Beta Carotene: Saint or Demon?

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Beta carotene is an extremely important player in helping you to avoid cardiovascular problems.  In fact, more than 200 studies have confirmed the cardiovascular beneficial effects of foods rich in flavonoids, carotenoids, and other antioxidants.

Yet, over the years, a few studies questioning the safety of supplementing with beta carotene and other antioxidants have made the headlines.

A review of 50 studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) a few years ago concluded that beta carotene may accelerate death. However, a closer look at these studies reveals major flaws in this conclusion.

The studies reviewed used various combinations of natural and synthetic antioxidants in varying doses over different lengths of time. Furthermore, these studies were conducted on both healthy and severely ill individuals.

One Finnish study in the review was conducted on smokers and alcoholics—people with severely compromised livers and immune systems who may have actually been harmed by the huge doses of beta carotene they were given (50,000 IU a day). In addition, the beta carotene used in the study was synthetic and colored with yellow dye #10, a known carcinogen in animals.

Another study included in the review was one in which researchers used an astronomical combination of up to 75,000 IU of vitamin A and beta carotene! No responsible doctor or holistic health practitioner would recommend such over-the-top amounts of these nutrients.

The pooled studies were simply too diverse to draw meaningful conclusions.

Good health information is based on all of the facts, not just the ones that support your agenda. Don’t accept the headlines about supplements at face value. Stay with me for the real story

I’ll share proven, practical, natural ways you can maintain healthy blood pressure, healthy cholesterol, healthy triglycerides and, in general, avoid cardiovascular problems.  And you’ll find, as I do, that it’s usually different from what’s in the news.

For more information on the real story regarding healthy heart nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.
 

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