But How about Martinis and Tiramisu?

By Daniel Akst

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.)



This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/05/but-how-about-martinis-and-tiramisu/17451/