Thursday, March 12, 2009

Superfood Confusion

We all have seen an increase in the popularity of antioxidants as sought after food nutrient. These are miracle molecules that arrest the oxidation of cells that and theoretically slow the decay of cells in the body. The implied impact being is to slow aging, improve health - and maybe reduce risk of cancer.

All manner of beverages have benefited from these observations..

First Green Tea benefited from the growth, then all manner of high-antioxiant fruits including Pomegranates, Blueberries and Acai berries.

Brands like POM Wonderful have established themselves making grandiose promises, and multi-level marketers (like Mona Vie) are selling superfuits as panaceas.

Today though, the New York Times ran a really interesting piece on Acai - one of the superfruits that has benefited from the trend. In short, the article is skeptical of acai's functionality - and ultimately poses the big question - are anti-oxidants snake oil, or do they have a tangible benefit?

There is little doubt that antioxidants can have a positive impact, but precisely what impact from what product form is the big question. For beverages much is at risk, and as the marketing claims get more aggressive, the risks increase.

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