Suffering from low energy? Poor immune system? Lack of good health? Time for a multivitamin with all those healthy antioxidants right?
A systematic review pooling 47 high-quality studies involving 180, 938 participants found that antioxidant supplements were associated with a 5% increased risk of early death.
A closer look at the studies linked the increased risk of antioxidant supplements to beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E.
The authors, from Copenhagen University Hospital, noted:
Our findings contradict the findings of observational studies, claiming that antioxidants improve health.
Considering that 10 percent to 20 percent of the adult population (80-160 million people) in North America and Europe may consume the assessed supplements, the public health consequences may be substantial.
The bottom line seems to be that getting antioxidants through wholefoods in your diet is the way to go.
Antioxidant supplements are unlikely to be beneficial, and are probably harmful.
The study was published in the Journal of The American Medical Association (Bjelakovic et al., 2007).