Sorry that it has been so long since I last posted. I had some things that I had to take care of that really ate up my time. I hope to be able to get back to a regular posting schedule. Now that I have taken care of the minor business let’s find out about the heath nut that killed himself with carrots.
I personally have a problem with nutrition and exercise advice. I’m not saying that we should chuck it all, but every time I see a food pyramid or hear how many glasses of water I should drink in a day or how much exercise I should be getting I get skeptical. I start asking how they arrived at that conclusion, what studies did they run, how rigorous was the study, how can they be sure that they were capturing the correct data. I know that it all boils down to statistics in the end, but statistics have their own share of problems. Whenever you see a statistic you need to realize that whoever compiled the data did so with a sample, not the complete population. It is almost always impossible to get information from the entire population so a sample is constructed that, in a perfect world, should be representative of the population. However, this isn’t a perfect world which means that errors can sneak into the data.
Now you are asking why am I posting an anti-statistic diatribe on a blog dedicated to people who are lethally stupid. Well, it all has to do with carrots. Carrots are good for you, or so my mom would have me believe. Come to that the government wants me to believe it too. They are the ones who came up with the food guide pyramid and put an emphasis on vegetables. It is possible that it is all a government conspiracy or an error in statistical reporting. So, why are carrots good for you? It is because they contain an abundance of beta-Carotene which our bodies use to produce vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for two main reasons. First, vitamin A is essential to good vision. Second, it is essential to the growth and maintenance of our organs including the heart, lungs, and kidneys. If we were to get no vitamin A we would die and we would probably be blind when it happened.
You still may be confused about this topic. However if you think about the theme of this blog the meaning will come to you. That is correct. Someone killed himself with vitamin A. Specifically an English chemist, Dr. Basil Brown, he killed himself by consuming massive quantities of vitamin A.
Dr. Brown was a health nut (an entirely appropriate appellation in this case). In February of 1974 during a 10 day period he consumed 10,000 times the recommended amount of vitamin A. He was also in the habit of drinking about a gallon of carrot juice every day. So, he took 10,000 time the recommended amount of vitamin A and drank 10 gallons of carrot juice. He died of hypervitaminosis A and was bright yellow when he died. He took 70 million units of vitamin A. You may ask yourself how a person could die of what basically amounts to vitamin A poisoning. He took so much vitamin A that he developed cirrhosis of the liver which killed him. It wasn’t the carrot juice that killed him, as much as I would like to pin it on that dirty vegetable, but the vitamin A supplement he was taking. However, the carrot juice didn’t help in the instance.
So, if you ever doubt the veracity of the old saying about too much of a good thing, remember good old Dr. Basil Brown of Croyden, England. You can also tell your parents, wife, husband, even your children about Dr. Brown when they start nagging you about eating your vegetables and maybe they will get off your back. Although I doubt it. They will probably just say that you are exaggerating or that this is an urban myth. So, here are a few links to help you out.