Diet and Supplementation, Pt 2

It was discussed here how the effect of added anti-oxidants in the diet does not have much of an effect all by itself. To add to the discussion

“You go back 15 or 20 years, and there were thoughts that antioxidants of all sorts might be useful,” said Dr. Eric Klein, a Cleveland Clinic physician and national study coordinator for the prostate cancer and vitamin E study. “There really is not any compelling evidence that taking these dietary supplements above and beyond a normal dietary intake is helpful in any way, and this is evidence that it could be harmful.

To be fair, these results should be placed in context. In the absence of any nutrients in your diet, a little bit of supplementation will help. Lots of studies show that. But the idea that you can engineer good health through vitamins and additives is misguided. 

At the moment, I’m not spooked by the negative results of these studies. Day-to-day, it’s still difficult to get everything you need in your diet, and the long-term side effects of vitamins (if any) are still less than lots of other activities that are not deemed hazardous.

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Comments

  1. Wonder how health magazines continue to promote the usage of anti-oxidants despite contrary evidence…

  2. Jonathan Bechtel says:

    Raghu, I think the issue is that a lot of subtle concepts get mixed together and are then mis-represented through the media. Foods with anti-oxidants have proven health benefits, and some experiments that study the effects of anti-oxidants in isolation show positive health benefits, but that’s not quite the same thing as simply adding certain materials in the manufacturing process to a box of cheerios or something similar.The benefits of a lot of ingredients are delicately tied to the package they come in when entering the body.

  3. I never used any anti-oxidants or supplements but one of my friend did.And i don’t know how but he got some muscles after that.

  4. Jonathan Bechtel says:

    Gourango,I don’t think there’s too much evidence to suggest that anti-oxidants all by themselves promote muscle building.My guess is that your friend had an increase in all sorts of fitness enhancing activities when he started taking the supplements, some of which helped increase his muscle mass, but not necessarily the anti-oxidant supplements by themselves.

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