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“Antioxidant Negative Studies Keep Coming”

Despite a lack of proven benefit and an association with harm in some studies, the obsession with vitamins and dietary supplements continues to fuel a multi–billion-dollar industry. In the United States alone, the supplement market was almost $30 billion in 2015. The global dietary supplement market is projected to reach $278 billion by 2024. Yet, a review paper titled “Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals for CVD Prevention and Treatment” found no benefit for supplementation with multivitamin, vitamins C and D, calcium, β-carotene, or selenium. Furthermore, some antioxidant combinations (at least two of vitamins A, C, and E; β-carotene; selenium; and zinc) and extended-release niacin were associated with an increase in all-cause mortality. A more recent meta-analysis in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes concluded that multivitamins do not prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD). Similarly, a JAMA publication found no benefit of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on CVD risk, yet Americans continue to love their fish oil pills. Overall, there is no evidence from randomized controlled trials that any specific diets or dietary supplements prevent or treat cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or strokes. Evidence gathered over the past few years shows that, at best, antioxidant supplements do little or nothing to benefit our health. At worst, large doses have been shown to have the opposite effect, promoting the very problems they were supposed to stamp out. Many are now saying that patients are filling their toilets with very expensive urine and placing their faith in worthless and sometimes dangerous promises in a bottle.

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