Antioxidant Supplements May Increase Mortality Rates

Armen Hareyan's picture

Scientists from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark looked at benefits of antioxidant supplements and found that some of them increase mortality rates.

Research examined data from 67 studies involving 232550 people and supplements like beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium. Study participants were taking different doses of antioxidants in different combinations.


47 of these trials are estimated to have lower risk for bias. These studies cover 180938 participants and reported significant increase in mortality rates.

Scientists indicate some of supplement intake daily doses: beta-carotene ranging from 1.2mg to 50mg, vitamin C from 60mg to 2,000mg. Some of participants were healthy and were taking the supplements for improving overall health, some others had different health conditions and were taking the antioxidants for disease treatment purposes.

Goran Bjelakovic from Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark said: "The bottom line is that current evidence does not support the use of antioxidant supplements in the general healthy population or in patients with certain diseases."

Research evaluated each supplement separately and mainly focused on studies with lower risk for bias. Vitamin C and selenium showed no affect on mortality rate at all, vitamin A increased risk by 16%, beta-carotene with 7%, and vitamin E with 4%.