Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Lord giveth...and at the same time taketh away?

Life. Oxygen. H20. These 3 things are normally conceived of as being inextricably linked. Yet, many contemporary studies, albeit controversial, seem to say that oxygen, our life-blood, may actually be carcinogenic. It can cause heart damage, cancer, cataracts, and a weak immune system.
"What?!", you ask, and "sad but true, according to these studies", I respond. What exactly am I talking about?
I am talking about the war on terrorists; I am talking about freedom and the will to live.
I can just see the next newsflash: President Bush declares that all persons harboring free radicals must cease and desist immediately, under threat of war.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about the war between antioxidants and free radicals.
You may have seen these terms being thrown around liberally, almost whimsically. However, my theory is that these new-fangled fancy terms and the "problems" they create/solve are nothing but a marketing gimmick; they only exist to provide the already rich with more money, and to make ourselves feel good about ourselves after eating unhealthy food products (i.e. caf french fries and froyo).
"So what exactly are free radicals?", you ask. Simple: they are oxygen molecules floating around our bodies, apparently wreaking havoc by binding to all kinds of daily body processes, at least according to these studies. And the antioxidants come to the rescue, they oxidize the oxygen molecules and strip them of the ability to mercilessly bond to other molecules, effectively eliminating their destructive power.
This conjures up the image of that old Listerine commerical where the bottle is a swashbuckling musketeer, fighting germs in the ominous and foreboding caverns of our mouths within which permacetti torches cut a swath of light through the palpable darkness.
Even if this were to be true, are Pom and Naked juices our only savior, Odwalla health bars our fibery, peanutty knight in shining armor? Notice that it is precisely these products that boast raw antioxidant power, the ability to "fight those pesky free radicals without swinging a punch", that also come with hefty price tags. $4 for antioxidants?
"Yes, if we are to stay alive! It's pikuach nefesh!"
Actually no, you see, the truth is that it's all a marketing gimmick. Regular fruits and vegetables are loaded with the selfsame antioxidants; they are not in scarce supply to only be found in pomegranate juice and in a mango-fruit-tango antiox smoothie. So what are antioxidants?
Vitamins. Vitamins C, E, and the carotenoids (e.g. beta-carotene) are antioxidants. They are also found in selenium. These are all naturally occurring antioxidants, and mangoes are especially rich in antioxidants. Incidentally they happen to taste really good and may qualify for best fruit ever in Tabak's Best-Fruit-Ever Contest.
So basically we are being ripped off by cutthroat corporate pirates who rally to the banner of "good health" to win our gullibly given trust.
The bottom line is just to listen to what mom always said and you'll be fine: get your vitamins.
Or in Bengy's case: "Comece suas vitaminas".

2 Comments:

Blogger the_elder said...

way toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
long!

11:34 PM  
Blogger DianaNOW said...

Tabak, you just have WAY too much time on your hands.... I mean if you have lack of thimgs to entertain yourself with -- let me know -- I have plenty activities for you!

6:17 PM  

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