Decades ago, I became a fan of the ACSH long before becoming an occasional contributor. I was motivated by one clear point of reasoning. I found it next to impossible to locate a reliable source of health-related issues I had an interest in, as well as being able to recommend that source to students enrolled in my college course for continuing education purposes.
Antioxidants are one of the holy grails for marketers of a wide variety of food and supplemental products. For many, the term "antioxidant" has become synonymous through repetition with better health and the prevention of a myriad of ailments. In essence, antioxidants have been misconceived to be a magic bullet for health and longevity.
Insects are a natural alternative for those who wish to avoid red meat, and are fearful of laboratory-produced foods. Are they coming to your table soon? Could be ... and they have more antioxidants than orange juice!
Common diabetes medications with antioxidant effects have been implicated in promoting the spread of existing cancer in mice. That's thought to be caused by the activation of the NRF2 pathway, resulting in increased expression of cancer-promoting proteins and cancer cell migration.
Step aside, paleo diet; there's a new fad in town. Celebrities like Mariah Carey have jumped on the Purple Diet plan, where only purple fruits and veggies are allowed.
Antioxidants are the panacea that has never quite panned out. Tell people a product has antioxidants and many are eager to lap it up, eager for the benefits to their immune system, complexion, mental health, heart, joints, and just about everything else. Unfortunately, many studies have shown antioxidants do not add health benefits nor do they play a key role in preventing cancer or heart disease.
In our perpetual more of the same list, yet another study should help throw an extra shovel of dirt on a longstanding fad antioxidants, this time vitamins C and E. Perhaps the darlings of the supplement world (at least today), antioxidants have been touted as useful for pretty much everything from preventing aging and cancer to getting better gas mileage for your SUV.
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If you are in the something purple in a bottle will make me live longer camp, you will no doubt be disappointed by a new study in JAMA that was published by Dr. Richard D. Semba and colleagues of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
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A very large metaanalysis of the putative efficacy of supplements to prolong life showed no beneficial effects, and perhaps a slight detrimental effect. There are no valid studies supporting the general use of such substances.