Friday, March 02, 2007

Antioxidants Kill?

I'd be wary of drawing major conclusions from one or even a few studies. Probably the best recommendation for health is to have a balanced diet, try to get all your vitamins and minerals from your diet (there is some evidence that you cannot always do that), avoid eating out (do you know what they put in that food?), and get plenty of rest. Not that I follow that last recommendation all that well.

"By eliminating free radicals from our [body], we interfere with some essential defensive mechanisms," read the study. The antioxidant supplements are synthetic and not subject to the same toxicity studies as other pharmaceutical agents.

"Beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E given singly or combined with other antioxidant supplements significantly increase mortality," wrote the authors, led by Goran Bjelakovic of the Centre for Clinical Intervention Research at Copenhagen University Hospital. "Our findings contradict the findings of observational studies, claiming that antioxodiants improve health."

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