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Functional Food What is That, Ask First



A British newspaper reported they were banned in some countries because of the risks. Other researchers have said there is no evidence so far that functional foods cause harm, but the data is limited to five or six years of use.

Duth Institute project director Nynke de Jong wrote in the British Medical Journal that his research on the potential risks of cholesterol-lowering margarines and yoghurts did not augur well for some users of the products.

"These products could trigger reactions in people taking statins - drugs that do the same job but act more powerfully - which might actually increase their risk of heart disease."

Canada had banned the sale of those products, the institute report said.

Dr Savage said cholesterol-lowering margarines were one of the best examples of a functional food with effective health benefits - lowering the risk of heart attacks.

Food products from larger, well-known companies would have undergone testing and monitoring, so tended to be more reliable, he said.

Still, Savage concludes, We should not allow the baby-boomers to turn eating into a serious quest for eternal health. Food should be savoured, enjoyed and shared with friends. Food has an enormous psychological impact on our lives and we should follow the advice given consistently by dieticians: eat a wide range of foods, because each one offers different characteristics and a particular function.


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