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Jan 28

Two More Outdated Nutritional Assumptions

In my last post I wrote about soy and olive oil not as good as we think they are.

Assumption Number Three: Vitamin C prevents Colds

Truth be known, and then this is not absolute, taking vitamin C supplements may shorten colds slightly but the results vary widely. Other than that, no matter what Linus Pauling wrote, extra vitamin C in the winter at high doses will not help colds stay away. Taking an extra 1,000 mg a day of vitamin C for a few days won't hurt you but it is not a magic potion for warding off colds.

Assumption Number Four: Antioxidants prevent cancer and heart disease.

When the reports of the first research studies were published it all sounded so promising. Damage caused by renegade oxygen could trigger cancer, injure arteries, hamper vision and accelerate aging. Antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E could neutralize the damage before it took hold. So far the clinical trials haven't produced success.

Even so I am always reading about some new skin discovery to prevent aging that contains one or more of the anti-oxidants. Either they know more than I'm reading or they companies are betting they we all still believe this outdated assumption.

For instance, I was a firm believer that vitamin E was just about a guarantee against cardiovascular disease. Was it just a few years ago when the research said that just isn't so?

That's not to say that antioxidants are useless. The mistake, I'm told, is to assume that if antioxidants work, it is because they are antioxidants. Vitamin C, for example can be an antioxidant in one setting and pro-oxidant in another. If vitamin E and selenium protect the prostate it may not be because they're antioxidants but are working though a different pathway.

To say that a food is rich in antioxidants is not at all significant; it has no real impact.

No matter what your age, the world is full of surprises.

To your healthy aging.

Ruthan Brodsky

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