My cold has already progressed to the ‘waterfall’ stage which means I have to take in fluids by mouth faster than it comes out of my nose. Sometimes I think it’s just being shunted from the back of my throat straight into storage in my sinuses.
This is good because it means the cold is progressing quickly and will soon be over. Hopefully it will move to ‘crusty’ stage tomorrow and then it’s all but complete.
Hey, I’m a microbiologist. Cold progression through its symptoms and stages is interesting stuff. Besides, I also write disturbing stories so you have to expect to find something disgusting here once in a while.
Anyway, I have to keep my fluid intake going until I get into Crusty Mode, but I prefer beer or orange squash for bulk, interspersed with whisky to alleviate the tedium. It would never have occurred to me to drink cold tea.
Apparently it’s very popular in America. ‘Iced tea’, it turns out, really is cold tea with ice in it. I always thought it was code for some large Bourbon-based cocktail. Good thing I found that out before ordering one.
A word to the wise, America – you’ll probably get away with it in the UK cities, but don’t ask for iced tea in the English countryside. When you tell them what you want done to a cup of tea, they’ll be firing up the flaming brands and building a wicker man.
For a real extreme-sport feeling though, head into the remote pubs of the Scottish highlands and ask for Ardbeg and Pepsi. Have a fast car standing by…
But you can’t have iced tea. It will ossify your kidneys.
High consumption of iced tea drinks could be linked to the formation of kidney stones – especially in those who are at high risk of the painful disorder – warns one researcher.
So high consumption COULD BE linked to kidney stones in people who are prone to getting them anyway… warns ONE researcher.
That’s all it takes to start a scare now. A lot of ‘maybes’ and ‘could bes’ and ‘more research is needed so give me cash’ from a single researcher and hey presto, you’re in the ‘science’ section of an online journal staffed by no scientists at all.
Science teacher mode: This will involve a lot of banging the cane on the desk and shouting.
During the warmer summer month’s people can become dehydrated from sweating, he said, adding that this, combined with increased iced tea consumption, raises the risk of kidney stones, especially in people already at risk.
He wants them to drink water instead and also to cut down on salt. Given that sweat is not pure water, but contains salt and minerals, replacing the water but not the salt minerals might save you from kidney stones but will kill you faster than a kidney version of Table Mountain that has been coated in anthrax.
Okay, so oxalates are (he thinks) the sole problem, having already pointed out that dehydration is the main problem.
Oxalates are naturally-occurring organic acids found in plants, and animals.
*BANG* Stand in the corner, boy! Oxalates are not ‘organic acids’, they are a series of salts of a single organic acid, called, oddly enough, oxalic acid. The stuff that’s concentrated enough in rhubarb leaves to make them inedible (except to slugs).
Calcium oxalate will precipitate out of solution when it forms and if it does that in the kidney, it can start a stone growing. So if you are prone to those stones ie you’ve had them before or your family rattles like a bag of gravel whenever you all get together, it would be best to watch your intake of the components in hot weather. That’s when you’re most likely to get them. Up to you, of course, there is no absolute proof presented here, just a load of ‘maybe’ – but why risk it for cold tea?
Milner advised that people at risk for kidney stones should cut back on foods that contain high concentrations of oxalates – including spinach, chocolate, rhubarb and nuts.
I will, forthwith, cut my spinach intake to zero. Oh wait, it already was.
“They should ease up on salt, eat meat sparingly, drink several glasses of water a day and eat foods that provide adequate amounts of calcium, which reduces the amount of oxalate the body absorbs,” he said.
Drink lots of water with no salt and you will die. Eat a lot more calcium when you might have a lot of oxalate in you and you boost your chances of producing a calcium oxalate stone. Finally, if you reduce the amount of oxalate the body absorbs, what does the body do with it all?
Why, pump it through the kidneys, of course. Along with all that extra calcium.
You know, this looks a lot like someone very cleverly advising people to boost the kidney-stone rate in order to keep themselves in a job.
Would an American scientist do that?
Why not? British ones are at it all over the place.
There are still some sensible ones over in America. Here’s one explaining why you should stick with real butter, using actual experiments. Otherwise, the reason you can’t believe it’s not butter is because you’ve forgotten.