Antioxidant Supplements Increase Mortality

Antioxidant Supplements Increase Mortality

Based on earlier studies, scientists found that the nutrient Beta-Carotene helped reduce cancer in smoking adults. This led to pushing the manufacturing and sale of Beta-Carotene pills as supplements to help with this issue. However, results showed that smokers who took the Beta-Carotene pills actually had increased risks of cancer. Later studies corroborated that it was the healthy foods that contained Beta-Carotene and added it as a nutrient to the bloodstream that in fact reduced risk of cancer, not the specific nutrient itself.

An aspect of science is that it attempts to reduce understanding to simpler understandings, in which case applying the use of Beta-Carotene as a deterrent of cancer risk proved ineffective. To better improve testing of the nutrients as effective deterrents of cancer, scientists are interested in isolating what kinds of foods have Beta-Carotene and adding those to the diet to study effects on smokers who eat them, instead of simply taking supplement pills. Regardless it is important to view the foods that contain the nutrients as a standard first instead of the specific nutrients that seem to have an effectiveness on health conditions.

A similarly proposed reductionist solution is to genetically manufacturer plants with the nutrients in them. Instead of relying on produce that has certain nutrients in it, there would be specific produce with the nutrients that are shown to be effective for certain reasons. Companies would then be able to profit on the genetically engineered produce as a health solution in the same way they attempted to do so with supplement pills having the same effect.

Key Points:

  • 1Giving supplements of beta carotene was a misguided way to prevent cancer that is not effective.
  • 2The importance of plant based diets in preventing and reducing the risk of chronic disease should be our focus.
  • 3Not smoking and having a healthy lifestyle are the biggest ways to prevent cancer.


One proposed solution is to add back the health-promoting phytonutrients that are missing from many convenience foods.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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