Free radicals are good for you? Multivitamins kill? Has the world turned upside-down?

Those’re some of the claims being made by this article and the studies it mentions.

I have to admit, this stuff is over my head. Can anyone tell me why I should trust these studies over the “conventional wisdom” (whether in terms of free radicals, multivitamins, or whatever is mentioned therein), or vice versa?

Heh, every five minutes it seems like a conflicting study is coming out about nutrition.

One major flaw is a failure to distinguish between the effects (or lack thereof) of take a low dose of vitamin versus a megadose. If I recall (it’s been a couple years since I had access to medical journals) most of the studies that show potential harm involved large doses of supplements/vitamins. Your average multivitamin is nowhere near that dose.

Now everyone has to immediately start taking huge amounts of vitamin D. When do you suppose they’ll find the down side to THAT?

Vitamins can react negatively to certain chemicals. If you like your daily cup of coffee mixed with Hexavalent chromium then you should avoid taking vitamin C. Hexavalent chromium was the substance found in the groundwater in the movie Erin Brockovich.

Trust conventional wisdom. I don’t know what the author is talking about, but I know niacin for sure lowers blood pressure. They’ve known that since the 1950’s. The folic acid example in the article is an interesting one. The reason folic acid (folate) could increase cancer progression is because it’s involved in nucleotide synthesis (you know, making DNA). I don’t see how this makes folic acid bad or suggests that vitamin supplements are lethal.

The failure to decrease overall mortality is troubling, however the study *does not look for * significant life enhancing effects such as improved intellect, decreased wrinkling, or enhanced horniness.