From Nutrition Data Blog
POSTED BY: Monica Reinagel, M.S., LD/N | May 13, 2009 | 10:56 AM
This story in yesterday's New York Times was the most emailed item on NYTimes.com: Vitamins Found to Curb Exercise Benefits
To summarize: Moderate intensity exercise creates free radicals in the body. That sounds like a bad thing, but these free radicals appear to stimulate the body's natural antioxidant defenses as well mechanisms that improves glucose sensitivity. So, the net effect is that exercise reduces free radical stress in the body and helps protect against Type 2 diabetes.
Here's the kicker: Taking vitamin C and E supplements seems to block these positive benefits of exercise. If you mop up exercise-induced free radicals with supplemental antioxidants, the body's own antioxidant defenses are not activated.
I realize it's just one study but the news on supplements (especially antioxidants) all seems to point in the same direction lately: Nature knows best. Eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is a great idea but taking concentrated doses of antioxidants as vitamin supplements may actually do more harm than good.
Personally, I hate swallowing pills so I'm glad to be off the hook! Trying to meet your antioxidant needs with foods rather than supplements is also extra motivation to get those five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables everyday.