Neo-Health: Antioxidant backfire?

Antioxidants are everywhere, and most people believe they’re good for us (although they can’t say exactly why). They let us indulge in chocolate with less guilt. But a new study shows that taking an antioxidant supplement might actually lead to a shorter life! This week, news spread of a cumulative analysis done in the Netherlands that found studies on various antioxidants (like vitamin E or beta carotene) showed a 5% increased death rate. Here’s a webmd recap.

People who get antioxidants from their fruit and vegetables do tend to live longer, but taking the pill version might be harmful. In a New York Times article earlier this year, Marion Nestle, a nutritionist, put it well, “ The problem with nutrient-by-nutrient nutrition science is that it takes the nutrient out of the context of food, the food out of the context of diet and the diet out of the context of lifestyle.”

Still leaves Hershey’s in question….cocoa is a natural source of antioxidants, but recently The House of Chocolate announced expansion in its so-called ‘goodness chocolate portfolio’ Hershey’s Antioxidant Milk Chocolate and Whole Bean Chocolate. So which is it? Supplement or natural cocoa ingredient?