Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Lung Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Breathe Easier With Fruits and Veggies


In addition to beta-carotene, the study also included four other carotenoids: alpha-carotene, lutein, lycopene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Alpha-carotene is found mostly in carrots, lutein is found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, lycopene is found in tomatoes, and beta-cryptoxanthin is found mostly in oranges. "Beta-carotene is found in carrots, but also a lot of other vegetables as well -- you get a little of it from a lot of different vegetables," says Michaud.

Although many people take beta-carotene supplements, "if anything, the association [with reduced lung cancer risk] was stronger for alpha-carotene than beta-carotene," she notes. For instance, among nonsmokers, those who ate the most fruits and vegetables containing alpha-carotene had a 63% decrease in lung cancer risk compared to those who ate the least of these foods.

John Weisburger, PhD, a senior member of the American Health Foundation in Valhalla, N.Y., explains that while carotenoids undoubtedly play a role in neutralizing free radicals, "fruits and vegetables also contain other antioxidants, like quercitin, that may also play a role," he says.

Although the study's findings apply to smokers and nonsmokers alike, Michaud has a message for smokers in particular. "We want to re-emphasize that for lung cancer, the most important thing is to have people stop smoking," she says. "Then, on top of that, diets rich in fruits and vegetables provide protection as well." Smoking accounts for more than 90% of the lung cancer cases seen yearly.

Michaud adds, "We're not sure exactly what's in vegetables that gives protection, so it's important to eat the fruits and vegetables and not just take a pill."

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Broken cigarette
Do you know the myths from the facts?
man with a doctor
Our health check will steer you in the right direction.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
15 Cancer Symptoms Men Ignore
Lung Cancer Risks Myths and Facts
cancer fighting foods
Improving Lung Cancer Survival Targeted Therapy
Lung Cancer Surprising Differences Between Sexes
Pets Improve Your Health
Vitamin D
Lung Cancer Surgery Options