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Vitamin E, beta-carotene no help for heart disease, cancer

Published on Feb 25, 2014 9:56 AM
 
The findings are based on a systematic review of scientific studies which found that Vitamin E does not help - and that beta-carotene supplements could actually do more harm than good. -- ST FILE PHOTO: FRANCIS ONG

WASHINGTON (AFP) - In yet another blow to the US$28 billion (S$35 billion) vitamin industry, a US task force on Monday urged against taking Vitamin E and beta-carotene to ward off heart disease or cancer.

The latest guidelines from the US Preventive Services Task Force update the 2003 edition by adding Vitamin E and beta-carotene, a supplement that was already known to be ineffective at preventing the two most fatal diseases in America.

The findings are based on a systematic review of scientific studies which found that Vitamin E does not help - and that beta-carotene supplements could actually do more harm than good.

"Beta-carotene can be harmful because it increases the risk of lung cancer in people who are already at increased risk for the disease," said Task Force co-chair Michael LeFevre.

 
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