DID you take your vitamins today? Many of us have been so seduced by the idea that supplements help protect us against ill health that we happily pop one, two or even more a day - and feel guilty if we forget.  In the UK alone, we spend more than £300 million on supplements every year. But while this might be keeping the manufacturers in a healthy state, are vitamin pills really so good for us?  For decades the message has been clear: supplements deliver vital nutrients often missing from our diets, particularly antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, which help fight the damaging action of free radicals.  These molecules are derived from oxygen and are produced by factors as varied as pollution and breathing. Worryingly, free radicals have been linked to a host of serious ailments, including cardiovascular disease , degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, autoimmune conditions, diabetes and cancer. So the thinking has been, free radicals bad, antioxidant pills good. But increasingly scientists are questioning the benefits of antioxidant pills , and even suggesting that some might actually cause us serious harm.                                 –DM