Q: Should I take an anti-oxidant supplement such as Vitamin C?
A: Yes, the production of free-radicals through pollution, smoking, stress and processed food can be damaging, but free radicals are also essential to human health.
And yes, we need antioxidants to counter these free-radicals but it’s a delicate balancing act. Therefore, supplementing with excessive amounts of single anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C can actually CREATE more free-radicals (especially if taken after exercise), furthering the damage we are trying to prevent in the first place.
Free-radicals (especially the ones created by exercise) instruct cells to create their own antioxidants which appear to be responsible for many of the health benefits derived from exercise. Supplementing with antioxidants like Vitamin C can seriously diminish these beneficial effects. On a big enough scale this causes widespread damage to organs.
Clearly the best way to consume antioxidants is from natural food sources that contain a wide variety of them rather than singular mega-doses of just one or two.
Conversely though, you should instead consider supplementing with mineral supplements such as Zinc and Magnesium as these are lacking in the average Australian diet and bodily deficiencies can result in serious health complications.