Consumer Reports: over-hyped antioxidants - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: over-hyped antioxidants

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC TV) - The latest buzzword in supermarkets is "antioxidants." 

Snapple iced tea mix boasts "antioxidants." The ads for Tropicana orange juice say it
has an "antioxidant advantage."

Antioxidants are beneficial. Consumer Reports' medical staff said they block the action of free radicals, which can damage healthy cells in your body and contribute to heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses.

But Consumer Reports' health experts said don't be taken in by packaged foods touting
antioxidants.

A manufacturer can add antioxidants to food, but that doesn't mean it's a good source
for what you need. Take Kellogg's FiberPlus bars that say they are "rich in antioxidants,
Vitamin E, and Zinc." You can get more vitamin E from just one ounce of almonds, and
you can get more zinc from just 3 ounces of lean beef.

As rich as wild blueberries are in antioxidants, Consumer Reports said there is no one antioxidant "superfood." The best thing to do is eat a wide variety of foods that are naturally rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Those will give you the biggest benefit.

As for antioxidant supplements, Consumer Reports said clinical trials of supplemental
antioxidants haven't shown much real benefit and even suggest some supplements
could be harmful. Stick with food to get your antioxidants.

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