I thought it was interesting how different people may see food content differently. We are taught the main food content being protein, carbohydrate and fat when we are younger. Then we are told that there are other important nutrients, like vitamins. Even under the category “protein”, there are different amino acids; some people might pay attention to whether if they have eaten enough essential amino acids, whilst others might pay more attention to how much saturated or unsaturated fat they’re eating.

On the extreme end of the spectrum, scientists, once they have had their coffee, would consider different isometric forms of the same molecule (same chemical makeup, but mirror images of each other; referred to as trans-/cis- forms). Eating a lot of beta-carotene-rich food has been linked with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. However, when smokers are given high doses of beta-carotene supplement, there is an increased rate of cancer. As beta-carotene supplements are all trans-forms, whilst both forms are found in natural food, scientists have looked at how our body may process the two forms differently.

It’s pretty strange to think that people view the same food differently!

 

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Further reading:

Beta-carotene: the controversy continues. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11134976

Posted by:bojushih

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