourished populations on the incidence of cardiovascular disease or the middle-to-late stages of carcinogenesis. Several important questions, however, remain unanswered. The post-trial follow-up of completed trials, together with the results of several ongoing trials of beta-carotene supplementation, will contribute reliable information to the totality of evidence from basic research, animal studies, observational epidemiologic studies, and completed trials, thus allowing more rational clinical decisions for individual patients and policy decisions for the health of the general public.

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