Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mixed Enthusiasm for Antioxidants

Mega-doses of antioxidants seem to be the norm these days. On a recent trip to the health food store, I couldn’t find any Vitamin C tablets containing less than 500 milligrams. Yet the research on the effectiveness of antioxidants is mixed, according to the current issue of Environmental Nutrition. In fact, some studies have suggested that taking too many antioxidants can even cause harm. Low levels of oxidation serve a purpose in the body. For example, free radicals may help decrease the production of low-density lipoprotein ( LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. And there is reason to believe that excessive intake of antioxidants may have the reverse effect, fueling free-radical production. Unless you’re taking these supplements for a specific reason, consider getting your daily dose of Vitamin C, E and beta-carotene through plenty of fruits and vegetables.


Blogger marion said...

Interesting. I take a large daily dose of Esther-C in order to ward off canker sores -- don't ask me how a form of vitamin C can do that, but it works! However, I'll be wary of megadoses of other antioxidants...

11:57 PM  

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