If you're one of the “worried well” chowing down on Vitamin C and E supplements because you think antioxidants are good for you, think again. A new study suggests that abnormally high levels of antioxidants might actually increase your cancer risk. Stem cell researchers discovered the danger by accident, the Daily Telegraph reports, when they tried adding antioxidants into the cells to reduce oxidative damage. Instead, the genetic damage increased.
The doctors tried the experiment again, once adding vitamin C and E doses comparable to what people on supplements take, with the same results. Their hypothesis is that the antioxidants impede the enzyme that corrects DNA errors during cell division. “The simple message for consumers is: eat as much fruit and vegetables as you like,” one doctor says. “But supplements can take you into the danger zone.”