Higher Antioxidant Intakes are Important For Supporting Lung Health in Male Smokers

Yale University researchers evaluated dietary records of participants in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (ATBC), a group of over 27,000 Finnish male smokers aged 50-69 years. Based on food records, intakes of carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin E, selenium, and vitamin C were analyzed. After evaluating the overall intake of antioxidants in this group, the conclusion differs somewhat from the original study.

According to this new analysis, men with higher overall intakes of antioxidants had lower relative risks of lung cancer regardless of their assigned study group (beta-carotene or placebo). While researchers of the ATBC study concluded that high-dose beta-carotene supplementation may increase lung cancer risk in male smokers, these findings support the hypothesis that a combination of dietary antioxidants reduces lung cancer risk in men who smoke.

Am J Epidemiol 2004 Jul 1;160(1):68-76