Are Antioxidant Supplements Senseless?So much of medical beliefs and practices come as a result of lab studies, some just done in a test tube, others tested in ‘lab animals’. The conviction that ‘supplements’ especially antioxidants have merit in preventing chronic conditions is one. Is it senseless? My review and the publication of studies recently completed the challenge to the veracity of this belief.

Clinical trials, funded by the NIH to compare the effects of antioxidant supplements vs placebo on diseases such as cancer and heart disease were relooked at along with new studies. These include the Woman’s antioxidant cardiovascular study, Physicians’ health study II, SELECT trial.

Bottom line -antioxidant supplements may do little to facilitate better health.

According to the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), people are most likely to have side effects or adverse reactions from supplements when taken in excess. What is too much is unknown also the safety is unknown. The FDA position: “The dietary supplement manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe before it is marketed. FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. Generally, manufacturers do not need to get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements.”

Scary once a problem, if recognized then it is checked out. An FYI: there are organizations that offer quality testing, they are:

Ultimately, not all research translates from lab to bedside, and for antioxidant supplements—unless a deficiency is present—it is most likely best to acquire needed nutritional components from a balanced diet.  A fruit or vegetable offers a balanced combination of nutrients versus an isolated intense antioxidant supplement.