Oh, and as for anti-oxidants…. apparently few people realize that the key mechanism is the Haber-Weiss reaction (Fe** to Fe*** and back) which can run in either direction depending on concentration. In other words, if you get too little antioxidant (and no one, literally no one, knows what the “right” concentration for humans would be, but it would be at least many liters per typical human per day) then the H-W reaction actually accelerates oxidative damage. So a magical “superfood” can increase cellular damage rather than decrease it because there’s absolutely no way a few bowls of berries per day can get remotely close to the critical threshold. Furthermore, we now know that signals resulting from oxidative stress cause mitochondria to induce apoptosis so that they can be replace by new healthy mitochondria. So even if antioxidants actually worked, they’d result in us hanging on to old and damaged mitochondria instead of allowing the body’s self-repair mechanisms to get rid of them and replace them with healthy new mitochondria.

In other words, the whole hype about antioxidants gets all the science badly wrong and does no one any service at all. Which is why we should always read the core research papers rather than the glossy magazine articles and Internet blogs.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store