The marketing hype of superfoods and the untrue story of antioxidants
Emma BECKETT is professionally involved in Nutrition ( Human Molecular Nutrition ) and has written two very good articles , the first one about the marketing hype of superfoods and the second one about the untrue story of antioxidants :
Just because a component of a superfood may kill cancer cells in a dish in the lab doesn’t mean that eating lots of a food containing this component will prevent you from getting cancer.
What’s more, the assumptions behind superfood science can be problematic. Much of the available evidence comes from cell culture or animal models . While these models are good tools for scientists, they don’t automatically apply to humans.
Humans have considerable environmental and genetic variances that make us much more complicated.
Even when these studies are done in humans, they’re often tested in very high concentrations over short durations that are not reflective of regular balanced diets. There simply aren’t enough long-term, realistic studies to support the claim that superfoods can stave off illness or old age
Antioxidants are a commonly promoted feature of health foods and supplements. They’re portrayed as the good forces that fight free radicals – nasty molecules causing damage thought to hasten ageing and cause chronic diseases.
The simple logic that antioxidants are “good” and free radicals are “bad”, has led to the idea that simply getting more antioxidants into our bodies, from foods or supplements, can outweigh the impacts of free radicals.
Sadly, biology is never this simple, and antioxidants are not a free radical free pass.
We are exposed to free radicals every day; they’re produced in our bodies as part of normal functioning. Such normal levels are easily tolerated.
But habits such as smoking, drinking, and eating processed foods all increase exposure. These additional free radicals may increase the risk of lifestyle and age-related diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Ohh ….. don’t miss the author’s replies in the comments on these articles . Very good reads .