The relationship of dietary beta-carotene intake and serum beta- carotene levels to the development of oral lesions in smokeless tobacco users
This study was designed to assess the relationship of dietary and serum beta-carotene to the development of oral lesions in smokeless tobacco users. Eighty eight smokeless tobacco users without oral lesions and 18 with lesions participated in the study. Dietary intake of beta-carotene, personal health habits and selected dietary intake were analyzed by questionnaire. Serum levels were assessed by high pressure liquid chromotography. No correlation between dietary beta-carotene intake and serum beta-carotene levels was observed. Results of t-test analysis indicated no significant difference in the mean serum or dietary intake of beta-carotene between the groups. Mean serum beta-carotene for group-I, users without oral lesions and group-2, users with oral lesions were 12.3 ug/dl(I.02 SE), and 10.6 ug/dl(1.59 SE), respectively. Stepwise regression techniques were employed to assess the influence of selected variables on serum beta-carotene. The effects of smoking, smokeless tobacco exposure, alcohol consumption, and age as well as other dietary indices were evaluated. Age (1.015,p<0.001) was the only factor found to influence serum beta-carotene levels. The small sample size and variability within groups may have decreased the likelihood of observing statistical significance for serum beta-carotene between groups.