Possible harm from antioxidants supplemented everywhere


#1

Just read this post and remember reading simmilar things before, and only very recently. Many products that purify nutrients seem overloaded with various antioxidants. One of these products is opti3omega which I thought was an interesting source of those fatty acids as it semed an algae extraction would be more pure and with healthier impurities than the extract of a higher marine organism, and an animal at that.
As far as I understand, the antioxidants interfere with the agin processes that also acted as sort of an immune system against cancerous mutations of cells. From that aspect, a product like Soylent could make the aging-reducing effects of antioxidants safer by eliminating carcinogens, but how low is it in known carcinogens? What could be negligible otherwise might be dangereous with a high level and variety of antioxidants in the diet? Finally, what about the effect of non-food carcinogens, even in the air?

If someone has any insight into this at all, now is the time to share it, or if this topic is already being discussed anywhere, please advise.


#2

Note that James Watson only says that anti-oxidants are causing problems in people who are receiving cancer treatment. He says that we try to use structural damage to kill the cancer cells, and the anti-oxidants prevent the damage. He does not say that anti-oxidants cause cancer, even though crappy media headlines claim that.

Here’s the abstract of his paper so you can check for yourself:

The vast majority of all agents used to directly kill cancer cells (ionizing radiation, most chemotherapeutic agents and some targeted therapies) work through either directly or indirectly generating reactive oxygen species that block key steps in the cell cycle. As mesenchymal cancers evolve from their epithelial cell progenitors, they almost inevitably possess much-heightened amounts of antioxidants that effectively block otherwise highly effective oxidant therapies. Also key to better understanding is why and how the anti-diabetic drug metformin (the world’s most prescribed pharmaceutical product) preferentially kills oxidant-deficient mesenchymal p53− −cells. A much faster timetable should be adopted towards developing more new drugs effective against p53− − cancers.

If you agree with me, I would love it if you could change this thread’s title to something that’s more accurate, to prevent myths from starting. In short, antioxidants prevent cancer from being cured effectively.

Can you link to where you found data on the antioxidant content of the opti3omega capsules? Those are the ones I’m taking. Only thing I found that wasn’t obvious is that they contain 2.5 mg of Vitamin D (200 IU D3), and a somewhat higher amount of omega3 than 100+200, as you would expect (333mg, at least). Note that their numbers are per 2 capusles, I misread that at first.


#3

Here is the text from their site, it is on the front page, in the “ingredients” tab.
Here is the antioxidant claim
They are grouped by bracket with the oil source, so it may be to prevent oxidation of the oil, but the use of three different ones, especially such an ambiguous one as a “rosemary extract” raises some suspicion of how it might not be a very scientific product, appealing to the healthy eating fads and not necessarily the latest research.

That is why I also mentioned prior articles which I can’t locate right now, speculating that the absence of this structural damage at a milder scale will increase the amount of cancers that develop to the stage of requiring medical intervention.
Aditionally, there was talk of artificially concentrated antioxidants actually creating free radicals in some cases. Would a supplement such as Matcha be a suspect?

I am not trying to start a panic, but since we are trying to make a far safer diet than whole foods here, I believe everything deserves scrutiny, especially with how little concrete objective facts about things we ingest are common knowledge. What do you suggest I change the title to? “Routes of possible harm from antioxidants” ?


#4

I’m afraid I don’t have much time now, but in the book Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre, he describes studies into Vitamin E supplementation which had to be terminated early because Vitamin E takers died in such high quantities. There was a Cochrane study on it, but I really don’t have time right now to look it up (I failed in five seconds of searching).


#5

[quote=“qm3ster, post:3, topic:5293”]They are grouped by bracket with the oil source, so it may be to prevent oxidation of the oil, but the use of three different ones, especially such an ambiguous one as a “rosemary extract” raises some suspicion of how it might not be a very scientific product, appealing to the healthy eating fads and not necessarily the latest research.[/quote]I see what you mean. I do find it a little unfortunate that vegan products are often also marketed at people who want to eat “all natural” and such (which is not my thing). But then again, I don’t think latest research at this point is conclusive enough to suggest that they shouldn’t use antioxidants.

[quote=“qm3ster, post:3, topic:5293”][…] speculating that the absence of this structural damage at a milder scale will increase the amount of cancers that develop to the stage of requiring medical intervention.[/quote]I’d find that odd; structural damage is usually what causes cancer. You’ll find that many anti-cancer medicines are carcinogenic, exactly because they destroy the cancer cell with structural damage – something that can cause cancer. If you manage to find a link though, I’d be interested in reading it!

[quote=“qm3ster, post:3, topic:5293”]I am not trying to start a panic, but since we are trying to make a far safer diet than whole foods here, I believe everything deserves scrutiny, especially with how little concrete objective facts about things we ingest are common knowledge.[/quote]Fair enough! I’m in favor of that :smiley:

[quote=“qm3ster, post:3, topic:5293”]What do you suggest I change the title to? “Routes of possible harm from antioxidants” ?[/quote]Yeah that works.

[quote=“Smaug, post:4, topic:5293, full:true”]I’m afraid I don’t have much time now, but in the book Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre, he describes studies into Vitamin E supplementation which had to be terminated early because Vitamin E takers died in such high quantities.[/quote]I don’t want to shoot down your point right out of hand, but I tend to be wary of stuff said in books – simply because books aren’t peer reviewed.

I did a quick google, and found this meta-analysis that has found a non-statistically-significant increase in mortality with high-dose supplementation (>400 IU/d). The RDA for Vitamin E is 15 mg, which is about 22.4 IU, so we’re not running into problems there any time soon. I’m changing the UL in my spreadsheet for Vitamin E down to 267 mg (400 IU) instead of 1000 though, although I’m nowhere close.


#6

[quote=“Mqrius, post:5, topic:5293”]I don’t want to shoot down your point right out of hand, but I tend to be wary of stuff said in books – simply because books aren’t peer reviewed.
[/quote]
Of course, and I agree entirely - but Ben Goldacre’s really good at quoting his meta-analyses, and he’s something of an evidence-based medicine guru. The analysis I was thinking of is this one from Cochrane. No reason not to take the recommended daily whatnot of Vitamin E, though!


#7

I am more a fan of using HIV as a vector for modifying immune cells to treat cancer, than some mere carcinogens. Sounds much more exciting :grin:


#8

Interesting. I can’t quite tell from the abstract if the main problem was the beta-carotene, the Vitamin A, or the Vitamin E. I’d also love to know if this is with normal or with huge doses, although I think it’s the latter, like in the study I found.