Document Detail

The history of beta-carotene and cancers: from observational to intervention studies. What lessons can be drawn for future research on polyphenols?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15640484     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An important question being raised by nutritionists today is whether available scientific data support an important role for polyphenols in the prevention of pathologic conditions that represent an important public health burden, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and osteoporosis. More broadly, when can we consider scientific knowledge sufficient to allow specific public health implications and recommendations? The history of the relationship between beta-carotene and cancer illustrates the complexity of the research process leading to the demonstration of a causal relationship between nutritional factors and the prevention of disease. The beta-carotene story, which has developed in the past 30 y, is particularly significant and illustrative because of apparent controversies that are far from resolved. This is an extremely interesting example from which many lessons can be learned. For beta-carotene, we need to collect sufficient information from experimental, clinical, and epidemiologic research before we support any specific public health recommendations. The same principles must be applied to recommendations regarding polyphenols (in particular, which polyphenols, at which doses, to achieve which benefits for which populations). If these questions are not answered, then we run the risk of needing to renounce recommendations regarding polyphenols in the future, damaging the credibility of nutritional recommendations for public health.
Serge Hercberg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of clinical nutrition     Volume:  81     ISSN:  0002-9165     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Clin. Nutr.     Publication Date:  2005 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-01-10     Completed Date:  2005-02-18     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376027     Medline TA:  Am J Clin Nutr     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  218S-222S     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
U557 INSERM and Unité de Surveillance et d'Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle, InVS/CNAM, Institut Scientifique et Technique de la Nutrition et de l'Alimentation/CNAM, Paris, France.
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MeSH Terms
Antioxidants / history*,  therapeutic use
Flavonoids / history,  therapeutic use*
History, 20th Century
History, 21st Century
Neoplasms / history*,  prevention & control
Phenols / history,  therapeutic use*
beta Carotene / history*,  therapeutic use
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antioxidants; 0/Flavonoids; 0/Phenols; 0/polyphenols; 7235-40-7/beta Carotene

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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