Vitamins are compounds that you must have for growth and health. Although you can usually get all the vitamins you need from your diet, some people take supplements to increase their intake. Taking this approach can present serious health risks, suggests a growing body of evidence.

One particular dietary supplement – beta-carotene – has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer.

“There is strong evidence from randomized controlled trials that high-dose beta-carotene supplements may increase the risk of lung cancer in some people,” warns the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

The use of beta-carotene has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer in people who smoke or have been exposed to asbestos.

A study of 29,000 male smokers found an 18% increase in lung cancer in the group given 20 mg of beta-carotene per day for five to eight years.

READ MORE: Combination of supplements could lead to ‘life-threatening consequences’, experts warn

“If you smoke or have a history of smoking or exposure to asbestos, you should not take large amounts of beta-carotene supplements for long periods of time,” warns the Mayo Clinic.

The health organization continues, “However, foods high in beta-carotene are considered safe and appear to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and possibly heart disease.”

Beta-carotene gives yellow and orange fruits and vegetables their color.

It is converted into vitamin A in the body, so that it can perform the same tasks in the body as vitamin A.

The main sources of beta-carotene are:

  • Yellow and green (leafy) vegetables – such as spinach, carrots and red peppers
  • Yellow fruits – like mango, papaya and apricots.

According to the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC), you should be able to get the amount of beta-carotene you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

“If you decide to take beta-carotene supplements, it’s important not to take too much as it could be harmful,” advises DHSC.

Do not take more than 7 mg of beta-carotene supplements per day, unless directed by a doctor.

According to the WCRF, there is no strong evidence that dietary supplements other than calcium for colorectal cancer can reduce cancer risk.

“For most people, consuming the right foods and drinks is more likely to protect against cancer than dietary supplements,” says the health body.

As he explains, a dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a “food ingredient” intended to achieve levels of consumption of micronutrients or other food components beyond what is generally achievable by the human body. only diet.

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