The Next Superfood Nonsense

I confidently predict that the newspaper health and living sections will be pushing the aronia berry as the next “superfood”.

Press releases are going out referring to work allegedly done by a “Professor McGregor, Head of Medical Science at Pascoe”. No references are provided, nor can this rersearch be found via Google. Googling Pascoe Aronia (of which more anon) leads you to www.reactionutrition.com – a sales site which offers no scientific evidence.

Anyway, it is being claimed that where the berry grows the locals make jam out of it and attribute their alleged vitality and health to it. There is a distinct lack of references to peer reviewed papers or even conference presentations to support this.

There then follows the usual woo guff about anti-oxidants inhibiting aging by mopping up free radicals and boosting the immune system. This rubbish is so bad it isn’t even wrong. Correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the immune system use free radicals to destroy pathogens? Mop up too many free radicals an you might fall victim to all kinds of opportunistic infections – the opposite of boosting your immune system.

In any event, as any allergy suffer will tell you, a boosted immune system is not necessarily a good thing. An allergic reaction results when the allergen boosts the immune system into overdrive.

It should be noted that these are medical claims and if they were remotely true aronia extracts would have to be classified as medicines and subject to rigorous testing fore efficacy and safety. There is no evidence that this has been done.

Oh yes, extracts. Despite the opening praise of aronia jam, to get the full benefit you need their extracts because:-

 “The concentrated fruit extract make it a wonder supplement”

Naturally. The home-made jam won’t help you. For health, vitality and age-inhibition you must buy their product at £14.95 for 30 capsules. What a surprise.

 

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7 Responses to “The Next Superfood Nonsense”

  1. croquecamille Says:

    Sounds like that episode of The Simpsons where Homer claims, “when you eat food in bar form, you unleash its awesome power.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_the_Hill_(The_Simpsons)

  2. dianarn Says:

    Isn’t it funny how “aronia” sounds so similar to erroneous?

  3. The Lame Cook Says:

    Hey – I thought pomegranite was THE major health cure! It’s so hard to keep up these days. Sigh.

  4. rattitude Says:

    No no, deer velvet is the superfood! Saying otherwise will lead to superfood wars!!

  5. Mark Miller Says:

    Valcheva-Kuzmanova S, Russev V, Bojkova K, Belcheva A. Study of natural Aronia melanocarpa fruit juice for antibacterial and antiviral аctivity. Scr Sci Med. 2003;35:21-3.

    Pilaczynska-Szczesniak L, Skarpanska-Steinborn A, Deskur E, Basta P, Horoszkiewicz-Hassan M. The influence of chokeberry juice supplementation on the reduction of oxidative stress resulting from an incremental rowing ergometer exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Feb;15(1):48-58.

    Naruszewicz M, Laniewska I, Millo B, Dłuniewski M. Combination therapy of statin with flavonoids rich extract from chokeberry fruits enhanced reduction in cardiovascular risk markers in patients after myocardial infraction (MI). Atherosclerosis. 2007 Oct;194(2):e179-4.

  6. kimberly Says:

    I was as skeptical as you are. I’ve seen way too much- first hand. I might just start eating the disgusting berries.

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