Beta Carotene & Vitamin E: Do the Cons Outweigh the Pros?

By: Kevin Henry

On a recent episode of the Dental Assistant Nation podcast, dental’s pharmacology expert, Tom Viola, RPh, joined me to discuss a warning about multivitamins and how they may not be providing the benefits that dental professionals or their patients think they are.

Now, Viola is back with another interesting article centering around vitamins, this time appearing in a recent issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

In the JAMA article, there was a US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Recommendation Statement focused on beta carotene and/or vitamin E supplements.

In that statement, the USPSTF;

“recommends against the use of beta carotene or vitamin E supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer.”


“The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that the harms of beta carotene supplementation outweigh the benefits for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. The USPSTF also concludes with moderate certainty that there is no net benefit of supplementation with vitamin E for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer.”

What Does This Mean for Dental Professionals?

So what does this mean for dental professionals who take supplements?

What does this mean for the patients who visit dental practices and take these supplements?

Those are two of the biggest questions I asked Viola in this podcast as we discussed this bit of shocking news and what we as consumers can really take away from it.

Viloa’s Reactions to Beta Carotene & Vitamin E

Viola travels throughout the country speaking to dental professionals about the latest pharmacology news, and I asked him how the recent warnings about multivitamins and supplements have gone over with his audience.

You might be surprised to hear what reactions he is getting to these pieces of news.

As busy professionals, we often do things that we think will help us. However, when conflicting information comes out that goes against what we think is helping us, it leads to a lot of confusion.

That’s why I am glad that Viola is a friend of the podcast and is keeping his finger on the pulse of the latest information out there.

Be sure to check out all 200-plus episodes of the Dental Assistant Nation podcast by clicking here.

Photo by Anna Shvets

Kevin Henry

Kevin Henry

With more than 20 years in the dental publishing industry, Kevin Henry is the former group editorial director for Dental Products Report, managing editor for Dental Economics, and editor-in-chief for He now serves as the co-founder for IgniteDA, a community designed to empower, enlighten, and educate dental assistants, and as director of marketing for Fortune Management. He has spoken to dental assistants throughout the world, in person and through the Dental Assistant Nation podcast series, reminding them of the important role they play every day in their practice. He is also certified as a DiSC trainer, helping dental practices learn how to understand each other better through personality assessments and training.