A new, long-term study of Americans found the risk of dying over the course of the study (about 14 years) was lowest when antioxidant levels in the blood were above the lowest levels (the bottom 20% of the population). However, for people in the top 20% of blood levels for vitamins A and E, the risk of death increased compared to people with moderate levels. For selenium and beta-carotene, there was no significant difference in the death rate between moderate and high levels, although for vitamin C some additional benefit was seen at high, but not the highest, levels.
The results suggest that antioxidant supplements may be useful for those who are nutritionally deficient, but, as noted by the researchers, "beyond a certain threshold, higher levels do not lead to additional benefit, and may potentially be toxic." More details (including specific serum levels) are found in the linked updates to the following reviews, which include our test results and quality ratings of products: