Study debunks antioxidants’ ability to prolong life

April 16th, 2008 - 11:07 am ICT by admin  

London, April 16 (IANS) An exhaustive new review has overturned the popular conception that antioxidant supplements prolong life, contending there is no evidence to support the view. These findings are based on a survey of 67 randomised trials involving a quarter million people.

“We could find no evidence to support taking antioxidant supplements to reduce the risk of dying earlier in healthy people or patients with various diseases,” said Goran Bjelakovic of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.

The idea that antioxidants can extend life comes from human and animal laboratory research and has been boosted by some observational clinical studies. But other studies have indicated neutral or even harmful effects.

“The findings of our review show that, if anything, people in trial groups given the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E showed increased rates of mortality,” said Bjelakoviv.

There was no indication that vitamin C and selenium may have positive or negative effects. So more data from randomised trials is needed on these antioxidants, he noted.

“The bottom line is that current evidence does not support the use of antioxidant supplements in the general healthy population or in patients with certain diseases.”

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