Why should I avoid beta-carotene supplements?

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You should avoid beta-carotene supplements if you’re a smoker or have been exposed to asbestos: Research suggests that high doses of beta-carotene -- compounds that the body converts into vitamin A -- may raise your risk of lung cancer. Also pass on these supplements if you’ve recently had angioplasty, since they may slow the healing process.

Beta-carotene supplements may interfere with certain drugs, such as cholesterol-lowering statins and niacin. So speak with your health-care provider if you’re taking a prescription medication. Finally, there hasn't been enough research on pregnancy and beta-carotene to know if it's safe for women who are expecting. If you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, skip the supplements.
Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Beta-carotene supplements should be avoided, as they have been shown to be harmful for smokers, ex-smokers, and others. Large amounts, either in your diet or as supplements, can turn the soles of your feet or your palms orange. This discoloration is harmless, and will likely go away, but you should tell your doctor if this happens.
The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

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The Arthritis Handbook: Improve Your Health and Manage the Pain of Osteoarthritis (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)

According to conventional wisdom, arthritis pain is an inevitable part of aging. Not so, says Dr. Grant Cooper in this practical, accessible guide. For those who do develop osteoarthritic conditions,...