• Rosiris Sindeaux de Alencar Pires de Oliveira
  • Bayardo Baptista Torres




misconceptions, free radicals, antioxidants


INTRODUCTION: Misconceptions or alternative conceptions are defined as conceptions that are somewhat different from the scientifically accepted ones and are known to be highly resistant to changes. Free radicals are a widely publicized subject in the media due to their putative importance in human aging and health. Free radicals are a subject susceptible to misconceptions widely spread by the media supporting prejudicial advertising inducing antioxidant consumption. OBJECTIVES: Identify and categorized different free radicals misconceptions published in printed media. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Revista Veja (Digital Archive), the weekly magazine with the largest circulation in Brazil, was selected for this investigation. Period analyzed: from 01/01/2000 to 31/07/2014 with search terms Free radicals and antioxidants. Passages selected were classified as: Right Concept (RC), Wrong Concept (WC), Misconception (MC), Inadequate generalization (IG), Inductive [to misconceptions] Concept (IC), Inductive [to misconceptions] Information (II), and Not fit the inclusion criteria (NFIC). Each one of these categories were further subdivided. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: 79 magazine articles, advertisements and information materials were found which led to 293 text passages. 56.3% were MC, 21.4% II, 8.8% IC, 5.4% IG, 3.4% RC, 2.7% WR, 2.0% NFIC. The most frequently subcategory in each category was: MC: x [something] combats free radicals (22.6%); II: x [substance] is antioxidant (54.0%); IC: x [something] increases free radicals production (34.6%); IG: antioxidant x [substance] combats cancer (56.3%); RC: too much vitamins and minerals is harmful to health (30.0%); WR: free radicals are formed during oxygen conversion to energy process (25.0%). CONCLUSION: Magazine analysis reveal non-scientific concepts (MC, II, IC and IG) to be highly frequent, notably misconceptions. Moreover, non-scientific concepts together reach 91.8% of all concepts while right concepts respond for only 2.7%. Scientists and specialists must be concerned about this large amount of free radicals misconceptions presented by printed media and the consequences of their dissemination.




Como Citar

Oliveira, R. S. de A. P. de, & Torres, B. B. (2016). MISCONCEPTIONS AND NON-SCIENTIFIC CONCEPTS ON FREE RADICALS. Revista De Ensino De Bioquímica, 14, 18. https://doi.org/10.16923/reb.v14i2.671



Resumos SBBq - Brasil