Vitamin supplements harmful to our health?

Today, many people take vitamin supplements thinking they are positively improving their health. However, the review of 67 studies that involved 230,000 healthy and sick individuals suggests that antioxidant supplements do not increase life expectancy and could even increase the risk of premature death.

Today, many people take vitamin supplements thinking they are positively improving their health. However, the review of 67 studies that involved 230,000 healthy and sick individuals suggests that antioxidant supplements do not increase life expectancy and could even increase the risk of premature death.

Following their evaluation of 47 clinical trials involving over 180,000 individuals, the authors associated with the reputable Cochrane Collaboration suggest that antioxidant supplements of vitamin A, vitamin E and beta-carotene are actually harmful to our health. The authors concluded that these antioxidant supplements actually increase mortality quite significantly. Scientists believe that these compounds likely interfere with our system’s natural defense mechanism. In addition, other scientists also suggest that beta-carotene likely modifies the way our body uses fats.

When the group of scientists evaluated the effects of antioxidants separately, they found that vitamin A was actually associated with a 16% increased risk of dying, beta-carotene with an increased risk of 7%, and vitamin E with a 4% increased risk. On the other hand, taking vitamin C and selenium supplements does not seem to have any effect.

Numerous investigations have suggested that antioxidants seem to have a beneficial effect on our system as they neutralize the harmful substances generated by our cells, better known as free radicals. For now however, there is no data to support the thesis according to which taking antioxidant supplements is beneficial to our health, and that applies to both the general population as well as sick individuals. The benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to prevent various diseases and to stay healthy however, are indeed very clear. Consequently, science suggests that it is preferable to get all the required nutrients by eating fruits and vegetables in abundance, more specifically, by consuming between five and ten servings per day. Summer is almost here, so why not take advantage of it to fill-up on vitamins!

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