Effect of Beta-Carotene on Cervical Cancer
Beta-carotene is also often recommended for another reason: it is an antioxidant, like vitamin E and vitamin C. In observational studies, high intake of carotenoids from food has been associated with...
Read more about Cervical Cancer and Beta-Carotene.
Effect of Beta-Carotene on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Read more about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Beta-Carotene.
There are no well-documented therapeutic uses of beta-carotene, beyond supplying nutritional doses of vitamin A.
Numerous observational studies have found that a high intake of foods rich in carotenoids is associated with a lower incidence of lung cancer, other forms of cancer , and heart disease . ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ However, beta-carotene supplements have not been found to be helpful for preventing these conditions. ^ In fact, when all major beta-carotene studies are statistically combined through a process called “meta-analysis,” some evidence appears suggesting that long-term usage of beta-carotene at high doses might increaseoverall death rate, for reasons that are unclear. ^ Similarly, observational evidence links high dietary intake of carotenoids to a lower incidence and/or slowed progression of cataracts , macular degeneration , and osteoarthritis , ^ but again there is no reliable evidence that beta-carotene supplements are helpful for these conditions. In fact, a 12-year study of over 22,000 male physicians failed to find that beta-carotene had anyeffect on the incidence of macular degeneration. ^ Preliminary evidence raised hopes that beta-carotene supplements might increase or preserve immune function or decrease symptoms among people with HIV . ^ However, other studies found no benefit, ^ and some evidence hints that too much beta-carotene might actually be harmful. ^ Beta-carotene supplements may be helpful for protecting the skin from sunburn , particularly in people with extreme sensitivity to the sun , but the evidence regarding this potential use is somewhat contradictory. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ One double-blind trial found that faithful daily use of sunscreen was more effective at preventing sun damage to the skin than oral beta-carotene plus sunscreen used as needed. ^ One preliminary study found evidence that beta-carotene might be helpful for cystic fibrosis, by helping prevent lung infections. ^ Another preliminary study suggests that beta-carotene might help prevent exercise-induced asthma. ^ Weak evidence culled from a large double-blind, placebo-controlled study hints that use of beta-carotene over many years might enhance mental function . ^ Beta-carotene has been proposed as a treatment for alcoholism , asthma , depression , epilepsy , headaches , heartburn , male infertility , female infertility , Parkinson's disease , psoriasis , rheumatoid arthritis , and schizophrenia , but there is little to no evidence that it works.
There is some evidence that beta-carotene is noteffective for cervical dysplasia ^ or intermittent claudication . ^