The Myth of Antioxidants

The New Scientist looks at the myth of antioxidants: that piling them into your system is necessarily a good thing. "Since the early 1990s scientists have been putting these compounds through their paces, using double-blind randomised controlled trials - the gold standard for medical intervention studies. Time and again, however, the supplements failed to pass the test. True, they knock the wind out of free radicals in a test tube. But once inside the human body, they seem strangely powerless. Not only are they bad at preventing oxidative damage, they can even make things worse. Many scientists are now concluding that, at best, they are a waste of time and money. At worst they could be harmful." Mouse studies have shown that carefully directing antioxidants to the cellular mitochondria extends healthy life span on the order of 20-30% - a fairly complex feat of biochemical engineering that no presently available pill can match. Those studies further showed no benefit from the same antioxidants sent elsewhere in mouse biochemistry. Haphazardly throwing chemicals at a very complex problem and hoping for the best does not have the best record of success - when that's all you can do, you do it, but we can do better now.



For almost 6 months I've been taking Glisodin and Astazanthin along with lots of blueberries and other supplements. About two weeks ago I had a live blood analysis done because I mainly wanted to see if my antioxidants were working. The analysis showed more cell damaged than I hoped for. It was very discouraging.

Posted by: Judy Lopez at July 3rd, 2011 3:02 PM
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