Do Antioxidants Cause Cancer?
We have heard over and over that antioxidants help fight off cancer, but Dr. David Agus, author of the book The End of Illness, believes that when taken in pill form, antioxidants can actually cause cancer. He believes the term has been created for marketing purposes and points to data that supports his opinion.
Dr Oz: Antioxidant Pills Remove Free Radicals?
Most often antioxidants are discussed in pill form. Dr. Oz explained that our body has free radicals, which are weapons used to fight off things like bacteria. They come from good and bad sources. The good ones are actually made by our body, but there are others that come from the outside environment like pollutants, sun exposure, smoking, and environmental toxins. Antioxidants will enter your body and pick up a bunch of free radicals and remove them from your body without differentiating between which are from the good sources and which are from the bad sources. Dr. Agus is worried that those antioxidants will take all of the free radicals leaving our bodies with nothing left to protect us from the things we need to fight off on a daily basis. Dr. Oz says ideally we want to have enough of the good free radicals, but not too many, to still protect us from harm.
Dr Oz: Antioxidants in the Fountain of Youth?
Dr. Oz polled the audience as to whether they feel they eat well every day. Less than half raised their hands and Dr. Oz shared a shocking statistic – today’s food has a nutrient content that is at least 15-20% lower than it was 50 years ago, so if you are eating really well today, you still are not getting what our ancestors did naturally. Dr. Augus says that even though the food has fewer nutrients, it does not mean we are deficient in these things. A vitamin is simply something our body cannot synthesize enough of; it does not mean more is better. He says he will change his mind when there is randomized data showing a benefit. He does think, however, that pregnant women should take a multivitamin because there’s data to support it, also people with eye conditions and some children, but generally speaking he does not feel anyone needs to take a multivitamin.
US Government Says Don’t Take Calcium or Vitamin D Supplements
Dr. David Agus shared that other doctors in his community have certainly been up in arms, but many tend to agree. He mentioned a statement by the U.S. government recently where they said that nobody should be taking a calcium or vitamin D supplement. He echoed a sentiment he has repeated throughout the show that we need randomized data showing that they work. Dr. Oz agrees with Dr. David Agus in that he wants people to get vitamins though foods not pills, but he can’t help but feel like he is abandoning the average person who is not getting those vitamins through their food and may require a multivitamin.