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Vitamin supplements do not give long life

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Taking supplements that contain antioxidants, such as vitamin A and C, do not prolong life expectancy, contrary to popular opinion, say Cochrane researchers.

They said the idea that they offered life expectancy benefits had mostly come from animal research and some observational studies

They reviewed 67 randomised trials involving a total of just under a quarter of a million people.

‘We could find no evidence to support taking antioxidant supplements to reduce the risk of dying earlier in healthy people or patients with various diseases, said lead author Goran Bjelakovic, visiting professor at Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.

‘The findings of our review show that if anything, people in trial groups given the antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E showed increased rates of mortality. There was no indication that vitamin C and selenium may have positive or negative effects,’ he added.

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