Antioxidant Controversy

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Antioxidant Controversy
Modern day society has put a massive emphasis into advertising antioxidants. Just about everyone has heard the word “antioxidant.” At least 150 million Americans regularly take dietary supplements that include antioxidants. Magazines, newspaper articles, product labels, supermarket displays, cosmetics, et cetera, hype the antioxidant potential, and market countless supplements as an additive to a healthy, youthful diet and lifestyle. “All seem to promise that eating the right antioxidant super food or , better yet, popping the right antioxidant pill will help ward off chronic disease, maybe even aging itself” (Antioxidant reality check, 2007, p. 1). Antioxidants are nutrients that help to lower the amounts of free radicals in your body by providing them with the oxygen molecule that they are missing and making them stable. Antioxidants are thought to block the damaging effects of free radicals of arterial walls as well as damage to cells that could cause cancer. So of course, one would be led to think, if you add more antioxidants to your diet then you could protect yourself from disease, slow the aging process, and be healthier overall. On the other hand, because there have only been observational studies and no long term medical research to prove the benefits of antioxidant supplementation, the benefits have not been completely accepted by the medical community. As tempting as it may sound to jump on the bandwagon, current medical findings indicates that the risks may outweigh the benefits involving supplemental antioxidants. Researchers wrote, “Our findings contradict the findings of observational studies claiming that antioxidants improve health” (McVicar, 2007, p. 1). The observational studies data stated that antioxidants were beneficial and encouraged the supplementation as an additive to anything else you would do in your life to stay healthy. As a result, antioxidant supplements have become a multi-billion dollar...
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