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Friday, 24 September 2010

Is 2,4-dimethyl-6-tert-butylphenol good for you?

Jet fuel is loaded with antioxidants!

If something has antioxidants in it it must be good for you! Would you drink aviation gasoline? If you believe the hype surrounding antioxidants then you should try it because it contains the powerful chemicals 2,4-dimethyl-6-tert-butylphenol and 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol.

These frankly quite sinister sounding chemicals are used to prevent oxidation in fuels. So far, nobody on the internet has looked up their ORAC scores and tried to sell them as a a miracle food. It is probably only a matter of time though...

The point I'm trying to make here is that just because a compound has antioxidant properties doesn't make it healthy. Others are just poisonous. Most antioxidants in food are either broken down in your gut or pass straight through it. Even if they are absorbed there is no guarantee that they have a positive effect. Both the US Food and Drug Adminstration and European Food Safety Authority warn consumers that no food compounds other than vitamins A, C and E have been proved to have antioxidant efficacy inside the body.

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