An apple a day: the myths, misconceptions, and truths about by Joseph Schwarcz

By Joseph Schwarcz

Devour salmon. It’s choked with strong omega-3 fat. Don’t devour salmon. It’s filled with PCBs and mercury. devour extra greens. They’re packed with solid antioxidants. Don’t devour extra vegetables. The insecticides provides you with melanoma. overlook your dinner jacket and wear your lab coat: try to be a dietary scientist nowadays earlier than you take a seat to eat—which is why we'd like Dr. Joe Schwarcz, the specialist in connecting chemistry to daily life. In An Apple an afternoon, he’s taken his thorough wisdom of nutrients chemistry, utilized it to today’s best nutrients fears, tendencies, and questions, and leavened it along with his trademark lighthearted process. the result's either an pleasing revelation of the miracles of technology taking place in bodies whenever we chew right into a morsel of nutrition, and a telling exploration of the myths, claims, and misconceptions surrounding our obsession with diets, foodstuff, and weight.Looking first at how foodstuff impacts our future health, Dr. Joe examines what’s in tomatoes, soy, and broccoli which could hold us fit and the way the loads of compounds in one nutrition react after they hit bodies. Then he investigates how we control our nutrition offer, delving into the technological know-how of nutrition ingredients and what merits we'd become aware of from including micro organism to convinced meals. He clears up the confusion approximately contaminants, interpreting every little thing from pesticide residues, remnants of antibiotics, the feared trans fat, and chemical compounds which can leach from cookware. And he is taking a studied examine the technological know-how of energy and weighs in on renowned diets.

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A number of questions immediately arose. By what mechanism was grapefruit juice increasing the drug’s effectiveness? Did other juices have such an effect? What about interactions with other drugs? What would happen if the juice were consumed not with the drug but at some other time during the day? Was there a silver lining to this cloud? Could dosages of medications be reduced if they were taken with grapefruit juice? Predictably, the Lancet paper unleashed a cavalcade of research. It wasn’t long before studies showed that only grapefruit juice had this unusual effect.

Then consider that researchers at the University of Surrey, as well as at Purdue, have linked low blood levels of DHA to dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and hyperactivity, and have shown an improvement in these conditions using a DHA supplement now marketed as Efalex. Furthermore, a study of more then one thousand elderly people who were followed for nine years showed that those with high blood levels of DHA were more than 40 percent less likely to develop dementia, including the Alzheimer’s variety.

Adding a food extract containing antioxidants to the mix neutralizes free radicals and therefore reduces the amount of ethylene gas released, providing a measure of antioxidant potential. It is such measurements that fuel the claim of acai berries being a particularly good source of antioxidants. However, a laboratory flask is a far simpler system than the human body. We don’t know how well the antioxidants in a given food are absorbed into the bloodstream, and we don’t know if they have the same neutralizing effect on free radicals in the complex environment of the body as they have in the lab.

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