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Beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamin C
Some have recommended the use of beta-carotene, folic acid and vitamin C for the treatment of cervical dysplasia. I have found nothing suggesting that the use of beta-carotene, folic acid and vitamin C significantly influence the course of cervical dysplasia. That does not mean that these vitamins will not help in some cases, particularly for those in which there is a deficiency, but it has not been proven. And it does not mean that a different combination of these vitamins, other than those used in a particular study, would not be effective. Sometimes minor changes in dosages and different combinations of vitamins will have different results than the specific combinations studied.
Here are the results from some studies related to this question.
Br J Cancer 1999 Mar;79(9-10):1448-53:
Randomized double-blind trial of beta-carotene and vitamin C in women with minor cervical abnormalities.
Mackerras D, Irwig L, Simpson JM, Weisberg E, Cardona M, Webster F, Walton L, Ghersi D Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
“A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, factorial study using a daily oral administration of 30 mg beta-carotene and/or 500 mg vitamin C was conducted in 141 women with colposcopically and histologically confirmed minor squamous atypia or cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) I. Over approximately 2 years of follow-up, 43 lesions regressed to normal and 13 progressed to CIN II. The currently available evidence from this and other trials suggests that high doses of these compounds are unlikely to increase the regression or decrease the progression of minor atypia and CIN I.”
Nutr Rev 1998 Jan;56 (1 Pt 1):9-16:
Can cervical dysplasia and cancer be prevented with nutrients?
Giuliano AR, Gapstur S Arizona Prevention Center, University of Arizona, Tucson 85724, USA.
“Invasive cervical cancer accounts for 11.6% of all cancers worldwide and is the second most common cancer among women. It is the most common cancer among women living in less developed countries. Although infection with oncogenic-type human papillomaviruses (HPV) is associated with most cases of cervical cancer, HPV infection alone is an insufficient cause of cervical cancer. Research from the last two decades suggests a role for nutrients in the prevention of cervical cancer. However, results from phase III folic acid and beta-carotene chemoprevention trials have been negative. Potential reasons for the lack of treatment effect are discussed within the context of cervical carcinogenesis.”