Study: Could those high-priced antioxidants actually be killing you?

BEIJING — Fear of mortality is one reason Americans spend so much on “antioxidant” products, including Vitamin C supplements and beta-carotene, which promise a longer healthier life. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of adults in the U.S. consume some kind of antioxidant product, spending $37 billion each year.

But a study conducted in China – where aging is akin to a national obsession these days – claims that antioxidants don’t work as billed. The study is published in the journal Redox Biology.

Rather than extending longevity, researchers say they trigger a stress reaction which causes the body to age more rapidly.

In other words, those expensive life-enhancers may actually be killing you.

Researchers discovered the relationship by studying how oxidants affected worms and human cells at various stages of development.  Oxidants, it turned out, had no measurable impact on aging.

But introducing antioxidants disturbed the mechanism in cells that resists aging and as a result, the cells began aging more rapidly — “unnaturally fast,” said Chen Chang, the lead scientist on the project at the Institute of Biophysics, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

Chang and her team are especially concerned about their findings because of the widespread use of antioxidants among Chinese youth. “More and more ‘white collar workers’ in their 20s are taking pills containing antioxidants such as Vitamin C and tea polyphenols. They must stop,” Chang told the South China Morning Post.

But older people are also more likely to die faster due to supplements, they found. Chang recommended that antioxidant use in China and elsewhere be curtailed.

The Chinese study appears to confirm the results of a 2008 “meta-review” of 405 studies comparing the longevity of people that consumed various kinds of vitamin supplements with those that took only a placebo. That review, conducted by top medical researchers in Denmark, found no significant differences in the mortality rates of the two groups.

So far, none of these new studies has put a dent in the multi-billion dollar vitamin and supplement industry, which continues to promote the presumed anti-aging benefits of its products.

And there is little evidence that consumers are paying attention, either – or if they are, that they care.

But the evidence against antioxidants is mounting.

Another medical study conducted last year found that overuse of Vitamin D supplements was associated with a higher risk of falls in men and in women 70 years and older.

Apparently, Nature is sending a message: Stop trying to reset your biological clock.

Editor’s Note: does not agree, nor disagree with the studies we post on this site. Our goal is to provide you with the latest results of professional studies and leave it to our readers to debate and explain their positions on these findings.

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  1. I thought the body naturally controlled the amount of vit.C and that our bodies would naturally expel any excess,…anyone out there with any information about this,..cuz I take up to 3000 IU a day,..and I thought that was good for me,..perhaps I am wrong?

    1. Double Nobel Prise Lauréat Dr. Linus Pauling was the one, who discovered the power of big dosage of vitamin C. He was attacked by pharma-lobby, interested in big money, but definitely not in simple, effective & cheap solutions.
      Dr. Pauling lived till 93, drinking up till 30 gram of Vitamin C per day.

  2. the only anti oxidant i use is mega hydrate ….it is totally safe it was developed by Dr. Patrick Flanagan. a demonstration by actual doctors is available on YOU TUBE

        1. Ephesians 5:3-6
          3 Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, 4 no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. 5 Be
          sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an
          idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
          6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.

      1. I don’t sell any thing just trying to help people .
        thats what i do…and i study law ,computers, human behavior k9 training law the constitution, auto mechanics construction, biology ,politics, bleeding edge physics, self defense ,gold mining ,oil drilling, agriculture ,electronics,race car driving,sniper training.ect. ect. ect. got a 185 IQ and a million ways to destroy evil assholes. and my ancestry would blow you mind . how many people do you know has there name on the frikin moon.?
        how many have you helped? get a real job indeed.
        I work for my creator . what is your purpose division or hate . I’m waiting to be trolled so i can DOX you.

  3. I’m going to take more and hope in another 15 years that it’s all wrong. Oh wait…

    Here’s one truth, those horse pills will kill you when you choke to death on them.

  4. Man will always try to play God, but it is always God who will decide how long our lives are to be. Rebellion of man, fallen angels, through our technology we will always try to defeat God, prove we don’t need our creator, right up until the world is destroyed and created new.

  5. ehh…Which anti-oxidants besides the necessary vitamins C, and D.

    Another vapid article filled with 0 information.

  6. This seems timely considering they are trying to stop the use of high dose vitamin C given IV in hospitals to combat cancer. Also not a coincidence coming from China, the land of censorship.These supplements must really make Big Pharma nervous.

  7. I am pretty skeptical about this, esp since there appear to have been no clinical trials. As well, high-potency supplements are generally not available in China. You can get 5 mg of vitamin C, but nothing much stronger. Many Chinese die of heart disease, which Linus Pauling found to be a unique and advanced form of scurvy – so a gram per day of buffered ascorbate might save some lives. Anyhow i don’t believe the above report for one minute.

  8. And how about those statin drugs…whose major effect is anti-inflammatory in nature (their cholesterol-lowering claims were challenged and discredited years (actually, decades) ago. They earn $100 billion YEARLY! So money spent is more than double that quoted.

    1. Current statins do reduce abnormally high cholesterol levels,
      but More importantly statins damage muscle tissue and our
      heart is a muscle. If on statins, need to take CoQ10 to protect
      muscles. Speak with your doctors about dosage. Do not just
      stop taking.

    2. Statins DO reduce cholesterol. The WRONG KIND.

      There is one major organ in the body that is almost 100% cholesterol… statins remove stores of cholesterol quite efficiently from this organ. That organ is THE BRAIN.

  9. ” A study in Red China? ”
    Red China where ‘Quality Assurance’ is non-existent and products containing
    poisons have harmed/killed consumers in America. Remember? Pet food and
    toothpaste to name a couple. China’s response was to ‘execute’ the minister
    of trade or similar title!
    Google products made in the USA. Skip 3rd world countries.

  10. More power needs to be given to the FDA, and they need to take immediate control over all restaurants, grocery stores, markets, and farms. You just can’t trust the pathetic private sector peasants anymore.

  11. Sorry, there may be something to this, but, China ruined their reputation already. They have substituted toxic ingredients in foods, they steal tech and patents, they plagerize, etc. How can they be trusted !!!

  12. They aren’t able to get supplements off the shelves legally or through legislation, so they’re trying to scare us into not using them.

  13. China has chronic overpopulation. Just another way to reduce population by telling their citizens supplements are bad for you.

  14. The latest fad vitamin is Vitamin D. This one has started a contest in the scientific community that reminds me of what happens if one gets too close to the Simian enclosure at the zoo.

  15. A study done in China, the same people who brought you melamine not laced baby formula. I would imagine the supplements they are taking are far from clean or organic based let alone everything else in their environment.

  16. ” A Chinese study”… “Another medical study”… no named studies… I call this article FAKE NEWS. There is a HUGE body of REAL evidence from REAL scientists with REAL names and REAL research that indicates positively the exact opposite of what this Chinese study (and other no-name studies) claims. And taking Vitamin D is bad for you? HAHAHAHAHA Yeah right. How about we start with Aubrey de Grey PhD… and go from there?

  17. Pharma and modern medicine has become a religion. Supplements are trying to ride the coat tails of big pharma and their customers are stupid people.

    1. You obviously know very little. True there is an issue with many supplements in that there’s no regulation. But you miss the big picture.

      Further, Big Pharma is NOT the supplement makers.

      Keep on eating all that empty food – hope you like all the GMOs and the BPA… and the plastic and inert materials. Don’t forget to get your dozen vaccines…

  18. Antioxidants have a deleterious effect on cancer as well. Free radicals kill young cancer cells, but antioxidants bind with the free radicals preventing them from doing their job. Studies of people who take certain antioxidants have shown greater rates of cancer. If our bodies didn’t evolve with a food, it’s probably bad. We evolved with fruit, not megadoses of vitamins and minerals.

    1. You are confused. The food we ingest these days is EMPTY. That’s WHY supplements are taken. The soil has been depleted since the Civil War in many areas. Only four minerals are put back into the soil… yikes, do YOU work for Big Pharma? Naw – don’t even waste your breath. I know BS when I see it.

        1. GMO foods.
          BPA can liners and containers (estrogen mimickers).
          Vaccines …

          The breakfast of champions for liberals and Big Pharma.

  19. I have a chronic liver ailment that usually kills people after 30 years or so. I treat it with supplements and eat right. Liver functions have been normal for 30 years. i don’t care what some chinese scientist says, I’m sold. I have seen alternative medicine cure many ailments. I take tons of supplements including the ones mentioned and I rarely get sick and I’m in pretty good health for my age.

  20. Global warming is as much a fact as the Russians causing Trump to win the election by giving Hillary the popular vote! Liberalism is indeed a mental illness!!!!

  21. Free research information: Look up LIFE EXTENSION FOUNDATION.

    These are the people that NASA contracted with to figure out how to keep astronauts healthy in space. They will tell you that supplementation is required… our food supply is empty and close to pure junk.

    1. “These are the people that NASA contracted with to figure out how to keep astronauts healthy in space.”
      Oh good, the Appeal to authority fallacy in all it’s glory. I mean, if it’s good enough for NASA to poke around with then who can dispute that?

      1. You make me laugh, you authoritarian fool. YOU might educate yourself and quietly go look a few things up. And put down the whisky bottle when you’re typing.

        But I do like your avatar.

        1. Oh there ya go again, nothing lends credence to your argument like tossing around a few adjectives. Now I know I am dealing with the upper crust of society.

          1. No, more like middle crust. Sorry that you hate yourself and your trailer shakes in the wind at night. Now do yourself a favor and look a few things up….

  22. These scientist are on the government payroll in attempt to stop us from protecting our health, and instead make us reliant on the pharmaceutical company’s bottom line.

  23. My kidneys hurt when I take vitamin C supplement. My kidneys tests are good so it must be the vitamin C that causes the pain. I tried lemon slice and rubbed it on my nose. Again, my back hurt so badly I could hardly move. If felt like the vitamin C was reacting with something and caused it the horrible burning pain. I actually believe there is a lot of truth to this article.

          1. To experiment, Smitty. Nose is how we do our breathing so there is plenty of oxygen there. My conclusion is vitamin C does cause pain in my body. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lemon or supplement. The question is why?

  24. Nothing new here. Science and studies have shown for quite some that taking potions and vitamins is not only worthless to ones health but actually is harmful. Most people would rather pop pills that eat whole foods-plant based.

  25. Vitamin A and E were found to be powerful antioxidants against RADIATION damage, discovered in animals studied after Chernobyl by Dr. Timothy
    Mosseau, who has been to Chernobyl and Fukushima several times.

    Please follow Dr. Mousseau on Twitter. He is doing amazing scientific work.

    Also, we are all being exposed to radiation from past atomic tests, nuclear power plants (which release radiation DAILY during their DAILY operations), and nuclear meltdowns like Chernobyl and Fukushima.

    They released radiation into our air, food, water, snow, rain, etc. and some of that radiation lasts for hundreds of thousands of years!!

    See the amazing website ENENEWS if this is all NEW to you.

  26. This article is way too vague = meaningless – does not specify what supplements nor manufacturers nor source of those tested. I know from seeing my own blood microscopy tests that Omega 3 + astaxanthin (antioxidant) made a huge difference in the structure of my blood breaking up huge clumps of blood cells. Glutathione is the bodies own produced anti-oxidant & people who are low have chronic issues like Parkinson’s.

    1. Butter, a healthy substance, was derided all during the 70s and 80s, in favor of transfats (margarine), which wound up killing many of our fathers to keep the cardiologists in business…

    2. Coffee will ALWAYS be the elixir of health and happiness. Save this comment for future reference. When you have doubt ….just re-read it for assurance. BTW by Coffee I of course do not mean Starbucks.

  27. NEWSFLASH: A healthy public is the bane of 1) Big Pharma; 2) Big Government; and 3) the HealthSick Care Industry

    All healthy practices must be discouraged…

  28. Leftards are really weird. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown was convinced it was never going to rain again. All Democrats are climatologists, and bad ones at that. Now he has over-full reservoirs and a bad dam in Oroville ready to burst and put a quarter of a million people in mortal danger. He took money allocated 12 years ago, for repair of the dam, and put it into a pork barrel project that sane people call, “The Train to Nowhere”. Now he’s begging the Federal Government for money to fix the dam. Such hypocrisy we see from the Left. Their steady diet is the chanting useless mantras that are usually wrong.

  29. I’m a firm believer is supplements. I take Raw Vitamin C, Krill Oil, Vit E400, and a prostate formula on a regular basis. Whole Foods has a large variety.

    1. Supplements have literally worked better for me than prescription drugs. If you can see the positive results then you know it’s really working.

  30. Vitamin D associates with falls? Maybe because without the vitamin D patients lie in bed all day. Need a lot more detail in this report to make any sense out of it at all, specific vitamins and doses. I doubt moderate doses of vitamin C hurt anything and maybe they help. Megadoses, well, not so certain about that.

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