By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A popular claim in vitamins, foods and drinks is they have antioxidants in them, and that’s a health benefit, but a nutrition specialist says we’re in danger of too much of a good thing.

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The problem with taking high-dose antioxidant supplements is that they overwhelm the body’s own antioxidant creation and leave you worse for it.

Shawn Talbott, Ph.D the Global Chief Science Officer for LifeVantage Corporation, a maker of what are called “nutraceuticals.” Better, he says, is to let your food be your pharmacy.

“If we look at green tea, it does X. If we look at turmeric, it does Y. When we put them together, it’s not just one plus one equals tow, it’s one plus one equals five or seven and so it’s that synergy. That’s what nutrition is all about, the synergy between all these different ingredients. That’s the kind of research we’re doing here at LifeVantage.”

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Talbott says these foods activate something called the Nrf2 or Nerf-2 pathway which activates your body’s antioxidant factories.

“It’s a system where your body makes its own antioxidants, a family of antioxidant enzymes and that protects us when the cell needs protection and so if we’re sort of shielding ourselves all the time with these high-dose antioxidant pills, our body doesn’t turn on its own protective mechanisms and so it gets damaged.”

Talbott recommends brightly colored fruits and vegetables, a mélange of specific spices, exercise and even fasting as ways to maximize your internal antioxidants.

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