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Beta-carotene thoughts

I've always been an advocate of healthy eating and the use of natural remedies when possible. I'm not stupid enough to discard conventional medicine when danger strikes so I'm not a fruitloop. I know I will have to stop taking my supplements once the chemo starts next week but I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on beta-carotene having a positive effect on chemo. I hate carrots!!! Loathe them with a passion, so if I am going to add them to my diet I need to have some clear hard facts first. Any thoughts or experiences would be most welcome. Kryssy

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Haha! No idea, but I adore carrots and get through a bag a week. I eat them raw with hummus as a snack. I'm sure you could grate them up finely and put them into sauces. I know people do that with spaghetti bolognase for example.

I don't think they are a miracle cure though 😊🥕


I love them too and chop them really finely together with celery and onion and put them in chilli and spag Bol and lots of other stuff I cook long and slow. They're particularly good, like you say, with hummus 😋❤️

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Beta carotene is found in other foods as well as carrots so you don't have to overdose on them alone.

The richest sources of beta-carotene are yellow, orange, and green leafy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, apricots and winter squash (the orange one). As a general rule the more intense the color of the fruit or vegetable, the more beta-carotene it has and the better it is for us.

Once it's been eaten beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, and it also acts as an antioxidant to help protect cells from the damaging effects of harmful free radicals which are all around us and are toxic to our cells so a diet that's high in fruit and vegetables is really important for our general well being 😬. I really like the rainbow diet which is really well balanced.

As with anything we eat or drink I'm sure there will be contra indications if too much is eaten, so moderation is probably the key. It is possible to look like an umpa lumpa if too much beta carotene is eaten as our skin, eyes and nails can take on an orange appearance. I don't believe there is an issue with high vitamin A intake but I'm sure there will be somewhere and I'm sure doctor google will be able to confirm this, hopefully the positive benefits of beta carotene outweigh any negatives.

I would suggest you speak with your oncology team before you start anything new as they need to be aware of any changes you make and a new diet can have a big effect on your digestion, metabolism and general well being as can chemo so their professional advice would be best.

Good luck with what you decide and good luck with the chemo. Keep us up to date with your progress ❤️Xx jane



In response to your comment about whether you can have too much beta carotene/vitamin A.

Yes it is possible. However a sensible diet would not cause excess vit A. It would be a potential concern with supplementation or with a very vit A rich diet (lots of liver and not much else as an example).

So I agree with your advice. Rainbow diet and check with oncologist if looking to take any supplements.

Kryssy - supplements are really more for whether you need to top up a particular nutrient because it is low. Usually you need to know if you are low in a particular nutrient before you supplement. Our bodies are wonderful things and usually sort out the bits they need now, what to store for later and what to dispose of.

Some nutrients interact with each other. So increasing one thing a lot could reduce the impact of another.

Giving your body a balanced diet means it can grab what it needs from it and store or excrete the other bits without overtaxing the liver and kidneys.

Admittedly with cancer and cancer treatment it can throw our bodies into turmoil. But all the more important to be sure that supplements are appropriate.

If you hate carrots then I see your point. They are very distinctive and hard to disguise. I hate oily fish but occasionally eat it for the omega oils which otherwise I wouldnt get enough of. So with the choice of veg listed by Jane it sounds like you have plenty of choice of alternatives there!


Mmm carrot soup add mixed herbs.

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Just making a pot of carrot, tomato, onion and garlic soup to see if it's ok. I tried a raw carrot stick the other night at a party and dipped it into the bowl next to the crudites. It wasn't too bad but doubt if I could sit and eat a lot of them. I think it will have to be soups or smoothies with tons of other things as disguises as just the look of them makes me want to throw up. Apparently, as a child I wouldn't stop eating them. Perhaps that's why I've probably carrotted myself out long ago. Thanks for all the tips. I already eat lots of broccolli, spinach etc. so I guess I'm getting enough vitamins as it is. I do take lots of vit C as I'm a great believer in what Professor Linus Pauling did many years ago. Mind you, it hasn't stopped me getting cancer has it? Hmmmmm. xx

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I juiced during Chemo adding in Carrots, Ginger Root, Celery, Cucumber and kiwis or whatever on offer. I always add green apples as it's less sugar. I include half a bag of Watercress Spinach and Rocket. Just an idea

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Great idea for the ginger, Suzuki. I'd forgotten that it's good for sickness. When we lived in Scotland and had to take a ferry to the mainland I would always eat ginger and put bands on my wrists with little knobs on. Must dig them out again.

The carrot and tomato soup turned out really nice today. It was a bit orange but I could taste tomatoes over carrots. Will make that again. Thank you.


Hi Krystal,

None of us know what is the best diet to follow to ward off the beasties,but,I think a varied is the best.

I have asked my onc several times what I should be doing/taking,he never advises me,just says keep the weight down,get lots of excercise and keep doing what I am doing,there is no rhyme or reason just do what the experts say.

I have been NED 3 years in March, so must be doing something right,but I am not so stupid that I think I won't re occur.

I am an Ostritch, I am getting on with life, I don't dwell in the past, I look to the future and keep busy.

I wish that for you,but would always advise you listen to the experts,

Best wishes,

Carole xx

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I am still having carrot juice at least every other day since I finished Chemo last year in May. I also had it whilst going through Chemo and never had problems with constipation. In addition I had smoothies everyday. I think it can dojo harm. Best wishes x

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This is a very good source of info around these sorts of questions...

Check out with the clinic pharmacist which supplements you can continue to take. If you're having a platinum based chemo, which you probably are, then avoid fish oil, if you take it.


Hi Mac27

Thank you for the link. Very informative. I am stopping my supplements today by choice but I take just a few anyway. I used to take a lot when I was younger but finances dictated it be cut down. I already have a low white blood cell count and am a bit anemic, always have been. Low blood pressure too. I'll trust the doctors to keep an eye on me. I'll keep eating well and just face whatever comes with my usual cheery self. Just hope I can continue gardening. Xx


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