Nutrition for Cigarette Smokers
Cigarette smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for cancer and heart disease. The more cigarettes a person smokes and the longer it's kept up, the greater the risk of dying from cancer, heart attack, or stroke. Probably less well known is that smokers are also much more likely to catch colds and other infections.
Of course, the best remedy for these risks and problems is
People who smoke often have deficiencies in numerous nutrients, including zinc
High doses of
For all these reasons, many smokers undoubtedly benefit from general nutritional support in the form of a
Although nutritional doses of the antioxidant nutrient beta-carotene help to supply needed vitamin A
In addition, a statistical analysis of the ATBC study, including 1,862 smokers with heart problems, found that individuals taking either beta-carotene or a beta-carotene/vitamin E combination had significantly increased risk of fatal heart attack compared to those taking placebo.
Another large double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolling 18,314 smokers, former smokers, and workers exposed to asbestos studied the effects of a different combination, beta-carotene and
The bottom line on beta-carotene: although nutritional dosages of beta-carotene (in the neighborhood of 3 mg daily for adults) are probably healthful, smokers should avoid doses of beta-carotene greater than in the range of 20 to 30 mg daily.
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17. Heinonen OP, Albanes D, Virtamo J, et al. Prostate cancer and supplementation with alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene: incidence and mortality in a controlled trial. J Natl Cancer Inst . 1998;90:440–446.
18. Albanes D, Heinonen OP, Huttunen JK, et al. Effects of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements on cancer incidence in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;62(suppl):1427S–1430S.
23. Rapola JM, Virtamo J, Ripatti S, et al. Randomised trial of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements on incidence of major coronary events in men with previous myocardial infarction. Lancet. 1997;349:1715–1720.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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