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Beta-carotene warning

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is pushing FDA to require manufacturers of beta-carotene dietary supplements to warn smokers or people exposed to asbestos of an increased risk of lung cancer if they take supplements containing large doses of synthetic beta-carotene. CSPI says that supplements with more than 5,000 IU, or 3 mg, should bear warning notices and FDA should take action against companies that do not label accordingly. Companies including Nature Made and GNC market pills with 25,000 IU or 15 mg of beta-carotene, the center claims. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, a panel of the National Institutes of Health and others have separately determined that beta-carotene supplementation is risky for smokers and asbestos-exposed populations. A study published earlier this year in the Journal of the American Medical Association found beta carotene intake associated with a 7% increase in mortality rates among participants, though the study was challenged by trade groups (1"The Tan Sheet" March 5, 2007, p. 17)...

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