T Nation

Hormesis and Why Anti-oxidants Are Unhealthy


#1

I have been reading up in the emerging field of hormesis and came across this article whose author is highly critical of anti-oxidant use. Thought some here might be interested in reading this: http://gettingstronger.org/2011/03/the-case-against-antioxidants/


#2

I don't have time to really read the entire article right now, just skimmed over it, but I do think it is important to note that his argument is not against antioxidants per se, its against antioxidant supplements.


#3

Really interesting article, thanks for posting!


#4

Yes, you are right to point that out. That is, of course, what I meant.


#5

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#6

I've noticed the same thing -- that taking Vitamin C or E before workouts seems to decrease my endurance. I think that this article is right -- taking supplements seems to impair our natural antioxidant defense. What's really interesting about the article is that we can turn on a much more potent natural antioxidant defense (glutathione and the like) by eating vegetables, fruits and herbs that contain certain polyphenol chemicals. Makes sense. I always thought the antioxidant supplements were a rip-off!


#7

That was a very interesting read.

One thing that occurs to me is that perhaps the antioxidants provide a recovery window for the A.R.E. system when its 'tested' with polyphenols. Sort of like getting your PWO nutrition and a days rest after weight training.

The S.A.I.D. principle seems to apply here.


#8

Yes, I agree, but sometimes the so-called anti-oxidant supplements have other good qualities. For example, some of you may be interested in reading
this article on Resveratrol by Calabrese (the top researcher on hormesis in the U.S.):
http://www.belleonline.com/newsletters/volume16/vol16-2.pdf

He indicates that resveratrol is bi-phasic. At low doses, it has heart healthy effects and as an estrogen agonist. Low dose would be a glass or two of wine.
At high doses, it tends to lose that heart-healthy effect, maybe even noxious for the heart, but acts as an estrogen antagonist.


#9

All I have to say is DAMN YOU HAVE GONE A LONG TIME.


#10

I haven't had one touch of the flu or a cold since starting daily use of superfood when it came out a few years ago.

I'll side with my personal results over what this guy thinks he knows.


#11

Thanks for noticing! Yeah, the web filter at work doesn't let me access T-Nation. As I have kids, I don't have much time after work, so I don't get up here very often anymore.


#12

No, this guy is saying that whole fruit/vegetable intake is healthier than supplementing with isolated antioxidants...Superfood is whole fruits and vegetables, albeit in freeze-dried form.


#13

Yeah I don't like supplementing with any antioxidants...

Cancer Prevention II Study: 5 yrs+ of multivitamin use showed 30% increase in fatal prostate cancer

AARP Study: members aged 50-71 using excessive multivitamin (>7x/week) showed increased risk of fatal prostate cancer

SELECT study was halted prematurely, finding that vitamin E supplements may increase prostate cancer risk

CARET study, men who took beta carotene had 50% greater risk for aggressive prostate cancer

Meta-analysis study: Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E may increase mortality