But How about Martinis and Tiramisu?

Now comes word (sigh) that vitamins may be harmful to exercisers. Key quote:

"If you exercise to promote health, you shouldn't take large amounts of antioxidants," Dr. Ristow said. A second message of the study, he said, "is that antioxidants in general cause certain effects that inhibit otherwise positive effects of exercise, dieting and other interventions."

This is a classic example of what my friend and fellow Atlantic blogger Ed Tenner calls a revenge effect--an attempt to make things better that ends up making things in some way worse. I believe there's a term in Yiddish for this syndrome, but because bloggers are legislatively prohibited from finding anything out for themselves, perhaps someone out there will enlighten us in the comments.

Ed, by the way, elucidates his revenge theory of technology in an excellent book, Why Things Bite Back.)



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Daniel Akst

Dan Akst is a journalist, essayist and novelist who wrote three books. His novel, The Webster Chronicle, is based on the lives of Cotton and Increase Mather. More

Dan Akst is a journalist, novelist and essayist whose work has appeared frequently in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Wilson Quarterly, and many other publications.

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