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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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Is it true that you should not take a beta carotene supplement

Resolved Question:

Is it true that you should not take a beta carotene supplement if you have smoked? I quit 10 years ago and my doctor told me I should not take beta carotene supplements.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 6 years ago.

Yes it is true that past and current smokers taking beta carotene supplements can increase the rates of lung cancer. For that reasons, smokers with macular degeneration are recommend to take the ones that have lutein as a replacement for beta carotene.

Family history is an important factor to the development of macular degeneration. Changes in the macula is also important to determine your risk as well. Talk to you eye doctor first to see if you'll need the standard supplements or high dose vitamins.

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