Analysis of dozens of studies indicates that antioxidants may do more harm than good:

The review involved trials on beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium.

It says in-depth analysis of the different trials does not support the idea that vitamins extend lifespan.

'Even more, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E seem to increase mortality,' says the review.

Vitamin A was linked to a 16 per cent increase in mortality, beta-carotene - the pigment found in carrots, tomatoes and broccoli which the body converts into vitamin A - to a 7 per cent increase and vitamin E to a 4 per cent increase. However, there was no significant detrimental effect caused by vitamin C.

'There was no evidence to support either healthy people using antioxidants to prevent disease or for sick people to take them to get better,' said the review.

What's more, excessive use of multivitamins may cause prostate cancer.

Doctors are investigating a possible link between heavy multivitamin use and the most serious types of prostate cancer, according to an article in today's Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers followed 295,344 men. Men who reported taking multivitamins more than seven times a week had a slightly greater risk of advanced or fatal prostate tumors. If doctors followed 10,000 men for 10 years, there would be about 30 extra cases of advanced prostate cancer and seven or eight extra cases of fatal prostate cancer associated with heavy supplement use, says lead author Michael Leitzmann of the NCI.

I cut my multivitamin intake to once every-other day. Vitamins aren't a cure-all, and supplements should be used judiciously.

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