Carotenoids are hypothesized to have an anticarcinogenic role, via immunoenhancement, antioxidant action,
and/or their influence on cellular differentiation; they have been shown to inhibit tumor progression in vitro, in
breast cancer cells. Epidemiological studies thus far have generally observed inverse associations between circulating carotenoid concentrations and breast cancer risk, though significant carotenoids have varied between studies. A recent pooled analysis of eight previously published studies found significant inverse associations between quintile of circulating carotenoid concentration and breast cancer risk for α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, lycopene, and total carotenoids. Carotenoids appear to reduce risk of recurrent and lethal breast cancers, highlighting a potential role for dietary intervention to reduce the burden of disease.
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