From the Seattle Times:
Supplements that millions of Americans take to stave off disease and slow the aging process do not boost longevity and appear to actually increase the risk of dying, according to the most comprehensive study of whether popular “antioxidants” help users live longer.
The analysis, which pooled data from 68 studies involving more than 232,000 people, found no evidence that taking beta-carotene, Vitamin A or Vitamin E extends life span. In fact, the analysis indicated that the supplements increase the likelihood of dying by about 5 percent. Vitamin C and selenium appeared to have no impact — either way — on longevity.
The study does not address the question of multivitamins.
If you’re loading up on Vitamin A or E, you might want to back off. The vitamin industry’s response to the study was sort of scary and callous sounding:
“The message to the average consumer is: Don’t pay attention to this. This doesn’t apply to you. You can go ahead and continue taking your antioxidant supplements in addition to the other things you do in your life to stay healthy,” said Andrew Shao of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, an industry group.
Wow, thanks. That’s comforting. —MEGHANN MARCO
Supplement use doesn’t help and may harm, study finds [Seattle Times]