Pills or Food?

My personal feeling has been that eating a food, as close to nature as possible, is better than taking a pill of concentrated essence of whatever. The article below lends credence to that view.

CTV.ca | Antioxidant pills don’t prevent heart disease

The study, done at Brigham & Women’s hospital, followed 8,171 women with three or more risk factors for CVD for over 9 years. Over the course of the study, the women were given either:

  • 500 mg vitamin C or a placebo every day
  • 600 IU vitamin E or a placebo every other day
  • 50 mg beta carotene or a placebo every other day

The researchers found that There were no overall effects of ascorbic acid, vitamin E, or beta carotene on cardiovascular events among women at high risk for CVD.”

Here’s a link to the abstract of the study.

We’ve seen many studies that show antioxidants have health benefits. However, many of those studies were done in vitro, rather than in vivo. It seems that people are more complex than test tubes!

Many of the clinical trials involving cacao or dark chocolate show health benefits. My own personal experience, while anecdotal, bears out many of the findings. I still plan on posting my experience and results, but not today. One of the reasons I like minimally processed dark chocolate as a “supplement” is that it is a food, rather than a pill that someone has made by attempting to pull out the “good stuff” in the cacao (flavonoids in this case).

Here’s another article that addresses pills v. foods:

The antioxidant myth: a medical fairy tale – health – 05 August 2006 – New Scientist

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One response to “Pills or Food?

  1. There may not be a link with cardiovascular disorders but they certainly make me feel 20 years younger. My body is 70 but I’m 58 and I’ve taken food supplements for around 35 years or so.

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