Friday, 25 April 2014

Medical Research: is it time to fight back?

Don’t you just love medical research?

Carried out by dedicated, talented and hard-working scientists, it provides us with absolutely priceless breakthroughs in knowledge. 

For instance, it’s only thanks to medical research that we found out that aspirin was such a wonderful remedy for fevers or headaches. Or again, in my youth, that aspirin was a dangerous drug that wrecked your digestive system. And now, that it’s vital to take aspirin daily to stave off heart attacks.

I’m hoping to live long enough to see it banned again.

A godsend. A toxin. A godsend again.  Soon to be a toxin once more? 
Sadly, my unbounded admiration for medical research took a bit of a blow recently. I’ve spent years training myself to absorb at least five portions of fresh food daily. That’s vegetables and fruit, in case you’re wondering. Which is contrary to the advice of a doctor friend of mine, who advises me that two portions could take the form of a glass of wine (made from grapes) and a packet of crisps (made from potatoes, a staple of human diet, but then he is Irish).

Enough to protect health. Or is it?
I’ve given way to no such blandishments. I religiously consume my five, proper portions of fruit and veg a day, and it gives me a great sense of self-satisfaction to do it. 

And then suddenly the experts raised the bar: they announced that we need seven portions, not five.

Seven? Yes. And more vegetables, to boot, than fruit.

Despite my previous absolute confidence in medical research, I have to admit that I reacted with some scepticism to this latest move. It felt unfair, as though the goal posts were being deliberately moved. My suspicion was that i
f I took the plunge and upped my intake to seven portions a day, they would only raise the bar again to nine.

Was it time to start resisting?

“Yes,” said my wife, “particularly as they’ll move on to ban other things to make place for the extra portions. Meat. Eggs. Chocolate. Certainly alcohol.”

What a horrifying prospect. Specialists taking out of life more and more of the things that make it worth living. And all with the aim of protecting health and extending the very existence that they make so much less appealing.

So in the end they’ll extend our life expectancy to hundreds or years. Or, if they don’t, they’ll at least make it feel that way.


Anonymous said...

There was no room in my tiny stomach for FIVE fruit/veg, and I don't see how I can accommodate seven. I go by instinct and eat "enough" fruit and veg most days; some days I hardly eat any. I have always suspected that these prescriptions come from the appropriate lobbies.


David Beeson said...

What odds would you give against the medical lobby deciding in a few years that five portions, or at any rate five portions of fruit, a day increases the risk of, say, pancreatic cancer by 18%?