Food for health
Episode 5 Mr Smart Guts and Kim’s magic brick
The human body has a control system which is truly remarkable – it has enabled humans to be the dominant species from the poles to the tropics eating a daunting array of widely different foods.
Other animals may be physically superior to us in many ways – stronger, faster or bigger teeth but they only survive in a limited region. We don’t have too much of a problem with lions, giraffes or walruses wondering around causing traffic mayhem in my home town of Bundaberg.
Our gut brain is a key part of this incredible intelligent system and has kept humans healthy for many thousands of years.
But how does it work?
OK we have this incredible intelligent control system but we are still chopping legs of from diabetes every ten seconds or so around the world. We need a solution so what should we do?
I wish I could give you a nice simple science based answer – and I have tried to find that simple answer.
Google alerts are one of the significant modern innovations so I have set up alerts to catch anything that my give me the answer to this simple question – from diabetes, gut and soil biology, food and health etc and my first job in the morning is to read through all these alerts – and I have been doing this for years and it is totally depressing.
We are just inundated with magic solution, pills and potions which claim to ‘cure’ diabetes, make you thin and healthy, improve your sex life and make you young again and life wonderful. And some of these promotions are very clever advertising and social manipulation, very clever hype but what about the facts.
And the simple fact is that as yet we really have very little understanding of the mechanism – the logic – which makes this intelligent control system work. True we have a good understanding of bio-chemistry, gut biology is now receiving it due share of research and we can certainly associate certain types of gut bacteria with improved health and we can give them long Greek or Latin based names but we really don’t know how they work.
Now we could just hang around – watching people having their legs chopped of – for a few more decades while science works out how our intelligent control system actually works but a leg every ten seconds for few decades is a lot of leg.
But there is a quicker – maybe less scientific – but certainly more practical way.
So what should we do – what better to explain this than make up a story featuring the master of modern media Kim Kidashian.
Kim to the rescue
Let’s say you are just roaming around the internet and you see an advert that Kim Kidashian is offering a special for 60% off if you buy within the next 6 hours on her ceramic head bashing device (actually a brick) which is 98% effective.
You think that Kim has a very nice bum so she must be super intelligent – which is a novel interpretation of where human intelligence is stored.
Now the art of modern media is to say something that is true which will help your sales but leave out anything which may interfere with a sale. It is not lying – it is just not telling the whole truth.
Now it is absolutely true that this ceramic head bashing device is 98% effective – what the advert fails to say is that she uses it on her truculent husband who after a couple of hard bashes becomes significantly less truculent and 98% compliant. True!
So you buy one and start banging your head with it and low and behold you end up with a violent head ache.
You have never suffered from head aches before in your whole life but again there is no scientific proof that if you stopped banging your head with the brick that you head aches would stop.
Now my advice (which I would have to declare for legal reasons is general non medical advice so please consult you medical adviser) would be to stop banging you head with the brick.
Lets say (actually it is almost certain) that your head aches stops – can we use the same approach for reversing the health epidemic?
Epidemiological studies and statistics
The great problem with the way we try an interpret epidemics is that people are all different because we all adopted sex to increase variability so evolution would work (or because it was fun).
So I can’t say as a fact that there was no diabetes fifty years ago but it was certainly less than 1% of the population.
Now the figure has risen to about 10% of the population is medically diagnosed as diabetic and it is estimated that some 50% of the population is pre or fully diabetic.
It may not be quite as simple as Kim’s head banging brick but the question is the same – what is the difference between fifty years ago and now that has caused the dramatic increase in people having their legs chopped off?
That’s the big story so I can’t give you a simple one liner – the answer will have to wait until the next episode when may be I can say – so they all lived happily ever after.