The results of several studies on affects of synthetic antioxidants such as beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and selenium were published in American Medical Association journal. 

 

In summary:

“We did not find convincing evidence that antioxidant supplements have beneficial effects on mortality. Even more, beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E seem to increase the risk of death. Further randomized trials are needed to establish the effects of vitamin C and selenium.”

 

However,

“Because we examined only the influence of synthetic antioxidants, our findings should not be translated to potential effects of fruits and vegetables.”

 

Read it for yourself -- the reprint is available he at http://www.nzhealthtrust.co.nz/pdf/JAMA_antiox.pdf.

 

 

Special thanks for Estera S. for bringing this to my attention.