Saturday, October 11, 2008

Improving nature's design?

This morning I came across a ScienceDaily article online highlighting the potential dangers of consuming green-tea supplements.  In extreme excess the normally protective compounds found in green tea were reported to result in liver, kidney, and intestinal toxicity.  There is a large body of evidence suggesting a positive correlation between green tea catechins and cardiovascular health, as well as many other health benefits.

It is very hard to improve on what nature has to offer with respect to diet and perhaps many other areas of human endeavour.  A simple cup, or even 5 cups, of green or white tea a day would provide all of the benefits without any risk.  In preparing a concentrated green tea supplement, the human animal has failed to improve on nature's design. Earth is the greatest and most glorious biological experiment of which I am aware. We should try to learn from this experiment as much as possible.  Today's lesson, dosage!

As a biological scientist, I am amazed at the the fragility and resiliency of life, often times in the same instance. If we fixate on either of these characteristics of life, we will become susceptible to the other. Life is abound with apparent contradictions. Oxygen enables life on earth, it is also the reason why we age and often why we die. Biological compounds that inhibit cancer and are often essential to biological functions, actually promote cancer at high doses in many cases. The balance of contradiction is important from both a biological and a philosophical standpoint.  As a moderate extremist, this is as much a blog to myself as it is a reflection of an important idea.
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