Health Facts

Health Fact #32


Salicylic acid – the active ingredient in aspirin is naturally occurring in willow trees. Before modern medicine, it was noticed that tea made from willow bark eased pain, and this was later discovered to be due to the naturally occurring Salicylic acid. Now, Salicylic acid can be made in a laboratory, which is cheaper than cultivating willow trees, but it demonstrates the influence consuming certain plants can have on the body.

Health Fact #31


Not all protein is the same. Protein quality is measured on a scale of 0 to 1, with 1 being the highest quality protein. Egg protein is one of the few examples of a food which has a score of 1. Most meats and animal products will have a score of 0.6+ whereas plant proteins are usually 0.3-0.6 with a few exceptions.

Health Fact #30


Large amounts of folic acid/ folate (vitamin B9) can mask the symptoms of cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency. This is because folate is able to correct the megaloblastic anemia which is caused by cobalamin deficiency, but is unable to correct the neurological damage. This is particularly important to vegans.

Health Fact #29


The metabolic rate of animals is directly proportional to their maximum lifespan, meaning you can calculate each animals maximum potential lifespan. This has been found to be true for all animals observed and even humnans, whos maximum lifespan has been calculated to be 122 years. You can find more information on this here.

Health Fact #28


Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential for normal health, they are metabolised in the body to produce pro-inflammatory molecules, and the typical modern diet is abundant in them. This highlights the importance of moderating the quantity of these fats in your diets.

Health Fact #27


Although bread and cereals may not taste salty, they do contain large amounts of salt. Being common foods for children and teenagers, these foods significantly contributed to the over consumption of salt in these age groups. This has resulted in many teenagers and children consuming twice the healthy amount of salt each day.

Health Fact #26


Fructose (a sugar found in fruits and vegetables) can only be metabolised by the liver, and so has no effect on insulin levels. This makes it popular for people at risk of developing diabetes, but beware! Too much fructose causes the liver to increase cholesterol production and can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Health Fact #25


Prostaglandin and leukotrienes are mediators of inflammation. The production of these are inhibited by phenolic compounds found in turmeric and ginger, making them natural anti-inflammatories.

Health Fact #24


Despite oranges commonly being thought of as a great source of vitamin C, they are actually quite low compared to other foods. For example, broccoli contains 168% more, and peppers contain 404% more vitamin C than an orange by weight.

Health Fact #23


The calorie content shown on the label of foods has a legal margin of error, which, for some foods can be as much as 20%. This allows the calorie content of many foods such as preprepared sandwiches to be under reported to portray a healthier image.

Health Fact #22


There is a chemical found in grapefruit which increases the absorption of drugs, and reduces their breakdown in the body – making their effects much more potent. This makes eating grapefruit at the same time you take medication very dangerous, and people have been hospitalized by it!

Health Fact #21


Consuming cherries, which are high in vitamin C and anthocyanins, can reduce the risk of developing gout. Some cases have even reported that consuming large amounts of cherries can reduce the symptoms and even completely cure gout.

Health Fact #20


Fluoride is added to toothpaste in very small amounts because it kills bacteria and also hardens tooth enamel. Fluoride is actually incredibly toxic and poisonous, and although the amounts in toothpaste are incredibly small, it will damage cells it comes into contact with.

Health Fact #19


The average person walks between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day, which is about the same as a 10 minuet walk. This is 7,000- 6,000 less than the recommended average, and results in poor cardiovascular health and weak joints.

Health Fact #18


When food is consumed and digested it is first transported to the liver before the rest of the body. This is to ensure that any toxins which you have consumed in a meal can be detoxified, and ensures the liver gets all the nutrition it requires.

Health Fact #17


LDL (Low density lipoprotein) is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, and is responsible for carrying cholesterol away from the liver to the rest of the body. HDL (High density lipoprotein) is known as ‘good’ cholesterol, and carryies cholesterol to the liver. Both are important in regulating body functions, but it is an imbalance between the two which can cause health problems.

Health Fact #16


Contrary to popular belief, you cannot have a fatal overdose of potassium from eating bananas. Your body is able to regulate the amount of potassium in your body faster than the rate at which you can consume, digest and absorb potassium from bananas.

Health Fact #15


A French man called Michel Lotito had an unusually thick stomach and intestinal wall. This allowed him to eat unusual objects (often poisonous) with no ill effects. Over a 2 year period he actually ate a plane. Strangely though, bananas and hard boiled eggs made him ill.

Health Fact #14


Our bones are able to withstand compressive (pushing) forces more than tensile (pulling) forces. Typically, our bones are able to withstand 1552kg/cm² of compressive force, but only 424kg/cm² of tensile force. To put this into perspective, commercial concrete can only withstand compressive forces of about 300kg/cm², and steel can withstand tensile forces of about 4078kg/cm².

Health Fact #13


Cooking fruits and vegetables reduces the micro-nutrient content of them. Boiling vegetables will typically result in a 45% loss of vitamin C, and frying will cause a 30% reduction.

Health Fact #12


We are warm blooded animals, which means we must create our own heat to survive. The average human body produces enough heat in an hour to boil 9 litres of water.

Health Fact #11


Colour can affect more than just our mood – Orange colours stimulate our appetite, red surroundings increase our heart rate and blue surroundings increase muscle performance, allowing you to lift heavier weights.

Health Fact #10


In 1914 the average mineral content of common vegetables (cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes and spinach) was 400mg. Today, the average mineral content is around 75mg, which shows that in 99 years vegetables have lost approximately 81% of their minerals. Our veggies are becoming less nutrient dense, and so we need to eat more!

Health Fact #9


The red pigment in tomatoes is called lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant particularly well known for protecting against prostate cancer. Lycopene is structurally similar to beta-carotene, but cannot be converted to vitamin A like beta-carotene can.

Health Fact #8


When B vitamins were first being discovered the number they were assigned in their name represented the order in which they were found. It was originally thought that there were 12 b vitamins, but later research showed that vitamin B4, 8, 10 and 11 were not actually vitamins, and something separate all together. These ‘phantom’ B vitamins were removed from the list of B vitamins, but the numbers for the true B vitamins were never changed to represent this. This is why B vitamins seem so strangely numbered.

Health Fact #7


Although the brain makes up approximately 2% of the mass in our body, it uses approximately 20% of all oxygen we take in. The brain is the most oxygen hungry organ in the body!

Health Fact #6


If you were to refine the body, and extract all the elements, they would have a value of approximately $160 (or £99.77). Potassium contributes the majority of this value compared to any other element, as it is both relatively common in the body, and also relatively expensive.

Health Fact #5


The human body carries about 100 trillion microorganisms in its intestines, a number ten times greater than the total number of human cells in the body. It is estimated that these gut flora have around a hundred times as many genes in aggregate as there are in the human genome – we are more bacteria than human.

Health Fact #4


Your heart beats approximately 37,800,000 times a year, pumping at least 275,9400 litres of blood through your arteries and veins, which if were laid out, would extend for over 60,000 miles. If you exercise regularly the amount of heart beats and volume of blood pumped would be much higher! The circulatory system is amazing, look after it.

Health Fact #3


According the the US FDA, one glass of orange juice is allowed to contain 10 fruit fly eggs.

Health Fact #2


50% of the UK population are infected with Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria which is the leading cause of stomach ulcers.


Health Fact #1


The diaphragm has a frequency of 1hz, and is located just under the stomach. Which means that if you can move up and down in one second, you will achieve the maximum amplitude the diaphragm can achieve, causing the diaphragm to touch the bottom of your stomach – making you feel sick.