Friday, September 11, 2009

Antioxidants and Cancer: Have we got it backwards?

Via the Instapundit.

Readers may remember a study from earlier this year that suggested that taking antioxidants canceled out some of the benefits of exercise. It seems that the reactive oxygen species themselves, which everyone's been assuming have to be fought, are actually being used to signal the body's metabolic changes.

Now there's another disturbing paper on a possible unintended effect of antioxidant therapy.

Evidence has been gathering for some time now that antioxidants probably do little or no good for people, and may even be positively harmful.

Here there is evidence produced that suggests that antioxidants may have some role to play in allowing cancer cells to survive and propagate.

It is worth repeating that 50 years after being first proposed there is still no real evidence to support the theory that oxygen free-radicals are harmful, (and indeed this latest research really challenges this belief), or that taking antioxidants to combat these reactive oxygen species does you any good.

And by real evidence I mean that produced by properly randomised double-blind trials, not meaningless epidemiological data dredges.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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