From the Cochrane Review, a met-analysis of antioxidant studies:
“Sixty-seven randomized trials with 232,550 participants were included. Forty-seven trials including 180,938 participants had low risk of bias. Twenty-one trials included 164,439 healthy participants. Forty-six trials included 68111 participants with various diseases (gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neurological, ocular, dermatological, rheumatoid, renal, endocrinological, or unspecified). Overall, the antioxidant supplements had no significant effect on mortality in a random-effects meta-analysis (relative risk [RR] 1.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.99 to 1.06), but significantly increased mortality in a fixed-effect model (RR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.06).”“We found no evidence to support antioxidant supplements for primary or secondary prevention. Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin E may increase mortality. Future randomized trials could evaluate the potential effects of vitamin C and selenium for primary and secondary prevention. Such trials should be closely monitored for potential harmful effects. Antioxidant supplements need to be considered medicinal products and should undergo sufficient evaluation before marketing.”
This has been coming for some time. The use of these agents has been based more on intuition, hucksterism and rumor rather than evidence. Unfortunately believing something improves health and longevity doesn’t work–it must actually do something. In this case the stuff prevents nothing and may increase mortality.
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