Antioxidants are often pushed as being beneficial for health, largely based on speculations and uncertain observational studies. But could supplementation with antioxidants on the contrary be harmful? Yes, probably.
A new study on mice shows that those who received antioxidant supplementation – including Vitamin E – suffered a dramatic worsening of their lung cancer.
Of course, mice are not humans. But studies on humans show alarming signs that supplementation with antioxidants is harmful for us too. They may increase the risk for certain cancer forms and supplementation with high doses of the antioxidant Vitamin E increases the risk of dying prematurely.
Your body makes its own antioxidants, in the right place. Supplementation with extra antioxidants may be harmful, among other things by preventing the immune system from fighting infections… and cancer cells. Antioxidants may neutralize one of the immune system’s weapons against unwanted intruders, oxidizing agents.
The irony is that excess doses of antioxidants might protect the cells you want to eliminate: harmful bacteria and cancer cells.