Vitamins and minerals, in the form of supplements, are notorious for getting overhyped. Some of the best examples are beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. In the 1980s, it was widely thought that beta-carotene and vitamin E could prevent cancer after scientists discovered their anti-oxidant properties. It was widely thought that supplementation of either could reduce mortality.
Although the doses used in studies have been all over the map, randomized controlled trials show that there is no consistent benefit in supplementing with these nutrients and may even increase mortality. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of a handful of nutrients by Dr Bjelakovic and company found that both beta-carotene (RR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.11) and vitamin E (RR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07) increase risk of all-cause mortality.