People who get a lot of antioxidants in their diets, or who take them in supplement form, don’t live any longer than those who just eat well overall, according to a long term study of retirees in California.
Antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, are plentiful in vegetables and fruits and may help protect against cell or DNA damage.
As a result, they’ve been touted for cancer prevention, heart disease prevention and even warding off dementia.
‘There is good scientific evidence that eating a diet with lots of vegetables and fruits is healthful and lowers risks of certain diseases,’ said lead author Annlia Paganini-Hill of the Clinic for Aging Research and Education at the University of California, Irvine.
‘However, it is unclear whether this is because of the antioxidants, something else in these foods, other foods in people’s diet, or other lifestyle choices,’ Paganini-Hill told Reuters Health by email.
Most double-blind randomized clinical trials – the gold standard of medical evidence – have found that antioxidant supplements do not prevent disease, she said.