A study published in the early 1990s looked at the impact that beta-carotene (a nutrient found in carrots) had on smokers and their risk of lung cancer. The thought was that this nutrient might provide some protection from cancer. To their surprise, researchers actually found that beta-carotene increased the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
What can we learn from this study? There are two things that we should take away from this research. The first is that just because something is natural does not always mean it is safe, as was the case with the beta-carotene. The second is that there is much more goodness to be found in whole foods. So, for instance, we know that carrots are good for us. They contain many vitamins and minerals that contribute to good health, including beta-carotene. However, when we extract and isolate nutrients from whole foods, we often lose their beneficial qualities. Always eat a diet rich in whole foods, and to help you get the most from your food, take a digestive enzyme.
-Dr. Joshua Levitt