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DONEGIRL's Photo DONEGIRL Posts: 57
8/29/13 8:08 A

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The title of this article is rather misleading- 'Researchers challenge super food claims'. The body of the article doesn't contain any challenge that I can see. It's all quite vague- the team has tested parsley and sage- what were the results then?

Two articles that do really challenge claims about antioxidants and that present or reference raw data are both worth reading.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19
125631.500-the-antioxidant-myth-a-medi
cal-fairy-tale.html
This one shows how a trial set up to study the supposed anticancer properties of antioxidants had to be stopped midway because of the detrimental effect the antioxidants were having on the group receiving the antioxidants- people were dying.
This negative effect is mentioned in the article by James Watson cited in this Guardian article. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2
013/jan/10/antioxidant-myth-easy-to-sw
allow#start-of-comments
It's interesting that the Nobel Laureate Watson who presents strong evidence against antioxidant use, cites another Nobel Laureate, Linus Pauling, who advocated very high doses of vitamin C to treat and prevent many diseases!

Edited by: DONEGIRL at: 8/29/2013 (08:09)
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BREWMASTERBILL's Photo BREWMASTERBILL SparkPoints: (31,080)
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8/21/13 8:33 A

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Finally, perhaps a true super food? My skeptic alarms are full on.

www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/26
50
52.php


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GRACEFULIFE's Photo GRACEFULIFE Posts: 1,705
12/11/12 5:32 P

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"Of course exploring other routes like sublingual or inhaled are possible. A bit less convenient than dining, but widely used for some herbs. Why not others?"

Might I also add.... mmmm, herb.

Those who know me a bit well may be able to figure out why this is (and my earlier comment, for those that aren't familiar with vaporizers) damn funny. Or maybe that is just my totally twisted sense of humor.

GRACEFULIFE's Photo GRACEFULIFE Posts: 1,705
12/11/12 5:30 P

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You might consider separating "self-reported but nonetheless controlled study" versus "epidemiological study" in there. I'd guess you mean something like the former for number 3, but the latter might slot in between 3 and 4... maybe. Then again epidemiological studies are often about as useful as anecdotes and books are in this area.

You might also want to include
6. Shady-looking websites selling e-books
7. Dr. Mercola
8. Dr. Oz

emoticon

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11/21/12 7:06 A

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"Plus, with all studies in general - doesn't the outcome also depend on what else the individual engages in on a daily basis?! They can't isolate one specific factor. The variation in people is great, exponentially greater by the variation in their habits. "

Yes, but some studies will try to isolate by keeping all things constant. Metabolic ward studies are considered highly reputable because the environment is completely controlled. That doesn't mean perfect, but it's immensely better than something like "we sent 1000 people home to self report their intake of broccoli to determine if it has magical powers". Double blind, peer reviewed studies are the next best but the method at which they're conducted can be suspect and there can be many confounding factors.

The way I rank "evidence" (all things being equal)

1) Metabolic ward study
2) Double blind, peer reviewed
3) Study
4) Anecdotes and books

Of course, one has to go through the study to determine if there are confounding factors and execution problems. For example, I disregard most animal studies, especially if there is a human study. Studies that are small, such as 10 or less subjects are normally disregarded.

So ya, it is important to READ the studies as much as you can to allay your concerns.

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WOLFKITTY's Photo WOLFKITTY SparkPoints: (65,826)
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11/20/12 10:57 P

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SERIOUSLY!!!! I feel like a weirdo, because even among my "health-friendly" friends, I am skeptical of the super-food bandwagon. Goodness gracious!

Maybe it's my inherent resistance to supplements, or maybe it's just common sense, but even the studies I've seen on things like Acai berries, chia, etc., look like poor attempts to justify the argument that they have magical properties.

Plus, with all studies in general - doesn't the outcome also depend on what else the individual engages in on a daily basis?! They can't isolate one specific factor. The variation in people is great, exponentially greater by the variation in their habits.

Anyhow, like radical diets that limit foods, if superfood lists make people more mindful about their eating, I don't think it's all bad. At the same time, it's not all good, either.

Thanks,
Jocelyn

Get to it! "The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience..."-Eleanor Roosevelt
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GRACEFULIFE's Photo GRACEFULIFE Posts: 1,705
11/9/12 1:24 P

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Vaporizers for everyone!!!

DOUGDC's Photo DOUGDC SparkPoints: (32,304)
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11/8/12 10:48 A

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The authors of the presented article are approaching a very interesting question. Essentially, no one can readily produce high quality data about diet and outcome. It takes a long time to do the studies (a decade or more), it takes very large groups, and the confounding factors are legion. So any studies about the antioxidents in blueberries (or any other food component) prolonging life, reducing heart attacks, delaying Alzheimers, or improving sex life are difficult to generalize.

On the other hand, coming up with a model that offers insight into whether a particular food component is likely to ever make it into the blood stream from the gut does provide a sort of short hand that might suggest whether the component is a nutrient at all, let alone one that is important. Of course exploring other routes like sublingual or inhaled are possible. A bit less convenient than dining, but widely used for some herbs. Why not others?

The outcome studies still need to be done. Once you know you can deliver a particular material to the blood stream, you still need to know what effect it has, and with what safety profile.

Great article! Thanks to BREWMASTERBILL for posting.

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GRACEFULIFE's Photo GRACEFULIFE Posts: 1,705
10/18/12 1:23 P

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Ooo, I really like the smoking idea. Straight to the brain, that's the way to do it. Blood-brain barrier? Psha!

CATHYLIELAUSIS's Photo CATHYLIELAUSIS SparkPoints: (16,607)
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10/16/12 9:10 A

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I hear you, and you made me chuckle. It seems that some folks have a psychological "need" for all sorts of herbs and things like anti-oxidants.

Scarborough Fair, here I come!

Edited by: CATHYLIELAUSIS at: 10/16/2012 (09:11)
Cathy

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GRACEFULIFE's Photo GRACEFULIFE Posts: 1,705
10/15/12 1:04 P

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" I guess that means don't rely on chicken dinners to provide your need for anti-oxidants."

....I get skeptical whenever anyone says something like "need for anti-oxidants". Even if they help in some way, you don't probably need them in same sense as you need water, electrolytes, protein, and vitamin C to continue to live.

I haven't even read the article and I've come to the conclusion that we have to mainline the parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme. Track marks here I come!

Let's face it, there are reasons that some pharmaceuticals can be taken by mouth and some must be injected!

Maybe we could cook up some herbs with baking soda to create a solid form that we can smoke using our brulée torches. Don't forget to add some nutmeg.

Edited by: GRACEFULIFE at: 10/15/2012 (13:04)
MEDDYPEDDY's Photo MEDDYPEDDY Posts: 7,816
10/14/12 3:17 A

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I am against my own intellect very tempted by "quick-fixes" so I am trying to avoid those "super-food" articles as I know they do affect me although I should know better. Interesting article, thanks!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
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TINAJANE76's Photo TINAJANE76 SparkPoints: (65,167)
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10/7/12 6:55 A

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I think part of the problem with issues like this is in the marketing. Oftentimes a singular study will come out touting the benefits of (or attacking) a certain food or group of foods and lots of pseudo-scientific web sites, magazines, diet companies will latch on to an idea that hasn't been fully proven to sell a new idea to their consumers. Many people like the idea that eating a magical combination of foods will finally help you lose weight, reverse the aging process, etc. where all other methods have failed. As a result, many of us are unfortunately inclined to buy into these claims even if they're based on very limited scientific evidence.

My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

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CATHYLIELAUSIS's Photo CATHYLIELAUSIS SparkPoints: (16,607)
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10/6/12 10:29 P

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I think some of the most intriguing items that are being investigated in this study are herbs. These sorts of ingredients are included in many supplements, especially those relying on Chinese herbal medicines. If this line of research plays out then doctors can figure out how to safely manage patient prescriptions and supplements. We would also know how much of a supplement we would need to take for health.

I think the title of the article may be misleading even though the concept is mentioned in the text. Fruits and vegetables are most likely the primary and the healthiest source of nutrients, and I'm sure some are better for each individual than others.

Cathy

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UNIDENT's Photo UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
10/6/12 8:42 P

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I'm not sure where I stand on so-called "super foods". All vegetables are high in nutrients and healthy for us. Are some really that much better than others? I really haven't looked too closely into what they're supposed to give you, but I suspect if any benefit, it's very minimal.

Ultimately, all 'super foods' are healthy whole foods, so hey, go nuts! If someone wants to eat more of them, I wouldn't put them down - just purely because they're choosing to eat more natural fruits and vegetables, and that can never be a bad thing.

Deb, in New Zealand
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10/6/12 5:53 P

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It's really hard to say what it means at this point. But I get a little skeptical when something is touted as much as these "super foods" have been. They do have some magical properties in that they are satiating and not calorically dense. Of course, the micronutrients are important, but perhaps overstated. Be interesting to see more research on the subject.

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CATHYLIELAUSIS's Photo CATHYLIELAUSIS SparkPoints: (16,607)
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10/6/12 5:41 P

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This is a very interesting approach to investigating the potential for foods and herbs to even begin to act in the body. "We found that while some compounds may have a local effect in the gut itself, in terms of the rest of the body the impact could be negligible." So far they have researched "parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme." I guess that means don't rely on chicken dinners to provide your need for anti-oxidants. I would be very interested in what their future research shows since I suffer from mal-absorption and need to supplement my diet.

Cathy

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10/6/12 4:38 P

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www.kingston.ac.uk/pressoffice/news/
46
1/01-10-2012-researchers-challenge-sR>uper-food-claims.html


"While there's no doubt foods such as broccoli, blueberries and whole grains contain polyphenols - compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties - the academic experts contend that little of these health-giving properties actually make it past the gut."

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