BETA NO MORE

A DIET SUPPLEMENT TAKEN BY MILLIONS DOESN'T WORK

IT SOUNDED LIKE SUCH A GOOD IDEA. Scientists knew that folks who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables have lower rates of cancer and heart disease. They also knew that these same people have high levels of a compound called beta carotene in their blood. Like its chemical cousin vitamin A, beta carotene--which is found in carrots, squash and leafy, dark-green vegetables--seems to act like a biochemical broom, sweeping out of the body toxins that can trigger cancerous growth and heart problems. Could taking pills with extra doses of the compound confer some of the same benefits? Millions of vegetable-hating...

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