Failure by Ten Pages, Scurvy

I have a very odd metric for gauging how far I am into a book. 'Almost finished', as I thought I was with Aspidistra, on closer examination turned out to be equivalent to 'just over halfway'. Still, I read all evening, taking a break to watch Lost, and kept going until midnight. I stopped ten pages from the end because I wanted to be wide awake when reading the conclusion.

On reading the New Scientist of a couple of weeks back I found an interesting article on dietary supplements, in particular antioxidants:

The conclusion is becoming clear; whatever is behind the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you cannot reproduce it by taking purified extracts or vitamin supplements.

Although there are plausible ways that these supplements might work, in clinical trials there's no evidence that they do anything, and some disputed evidence that they may actually be detrimental to your health.

For now, the advice is simple. "Stick to flavonoid-rich foods, red wine in moderation, tea, fruits and vegetables," says [biochemist Barry] Halliwell. "Don't start taking high-dose supplements or heavily fortified foods, until we know more."

Although I should add that the article (which isn't available free online) does make it clear that supplements do work where people have a deficiency in that substance. ie. Don't stop taking your vitamin C pills if you have scurvy.


Madeleine said...

pleased to hear that the reading hasn't proved too strenuous for you and you're still alive!!

pleased to hear, also. that red wine was on the list otherwise i may as well end it all now...(seriously)

interesting about the vit supplements. i have given up with them, other than vit c, as i'm not sure they benefit either.
just try to eat as heathily as i can.......green and black's is organic you know!!

Michelle said...

The thing that I just love is that now they are saying that coffee is one of the healthiest things out there...helps diabetes, heart disease, blah blah. At last there is something healthy that I partake of at least twice a day. Of course, they may find out one day that Splenda is a horrible evil, and then the benefits will have been cancelled out. Hope not!