Friday, December 23, 2011

Got Gout? No Whey!

Except for the occasional annoying e-Christmas card, personal e-mail is down these days. But the Spam quotient is way up, merchants making their last bid to Buy! Buy! Buy! One of the more intriguing ones I just received: 60% Off USDA Certified Organic Whey!

Whey?!! I hadn’t heard of that since Miss Muffet’s traumatic spider incident. So naturally, off to Google and sure enough, whey is making a comeback. It’s the liquid left over in the cheese-making process after the milk is curdled—hence, Miss Muffet’s “curds and whey”—and now is being marketed as a supplemental protein.

And speaking of old-fashioned things that I thought had disappeared, apparently gout is making a comeback. What is gout, you ask? It’s a form of inflammatory arthritis that attacks the big toe. Cases have doubled in recent decades, caused by too much whey in the diet. Ha ha! Just kidding. But it's true that gout has increased and is attributed to over-consumption of red meat, shellfish and hard liquor. 
I used to read about it in Dickens and old books and it turns out that many famous people had it—authors like John Milton, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Joseph Conrad, Voltaire, scientists Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, politicians Ben Franklin and King Henry VIII. It was known as the “disease of kings” because of its association with high living (see diet above).

Recent studies revealed another source that increases the risk of gout—soft-drinks. Not as high-class, so I predict the status of gout will decline. (I imagine two people complaining about health back in the 1700's. "My rheumatism is killing me!" "That's too bad, but I'm suffering from gout." "Gout! Wow! Nice going!") Next time you drink a Coke, check the label for WARNING: YOU MAY GET GOUT! 

And consider ordering a glass of whey instead. 

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