Speakers highlight challenges, opportunities for antioxidants
Antioxidants stand at a crossroads, having gone from a promising category with lots of TV buzz and cover stories on major magazines to a state where some are even wondering whether the term even makes sense any more. Presenters in the antioxidant track at the Nutracon conference on Thursday gave reason for hope and some avenues to move forward.
First, the bad news. Jeffery Blumberg laid out how the current climate is such that one null study can generate a tidal wave of negative reaction. Reporters seem to be reading just the abstracts, he noted, and aren’t taking a hard look at how the studies were designed and conducted.
“There is actually some junk science out there. That doesn’t prevent it from getting picked up in the press, ” he said.
Poor study designs, and large numbers of studies with different parameters on dosages and so forth, make it difficult to give the hard and fast answers on antioxidant effectiveness that seem to be demanded by the mainstream media.
“There are 100 or more peer-reviewed articles a month on this out there; you’d think there would be a little less criticism that we don’t know what we’re talking about,” Blumberg said.
And the antioxidant category has been hurt by its own hype, noted Suzanne Talcott, PhD of Texas A&M University.
“Why açai?” she asked, referring the fruit’s meteoric rise in public awareness. “It just happened that way.” Açai’s place could have been taken by a number of other contenders of tropical origin, she said.
While açai does offer significant antioxidant levels, Talcott noted, they may not be superior to fruits more commonly available in North America, such as blueberries and cranberries, especially when losses of nutrients from shipping and handling are taken into account.
And açai has suffered from a certain amount of hucksterism. There are numerous web sites of dubious provenance that hawk the weight-loss benefits of açai. But, Talcott noted, “there are no clinical trials available on açai and weight loss.”
But there’s good news, too. As more information is available on the nefarious role of chronic inflammation in the body, consumers are more motivated to do something about it. So, boosterism aside, the spike in açai awareness is a hopeful sign. People are still searching for help in this area.
The best way to give scientific support for new product launches is with careful study design said Dr. Howard Sesso.
“When you’re designing the trial in the first place, that’s more important than the data collection.”
Even with all the cautionary tales, the sessions concluded on an upnote.
“Now’s the time to educate your consumer that these are multifunctional chemicals, that they do a lot of good things, and not try to hang your hat on ‘antioxidants,’ ’’ Blumberg said. “There’s an opportunity to become a little more honest. You have to become a little more specific about what you’re offering in terms of ingredients.”
Superfruit is amaerketing term oranges blackberries, etc have similar benefits, but didn’t get the label.
Anti-0xidant meaningless term excessive oxidant stress I keye concenpt
Millions of phytochemcals, phenols, about 6,000 flavonoids in diet
Cranberries multiple compountds
Largest polyphenol molecules found in pomegranates
Eellagic acid standardized to’
Punicalagin contans ellagic acid, eco adulterantion bought chap ellagic acid
Pomegranate juice is clearly the most potent antioxidant beverage among commonly consumed beverage.”
Ther is an overreaction toward risk and and undereaction toward benefit.”
Pmegrantes had powerful postive effect on reducing prostate cancer reoccurance.
If yu inhit the NF kappa B pathway, you stimulate cell death (of tumors).”
Multargeted effets of pom extract in porstate c.
Current law enables widespread counterfeiting and adulteration
Açai what’s all the hype?
Just happened that way. It’s not necessarily better than locally available fruits like blackberries, blueberries and cranberries.
It’s similar to locally available berries in antiox value, and may even be inferior when shipping and processing losses are taken into account.
Açai may locse of of it’s cachet?
Fruit anitoxidants in genarl my have god effects on people with bad idets 9hi gat) but statistically insignificant effect on people who already have a healthy diet.
No clinical trials available on besity with açai
If açai would support wieith loos
Would the weight loss be sustainable?
Would the weight loss inversely correlate with body loss
Antioxidants idea around for 60-70 years
“There are 100 or more peer reviewed artcies a month on this are; ou’d think there would be a little less criticism that we son’t know what we’re talking about.”
Jeffry Blumber PhD
A little bit of oxidative stress is good
Reg. exercise for example.
Trials don’t find eveind of health benefit. What’s the problem?
“There is actually some junk science out there. That doesn’t prevent it from getting picked uyp in the press.”
“We need to get a spophisticated as the sceind that’s available. Why don’t we do that? Because it’s really hard and it’s really expensive”