There is in fact little evidence for the benefits of dietary supplementation as commonly practiced in wealthier parts of the world. Past results that suggest life extension or improved health in mice tend to vanish once researchers run more careful studies that control for calorie intake. This is taking a while to sink in, however: the supplement industry is enormous, has little incentive to give up its revenue stream or advertising programs, and that voice is much louder than the scientific community in popular culture.
Present data suggest that the consumption of individual dietary supplements does not enhance the health or longevity of healthy rodents or humans. It might be argued that more complex combinations of such agents might extend lifespan or health-span by more closely mimicking the complexity of micronutrients in fruits and vegetables, which appear to extend health-span and longevity.
To test this hypothesis we treated long-lived, male, F1 mice with published and commercial combinations of dietary supplements and natural product extracts, and determined their effects on lifespan and health-span. Nutraceutical, vitamin or mineral combinations reported to extend the lifespan or health-span of healthy or enfeebled rodents were tested, as were combinations of botanicals and nutraceuticals implicated in enhanced longevity by a longitudinal study of human aging. A cross-section of commercial nutraceutical combinations sold as potential health enhancers also were tested, including Bone Restore®, Juvenon®, Life Extension Mix®, Ortho Core®, Ortho Mind®, Super K w k2®, and Ultra K2®. A more complex mixture of vitamins, minerals, botanical extracts and other nutraceuticals was compounded and tested.
No significant increase in murine lifespan was found for any supplement mixture. Our diverse supplement mixture significantly decreased lifespan. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis that simple or complex combinations of nutraceuticals, including antioxidants, are effective in delaying the onset or progress of the major causes of death in mice. The results are consistent with epidemiological studies suggesting that dietary supplements are not beneficial and even may be harmful for otherwise healthy individuals.