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Author Topic: Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?  (Read 3314 times)

Offline Melisande

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Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?
« on: 27/07/2006 00:32:01 »
Some time ago I saw this show about scientists trying to keep cells alive. They had but one cluster of cells that managed to stay alive in a laboratory. It was a mailgnant cancer tumour. Then I see all these comersials about Q-10-products, that are all meant to keep up young appearance, including rejuvinating cells. Who can tell me that the one does not lead to the other?
« Last Edit: 27/07/2006 00:41:05 by Melisande »


 

another_someone

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Re: Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?
« Reply #1 on: 27/07/2006 01:50:03 »
I have to say that before seeing this question, I had never heard of Coenzyme Q10.

From what I can ascertain, Coenzyme Q10 appears to be a vitamin like food supplement (also available from meat, particularly from offal).

Most of the reports seem to indicate that many diseases of old age (degenerative diseases, heart disease, etc.) can be slowed down by ensuring one has adequate Q10.  There seems to be no evidence about what is an excessive dose of Q10 (I have yet to learn of anything that is biologically active that cannot be overdosed, but it seems that a lot of research on Q10 is ongoing, but most of it with regard to its efficacy as treatment for the ill, rather than as a preventative measure for the well).

It seems to boost the energy systems of the cell (the mitochondria).  No doubt that this will improve the working of an otherwise failing cell, but you are ofcourse right to ask whether this might overburden an otherwise healthy cell.  Since, as I said above, there seems to have been no study to show what the safe limits for Q10 are, this question cannot be answered.

It seems that because it is classed as a food supplement, rather than a drug, it is not subject to the same rigorous testing that a drug would have had to go through in terms of efficacy and safety.



George
 

another_someone

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Re: Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?
« Reply #2 on: 27/07/2006 01:50:03 »
I have to say that before seeing this question, I had never heard of Coenzyme Q10.

From what I can ascertain, Coenzyme Q10 appears to be a vitamin like food supplement (also available from meat, particularly from offal).

Most of the reports seem to indicate that many diseases of old age (degenerative diseases, heart disease, etc.) can be slowed down by ensuring one has adequate Q10.  There seems to be no evidence about what is an excessive dose of Q10 (I have yet to learn of anything that is biologically active that cannot be overdosed, but it seems that a lot of research on Q10 is ongoing, but most of it with regard to its efficacy as treatment for the ill, rather than as a preventative measure for the well).

It seems to boost the energy systems of the cell (the mitochondria).  No doubt that this will improve the working of an otherwise failing cell, but you are ofcourse right to ask whether this might overburden an otherwise healthy cell.  Since, as I said above, there seems to have been no study to show what the safe limits for Q10 are, this question cannot be answered.

It seems that because it is classed as a food supplement, rather than a drug, it is not subject to the same rigorous testing that a drug would have had to go through in terms of efficacy and safety.



George
 

Offline iko

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Re: Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?
« Reply #3 on: 09/08/2006 18:32:09 »
Coenzyme Q10 or ubiquinone is a bit weak in literature (PubMed).
In terms of therapeutic results in humans, of course.
If you like cofactors and vitamins, go for vitamin D and grab the sparkling recent results!

http://www.vitamindcouncil.com/

and do not miss Michael Holick's "Resurrection of Vitamin D deficiency and Rickets" August2006 in J.Clin.Invest...something unaccessible by the average investigator
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16886050&query_hl=3&itool=pubmed_docsum

iko
« Last Edit: 11/08/2006 22:17:47 by iko »
 

Offline Mjhavok

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Re: Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?
« Reply #4 on: 12/08/2006 00:19:09 »
An article in August 5th edition of new scientist magazine stated that antioxidants at best are a waste of cash and at worst can actually do you harm. A quote from the article is "Just because a food with a certain compound in it is beneficial to health, it does not mean a pill with the same compound in is"

Steven
 

Offline iko

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Re: Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?
« Reply #5 on: 12/08/2006 09:21:36 »
The very same word anti-oxidant is so vague (anti-freeze for cars, anti-oxidant for people!) that makes the whole thing sound like crap.
But vitamins and cofactors, flavoinoids and other natural substances are being extensively studied again these days.
Vitamins were "the thing" in 1960-70 when biochemistry was the top of medical research.  Cofactors could cure every disease...Now we almost forget the "real" deficiency diseases and cite one cofactor meaning another one. Wernicke encephalopathy, a form of beriberi (vit.B1 deficiency discovered over 120yrs ago) is often diagnosed at autopsy.
Modern medicine has a problem here:
- some molecules are inexpensive or cannot be patented, so money is not readly available for the expensive proper clinical trials needed to demonstrate clinical efficacy.
- some natural substances could work "in the long run" and increase the difficulties and costs of the studies.
Times are changing, anyway, and the extraordinary high level of communications we can keep these days may help even these neglected and "poor" drugs.
Thanks to this forum, for example, and all the rest.
iko
« Last Edit: 12/08/2006 23:06:45 by iko »
 

Offline iko

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Re: Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?
« Reply #6 on: 14/08/2006 09:59:50 »
quote:
A quote from the article is "Just because a food with a certain compound in it is beneficial to health, it does not mean a pill with the same compound in is"
Steven


That's exactly right. A pill sometimes works better than the original food and viceversa.

A little story.
In the late '70s researchers opened their enormous freezers where thousands of serum samples from blood donors had been stocked since over 10yrs before. They wanted to test vitamin A concentration (knowing that it is well preserved in frozen samples) and look for a correlation with cancer incidence in those individuals.  Experimental data in animals had demonstrated a positive effect of retinoic acid on pre-cancerous lesions.
They found a strong inverse relation between vitamin A concentration and risk of tumor.  All the media started reccomending vitamin A to prevent or even fight cancer.
Few years later a proper RCT (randomized clinical trial) was started: a group of nurses and doctors took either a certain dose of vit.A or a placebo every day for years.  The conclusion of the study was disappointing: no difference in cancer incidence with or without vitamin A.
Some clever mind offered an explanation for this: vitamin A had been found increased in blood donors who had lower risk of cancer because it had been eaten together with some other more effective anticancer compounds.
Here we go with all the broccoli, cabbage, cauliflowers and so on...
iko

Addendum:
Vitamin A instead of cod liver oil (am I not boring?) would play the same trick...if you gave vit.A to patients because the ones taking 'cod' had high level of retinoic acid in the blood and were doing better (hypothesis!), you could get poor results because you are not giving together Vit.D and a bit of omega-3 fatty acids, the original recipe.  

« Last Edit: 14/08/2006 20:28:34 by iko »
 

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Re: Anti-oxidants, are they really good for you?
« Reply #6 on: 14/08/2006 09:59:50 »

 

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