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beta-Carotene in the treatment of erythropoietic protoporphyria. A short review.


A review of published trials with beta-carotene and/or canthaxanthin treatment of erythropoietic protoporphyria is presented. Increased tolerance to sunlight is reported in about 85% of the cases in uncontrolled studies. In the only controlled trial on record no difference was found between beta-carotene and placebo. Correlations between the results of carotenoid treatment and phototests have been reported in some studies, but denied in others. During treatment the protoporphyrin levels in erythrocytes were significantly increased in one study, but decreased or unaffected in others. A possible mechanism of photoprotection by beta-carotene is briefly presented. To date no serious side effects or hypervitaminosis-A induced by beta-carotene have been reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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