I return once more to the field of misleading science. How to make things apparently simple when they genuinely are, but then skew and complicate things a bit to your own ends.

Here’s something interesting. Did you know that the more aunts you have, the better calcified your teeth are? Lots of aunts, healthier teeth, eh? If your folks come from fecund families, it’s good news for your snappers.

You’re all smart people. Think about that for a bit. I’ll give you a couple of minutes.

(Drums fingers. Tum dee dum dee dum)

OK, I assume you got this by now, but if not, here’s a clue. There’s a correlation but that’s it. No causal effect can be established here.

(Drums fingers. Tum dee dum dee dum)

As you age, your teeth lose calcium, just as your bones do. As you grow older, your parental female siblings will, in general, be dying off. It’s a fact of life. But the thing is, it’s not causative. There is no correlation at all with the number of aunts you were born with, only how many are extant now. And it’s still just a correlation. A big start in family life won’t keep your pearlywhites in good shape. Your teeth are your own.

I imagine Jo Whilley in the Daily Express will take this one and run.

There was a lot of the usual senseless chatter on the internet this week about the dangers of chemicals. All chemicals are bad. I blame Food Babe, in part, for this stupidity. And Gwyneth Paltrow. And the Hemsley sisters. And the chemtrailers. And the antivaxxers. All the wingnuts.

How dangerous does this chemical sound?

Pentahydrohexanal

Bugger me, you don’t want that anywhere near you, do you? Not in a million years. Gwyneth Paltrow and the Hemsleys will have an attitude about that. I bet even Lardarse has an attitude to this. Every single human who ever died was contaminated with this chemical. Every single one. What more proof do you need?

It’s the systematic scientific name for glucose. Your body converts various carbohydrates into glucose. Just as well. It’s what mitochondria use as the fuel source to power every single metabolic process in every single cell of the 17,000,000,000 you have in your body. Yep, 17 trillion cells rely on this chemical.

Let’s move on. How scarey does this sound?

Magnesium [methyl (3S,4S,21R)-14-ethyl-4,8,13,18-tetramethyl-20-oxo-3-(3-oxo-3-{[(2E,7R,11R)-3,7,11,15-tetramethyl-2-hexadecen-1-yl]oxy}propyl)-9-vinyl-21-phorbinecarboxylatato(2-)-κ2N,N’]

Holy crap, I don’t want that anywhere near me either, thanks a lot.

It’s chlorophyll, the chemical that makes fashionably healthy ‘superfood’ kale green. That’s what it is. It’s chlorophyll.

By the way, replace the magnesium with iron and mess about a bit with the side groups, and you get something very structurally close indeed, and similarly scary sounding.

 {7,12-diethenyl-3,8,13,17-tetramethyl-21… {dihydrogen 3,7,12,17-tetramethyl-8,13-divinyl- 2,18-porphinedipropionato(2-)}iron

Haemoglobin. You’d be in trouble without that, wouldn’t you? Nothing to transport oxygen round your body in your red blood cells. Nasty chemical. Go away.

And the whole, ‘Its natural, it must be good for you.’ argument. Tell that to the families of the 12 or so people a year who die from tetrodotoxin in Japan after eating puffer fish. They will be all ears, I have no doubt.

I’d also advise against belladonna in your diet. I suspect in the US poison ivy is not seen as good for you either.

But it must be. It’s natural.

Rant over.

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