“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.