Supplements that should be taken with caution: Vitamin A and beta-carotene

Health and Diet

In recent years, the interest in supplements seems to be growing year by year.
However, there are two major problems with current supplements and health foods.

  1. Regulations are much more lax than for pharmaceuticals. This means that ineffective products are easily available at high prices.
  2. There is less research data than for pharmaceuticals. In other words, no one can say for sure about the long-term dangers.

As a result, many people are forced to pay unnecessarily high prices for health foods that not only have no effect, but may even shorten their lifespan in the long run.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to somehow sort out what we know and what we don't know, based on scientific evidence.
So, based on reliable data, we will look at supplements that have the potential to harm the body.
Previously, I have presented research results on the following supplements, and this time I will introduce vitamin A and beta-carotene.

Vitamin A and beta-carotene increase the chance of getting lung cancer.

Vitamin A is necessary for maintaining healthy skin, strengthening mucous membranes, and protecting against bacteria.
It is essential for a healthy life.

The other, beta-carotene, is a pigment found in many green and yellow vegetables, and is converted to vitamin A in the body.
After all, it works to strengthen mucous membranes, and supplements are sold under the names of “effective in preventing cancer” and “removes active oxygen.

However, vitamin A and beta-carotene are also among the supplements that you should not buy.
This is because both have been shown to “shorten life expectancy” in some data.

A typical example is a study conducted by the University of North Carolina in the U.S., which examined about 77,000 boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 6.
Satia JA, et al. (2009) Long-term use of beta-carotene, retinol, lycopene, and lutein supplements and lung cancer risk
After following everyone's lives for 10 years, the higher the intake of vitamin A and beta-carotene, the greater the chance of getting lung cancer.
This tendency seems to be greater in people who smoke.

Vitamin A supplements shorten life span

Even more reliable is a study conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2012 (7).
Bjelakovic G, et al. (2012)Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patients with various diseases.
This is a laborious work that examines the question, “Can antioxidants really make you healthy? It is the highest quality study to date.

The conclusion was that “taking vitamin A or beta-carotene increases early mortality by 3-10%.
This is a shocking report, as there is up to a 10% chance that taking any of these supplements will shorten your life.

This happens because of the fact that vitamin A is not easily eliminated from the body.
For example, vitamin C is easily soluble in water, so any excess can be easily removed from the urine.
However, since vitamin A is only soluble in fat, the unused portion accumulates in the body and eventually damages the liver.

As mentioned above, the liver is an important organ like a chemical plant that is responsible for processing toxins in the body.
Once this is done, it will be natural for the whole body to deteriorate.

It is strictly forbidden to take large amounts of vitamin A and beta-carotene in supplements.
Be sure to get it from foods such as liver and carrots.

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