I. Eichler of the University of Vienna Children's Hospital and colleagues randomly selected 13 patients with CF, supplying 1 mg/kg of β-carotene daily until the maximum amount of 50 mg for 3 months. In the following 3 months, it was reduced to 10 mg/day. Another 11 patients with CF were given a 6-month placebo treatment.
It was found that plasma levels of patients taking β-carotene increased significantly from an average of 0.08 μmol/L to 0.56 μmol/L. When the dose was reduced, plasma levels fell to an average of 0.32 micromol/L. Normal levels of plasma concentrations can only be maintained at high doses of 1 mg/kg beta-carotene daily. The study will be published in the chest of the chest published in January 2001.
In the three months prior to the start of the study, patients required an average of 14.5 days of systemic antibiotic treatment to control acute exacerbations of the lungs. After treatment with β-carotene, the treatment in the high-dose group was reduced to 9.8 days, and in the small low-dose group to 10.5 days. The number of treatment days in the control group during the corresponding period was 10.5, 24.8 and 18.5 days, respectively. There were significant differences between the two groups. None of the patients developed carotenoid dermatitis or vitamin A poisoning.
The researchers point out that supplementing CF patients with the usual vitamin A, alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid does not reduce the high lipid peroxidation caused by the disease. However, high doses of beta-carotene can reduce lipid peroxidation products to normal levels.