Many researchers were shocked when a large 1984 experiment found that a beta-carotene supplement increased lung cancer. Because beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant, and epidemiology had linked eating vegetables with less cancer, it was supposed to decrease lung cancer. My Berkeley neighbor Bruce Ames was the foremost proponent of the idea that antioxidants will decrease cancer.
Now more evidence supports the idea that antioxidants may increase cancer.
A request for comment elicited this:
“It’s disappointing but not surprising that people’s beliefs are not modified by scientific evidence,” said Dr Paul Marantz, an epidemiologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “People so want to believe there is a magic bullet out there.”
One commenter on the article rightly says:
“It’s disappointing but not surprising that people’s beliefs are not modified by scientific evidence,” . . . Rather a snide comment considering the fact that it was science that spent years telling everyone that antioxidants and supplements were beneficial.