Nov. 22, 2004 — Once broadly considered a panacea for ensuring against illnesses associated with maturing, antioxidant supplementation is increasingly under fire. Prior this month researchers reported that taking vitamin E at high dosages may do more hurt than good. Presently modern investigate suggests that low-dose antioxidant supplementation is of only limited esteem.

Supplementation with little measurements of vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc did show up to lower the risk of cancer in men. But French analysts concluded that the watched benefits might effectively be derived from eating a adjusted slim down that includes fruits and vegetables.

Findings from the expansive Supplementation With Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals think about are reported in the Nov. 22 issue of the journal Chronicles of Inner Pharmaceutical.

“Supplementation may be compelling in men (and not women) because of their lower pattern status of certain cancer prevention agents, especially beta-carotene,” analyst Serge Hercberg, MD, PhD, and colleagues write. “The show study reinforces the general proposals of a lifelong diversified slim down that includes an wealth of foods rich in antioxidant supplements.”

Clinical Prove for Vitamin E

Millions of Americans take vitamin E and other antioxidant nutrients with the belief that they will help them live longer and more advantageous lives, but the logical evidence to back up the conviction is contradictory.

Later reviews of considers with vitamin E supplementation in patients with heart malady have not shown vitamin E to be viable in anticipating heart assaults. In any case, perceptions continue to show that eating natural products, vegetables, and other antioxidant-rich nourishments, or taking antioxidant supplements can protect against heart disease and certain cancers.

The lion’s share of studies on antioxidants and infection anticipation have included much higher dosages of the nutrients than are found in the commonplace eat less. The average U.S. diet, for illustration, supplies around 10 worldwide units of vitamin E, but illness avoidance thinks about for the most part include dosages of 400 IU or higher.

In this consider, Hercberg and colleagues examined whether antioxidant supplementation at levels that more closely imitate the supplement admissions given by a healthy slim down helps anticipate cancer or heart infection in middle-aged people.

Generally 8,000 French ladies between the ages of 35 and 60, and 5,000 men between the ages of 45 and 60 took portion in the ponder. Participants took either placebo pills or an antioxidant formulation consisting of 120 milligrams of vitamin C, 45 IU of vitamin E, 6 milligrams of beta-carotene, 100 micrograms of selenium, and 20 milligrams of zinc.

After 7.5 years, researchers found no contrasts between the antioxidant bunch and the placebo group in terms of heart malady, cancer frequency, or death from all causes. However, when the researchers looked at cancer frequency concurring to sex, supplementation did show up to secure men but not ladies from developing cancer. Men were 31% less likely to create cancer than ladies.

On normal, the men had lower levels of cancer prevention agents in their blood at consider entry than did the ladies, and the researchers conclude that this may explain the difference in assurance.

“The ineffectiveness of supplementation in women may be due to their way better standard antioxidant status,” they composed.

Time to Abandon Cancer prevention agents?

So what do the new considers mean for people still taking mega doses of antioxidants? Johns Hopkins College epidemiology professor Eliseo Juallar, MD, says it is now clear that the practice is of little or no advantage for anticipating malady and could be hurtful.

Juallar coauthored the widely publicized survey presented at an American Heart Association (AHA) assembly prior this month, finding that high-dose vitamin E supplementation is related with an increased risk of passing on.

The study’s significance for youthful, sound people has been questioned, because the analysts centered on trials involving generally elderly, chronically sick patients. But the Johns Hopkins researcher says the evidence is obvious.

“There’s no question that beta-carotene at high measurements is harmful, and it is additionally clear that [high-dose] vitamin E isn’t defensive and might be harmful,” he says.

Juallar contends that taking as small as 400 IU of vitamin E — the foremost broadly sold dosage — may be dangerous. AHA nutrition representative Alice Lichtenstein, DSc, says it is now obvious that vitamin E supplementation does not secure against heart malady, but the evidence that it is harmful is not completely persuading.

“What we will say is that there don’t appear to solid sufficient information to advise individuals to take antioxidant vitamins, counting vitamin E, to diminish their chance of cardiovascular infection,” she tells WebMD.

SOURCES: Hercberg, S. Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) and Unite de Surveillance et d’Epidemiologie Nutritionnelle, Paris. Eliseo Juallar, MD, DRPH, assistant professor of epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Open Wellbeing, Baltimore, Md. Alice Lichtenstein, D.Sc, senior scientist and executive, Cardiovascular Sustenance Laboratory, Tufts College Friedman School of Nourishment. Boston; chair, nutrition committee, American Heart Affiliation. Eidelman et al., Archives of Internal Medication, July 26, 2004; vol 164: pp 1552-1556. AHA Logical Sessions 2004, Unused Orleans, Nov. 7-10, 2004.

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