An article that discusses why supplements containing large doses of antioxidants, or beta-carotene, or even vitamin megadoses doesn't work, and can even cause harm, while eating actual foods such as fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. This is what a number of the studies I've been posting also found (especially with health benefits from eating fish and not from fish oil). go ahead and throw out the megadose supplements, and instead eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Remember fruits and vegetables contain a complex mix of nutrients and feed our microbial communities, as well as having microbes on them. From Medical Xpress:
Why just stick to eating fruits and veggies when you can get an extra boost from supplements that put good things like antioxidants into a handy pill? And that seems like it should be a good idea. If the antioxidants that occur naturally in our food, like broccoli and carrots, are good for us, a supplement with the same thing must also be good. But that's not quite true.
Antioxidants are touted as protectors of our health because they eliminate free-radicals that damage molecules in cells and tissues by grabbing electrons from them, making those molecules, in turn, unstable....On this basis, a group of scientists proposed in 1981 the creation of a nutritional supplement to fight free-radicals. They reasoned that since many observational epidemiological studies had shown that people who eat lots of vegetables are at lower risk of colon cancer, heart disease and many other bad conditions, then the "active" ingredient should be identified and put into a pill. They thought that it must be beta-carotene, which helps make carrots orange, because it's an antioxidant.
But in the late 1980s, two intervention trials, one in Seattle and the other in Finland, started....For the Seattle trial, approximately 18,000 men and women were randomized in 1988 to receive either a tablet containing beta-carotene or a tablet containing no active ingredient, which is the famous placebo. The plan was to follow the men and women for 10 years; the researchers hypothesized they would observe a lower lung cancer risk in the beta-carotene tablet group, hopefully much lower. But the opposite happened and the trial had to be stopped early because the beta-carotene group suffered significantly more cases of lung cancer than the placebo group. The same thing was seen in the Finland trial. Importantly, the amount of beta-carotene in the tablet was much higher than occurs naturally in the body in both trials. ...continue reading "Forget the Pills, Eat the Vegetables Instead"