It’s all just a scare, of course, and it’s impossible to know the merits of each of the contributing studies in this meta-analysis, but I’m going to post about it anyway in case any of my readers are rabid vitamin munchers like me. I take about 10 different vitamin and mineral supplements a day. I kid not! I eat healthily as well but it’s become something of an obsession and addiction. I know, I know…
Today, the BBC news revealed that some vitamin supplements do not extend life and could even lead to a premature death.
A review of 67 studies found “no convincing evidence” that antioxidant supplements cut the risk of dying.
Scientists at Copenhagen University said vitamins A and E could interfere with the body’s natural defences.
“Even more, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E seem to increase mortality,” according to the review by the respected Cochrane Collaboration.
The research involved selecting various studies from 817 on beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium which the team felt were the most likely to fairly reflect the impact of the supplements on reducing mortality.
It has been thought that these supplements may be able to prevent damage to the body’s tissues called “oxidative stress” by eliminating the molecules called “free radicals” which are said to cause it.
This damage has been implicated in several major diseases including cancer and heart disease.
I’m not buying it, even if I should. Mobile phones are bad for you, mobile phones are harmless; fairy liquid causes cancer, fairy liquid’s harmless, etc. etc. I’m going to keep on munching my vitamins regardless (and you should too). In my experience, meta-analysis are not hugely reliable and are often refuted in a short space of time. Besides, issuing blanket advice on whether or not someone (anyone, everyone) should take vitamin and mineral supplements is vastly irresponsible.
Take no notice, vitamin-lovers; they’ll be telling you something different next week.