Food for Thought: Can antioxidant supplements reduce your risk of disease?


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Consumers spend approximately $500 million a year on antioxidant supplements.

But do they actually reduce your risk of disease?

Researchers looked at 69 large studies to see if antioxidants like vitamin C, Beta-carotene, and vitamin E can reduce the risk of disease.

The answer is yes – if those antioxidants are consumed as food not supplements.

Eating antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature death. Clinical trials on supplements with individual antioxidants, or a few of them combined, have failed to find benefits.

Researchers say the benefits found from eating food is likely due to the way the antioxidants and other compounds in food work together to reduce disease.

While a multi-vitamin can fill in gaps for some missing nutrients, avoid spending lots of money on high doses of antioxidants. Spend the money on food instead.

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