Too much of anything can harm:
I’m not the only one who says it. (Richard C. Cottrell, World Sugar Research Organization, Sugar: an Excess of Anything can Harm NATURE vol. 483 no. 7388 March 8, 2012 page 159 in response to NATURE 482, 27-29;2012) The letter is a reply to a bid for a worldwide effort to get people to eat less sugar.  Cottrell produces some numbers and allows that sugar as generally used is not a health threat except for its tendency to cause tooth decay.  Tooth decay is not major worry of mine.  I grew up as an active boy in a hot climate who had been told drinking water is good for you in a town that fluorinated the water quite early on.  So my teeth may be brittle and yellow, but they laugh at decay.  On the other hand I don’t like sugar so the teeth of adamant don’t do me much good. 

As I type, it is Halloween night and I am periodically interrupted by Lilliputian gnomes, ghosts, gypsies, murderers and what have you whom I bribe into leaving me at peace with outrageous amounts of the most sugary treats the grocery store offers.  But hey, it’s only once a year.

Many years ago now I was at a genetics convention in Melbourne, Australia and a geneticist came by (They used to do that.  Nowadays the poster hall stands pretty much vacant.) to check out my poster about consanguinity and fertility.  This was long before the Iceland study had made the case airtight.  I said you can have too much of anything that you actually need.  That scored a pleasant smile.  Then I said you need a minimal size of gene pool so … things got a bit less pleasant.  My interrogator visibly changed color.

So my plaudits to Cottrell.  He has stated an obvious that is too often forgotten.  On every hand we see people rushing to extremes when wisdom should dictate balance.

And he certainly has the determination to stand against the pressure of common assumptions.

Well if he can do it …

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