The one bright spot for antioxidant vitamins is a trial where patients taking vitamin C, beta-carotene, and zinc received some protection from antioxidants against the development of advanced age-related macular degeneration, but not cataracts.
The Bottom Line
To date, randomized, placebo-controlled trials are at best inconclusive, but generally don't provide strong evidence that antioxidant supplements have a substantial impact on diseases such as heart events and cancer. Still, antioxidants continue to be added to breakfast cereals, energy bars, sodas, sports drinks, and other processed foods. Often claims have stretched and distorted data. It appears that antioxidants aren't the magical solution they are sometimes hyped to be.
Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 14, 2013, on PharmacyTimes.com. It has been edited and republished by U.S. News.