Science Vs takes on fads, trends, and the opinionated mob to find out what’s fact, what’s not, and what’s somewhere in between. Their first ever live show took place yesterday at Hot Docs Podcast Festival.
Hosted by Wendy Zukerman, with the help of producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, the live show began with a discussion about how various fads abound when it comes to diets and food types that are supposedly “good for you”. The first topic, Antioxidants, which have been in the news as molecules that help protect your body’s cells from damage and maybe even help prevent some diseases.
The scientific literature, however, does not seem to agree about how big a role antioxidants and antioxidant-rich food make a difference in our overall health. There is a lot of debate on whether antioxidant-rich foods or supplements have anti-disease activity. If they are in fact beneficial, little is know about which antioxidants are needed from the diet and how much in your daily dietary intake.
Conclusion: Like any other type of supplements or diets, more research needs to be done on the positive effects of antioxidants. There is no reason not to eat antioxidant-rich foods, as they are in fact part of a balanced diet. The point is to not take everything we hear or read as 10o% true.
Next, the discussion turned to Sirtuins – the latest fad in the science media. In the last few years, research has show a possible sirloins’ influence on a wide range of processes like aging, transcription, cell death, energy efficiency at the cellular level. In general media, these molecules are been touted as excellent in helping burn fat and create more energy. The bonus here is that chocolate, alcohol and coffee are supposed to be high in sirtuins.
In Europe, there are a number of sirtuin-related diets already. Their fad is so strong that the media has even reported that Adele has tried this ‘secret’ diet. Like antioxidants, there has not been enough research to support how good sirtuins are in fat burning, energy creation, and all other claims. Although we can all indulge in a little wine, coffee and chocolate… everything in moderation, pals.
Conclusion: The verdict is not 100% clear on how great sirtuins are for our health in the long term. All good science requires replication and verification of such findings. In the case of sirloins, more longitudinal studies are also needed. In the meantime, though, I will definitely continue enjoying my regular cup of coffee, and glass of wine at dinner.
This live version of Science Vs proved to be quite interesting, amusing, and informative. Their use of visuals and soundbites to enhance the discussion made the audience laugh and enjoy themselves. Whether you are a science major or simply of a curious mind, I highly recommend listening to one or several of their podcasts.
*Image courtesy of Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema