Are Antioxidant Supplements Effective?

Walking along the aisles in the grocery store or pharmacy, you will definitely notice vitamin and antioxidant supplements claiming an ultimate health benefit. Such advertisements reinforce the common idea that vitamin and antioxidant supplements can produce an advantageous impact on the health state. In fact, the proposition makes sense. Generally, a diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease and certain cancer types.

Nevertheless, the study suggests that antioxidant and vitamin supplements used by people without nutrient deficiency have no health benefits. It means that if you are healthy and have a sufficient level of minerals and vitamins within the organism, vitamin and antioxidant supplements will do little.

Mechanism of Antioxidant Effect

Antioxidants are classified as vitamins, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E that protect the body cells against free radicals related damage or oxidative stress. It is known that free radicals are highly reactive molecules that mess around with different cellular structures, such as nucleic acids, plasma lipoproteins and cell membranes. Free radicals are naturally produced by the body during the metabolism. Free radicals can interact with antioxidants, turning into stable radicals and bearing no potential damage.

Do Antioxidant Supplements Work?

In recent years there has been a research, concerning relation between mineral and vitamin supplements to cardiovascular disease and cancer in patients with nutritional deficiency. The researchers reviewed over 26 studies and found no proof of the supplements improving the symptoms of cardiovascular disorders, cancer or other severe health conditions. Additionally, they have noticed that beta-carotene supplements can advance the risk of lung cancer development.

While the results of certain investigations show no effects from vitamin E supplements, several other studies claimed that vitamin E advances the death rate.

Finally, vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements became not advised for use in order to prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer or other conditions. Nevertheless, due to several high-quality researches that examined preventive reactions of other multivitamins and vitamin supplements, their status of “against recommended” was discontinued.

In other words, the investigation suggesting no beneficial influence from exogenous supplements of minerals and vitamins in healthy patients is one of multiple studies. For instance, a meta-analysis, which was conducted by a group of researchers claimed that antioxidants and similar nutrients failed to warn cardiovascular abnormalities. The results of other studies have shown that nutrient supplements have nothing to do with cancer prevention.


Therefore, irrespective of the good sense in mechanistic terms, in medical terms, antioxidant and vitamin supplements can do little to warn any diseases in patients without nutrient deficiency.

Researchers suppose that the cause of little effect is a complex physiologic system that cannot be affected by a single vitamin or combination of a few. The hypothesis was supported by specific evidence from multiple trials, involving physiologic multivitamin doses, which contain several agents that demonstrate decreased cancer incidence in men.

With the exception being the studies on beta-carotene and vitamin E supplements in healthy patients, a considerable part of the research dose examining preventive features of vitamins is deficient. However, viewed together, it becomes obvious that supplements do not lead to a considerable positive influence on cancer or heart disorders. Therefore, if you have no nutrient deficiency and are completely healthy, save your time and money and avoid buying vitamin and antioxidant supplements.