Check Your Health: Antioxidant Supplementation

Check Your Health: Antioxidant Supplementation (File photo: MGN)

(KUTV) — Should you be taking antioxidant supplements for your health?

Joy Musselman, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain McKay-Dee HospitalGoal stopped by 2News to help educate consumers on the lack of evidence supporting antioxidant supplementation.

Here's what you need to know:

1) Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals develop naturally but are increased with exposure to pollution, radiation, tobacco smoke, etc. High levels of free radicals in our body may cause damage to cells leading to increased risk of cancer and other diseases.

2) It has long been theorized that high intake of antioxidants would reduce one’s risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Long-standing research, however, does not support this theory. In some cases, antioxidant supplementation may be harmful – for instance, large quantities of Vitamin E supplementation may increase risk of prostate cancer in men.

3) There is still evidence to support a generally well-balanced diet that includes foods which are good sources of antioxidants including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and nuts. Whole foods contain a combination of healthy components (antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and more) that that likely work in sync to help prevent chronic disease in contrast to the isolated components of supplements.