Scientific Sense Podcast

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sugar & Salt

For nearly hundred thousand years, humans were without two ingredients that will cut their life short substantially. In the last few thousand years, sugar and salt rose to prominence and are now considered responsible for a large spectrum of human diseases including heart disease and metabolic syndrome that includes diabetes. The economics of these chemicals has been attractive from inception. Recent evidence that the sugar lobby (1) has been involved in suppressing the evidence that sugar played a major role in CHF is symptomatic of the fact that there has been powerful forces behind these industries. Little did Gandhi knew that his salt march in India, nearly a century ago, could have been deleterious to the health of Indians.

The taste buds of Homo sapiens are finely tuned to pick up these toxins, for small quantities are absolutely essential for health. The evolutionary forces could not anticipate that these chemicals will be manufactured and consumed by modern humans in such frequency and quantities that their organs simply give up, unable to cope with them. These materials have become a sign of wealth and power and nations warred to take control of their sources and production. More recently, they have been disbursed in colored and famous water world over, to fundamentally transform human health. 

Two toxins, salt and sugar, are responsible for possibly half the health care costs in the world. However, there are no signs of any abatement in their production and consumption.


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