That’s a chemical. A big, complicated chemical. Every living cell makes it, starting with niacin, which is the acidified form of nicotine.
It’s in absolutely everything you eat. Plant, animal, fungal, bacteria – everything. Every cell in your body now contains it. Every. Single. Cell.
What are ASH doing about this? Nothing at all. They have kept this from you. Ask them why they don’t want to tell you about nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and why the government is silent about it. Why is nothing being done? Why has it not been banned?
About now, the biochemists and other biologists will have fallen off their chairs laughing. Ah, but they are few, among the general population. Most people out there have never heard the name of this chemical. It’s real, and it really is made by every living cell.
Known more manageably as NAD (or with the addition of a phosphorus group, NADP), it is an absolutely essential component of metabolism. Nothing scary about it at all, really. Well, not until the lunatic hordes have been induced to demand a ban on niacin, the evil nicotine-derived chemical that results in its formation. Then we can watch the loonies die of pellagra while they continue to demand the utter removal of the only thing that can save them.
It can be done, you know. How many of those in government have the slightest clue what NAD is, or what it does? I would venture a guess at ‘none’. Will they go and look it up? Will they hell. They don’t even read the laws they pass or the treaties they sign. I have to wonder how many of them can read at all.
All it needs is that ‘nicotin-‘ bit at the beginning and the oafs and morons out there will demand a ban. The Daily Mail will start a campaign. The fake-charities will get on the bandwagon, no need to shove them, just show them the bandwagon and get out of the way. The Experts will Say, the Studies will Show, and the government will draft legislation.
Not one of them will bother to actually read up on what they are banning. Not a single one. It could go through to the pellagra-epidemic stage uncontested and nobody will dare link the ban with the pellagra because they’d have to say a word that sounds like ‘nicotine’. The new ‘n’-word that can end a medical or scientific or any career if it’s ever uttered without the word ‘evil’ in front of it.
There was a time when everyone who had been through a basic biology class at achool, even if only up to O-level, would have recognised things like NAD, ATP, Krebs’ cycle, even if they had then gone on to be accountants or builders and had forgotten what those abbreviations stand for. They would still know that these are important things in cellular metabolism.
Not any more. Now, they leave school ‘science’ class believing that ‘five-a-day’ and ‘units per week’ are based on sound science and that evolution might not be. They believe everyone who smokes or drinks will die at once and that even being near those people will kill them. They believe all the puppies will drown when (not if) the sea levels rise to swamp all the land. Don’t be surprised if the kid next door stars building an ark in the garden. The Mail even helpfully published plans a day or so back.
Modern people believe absolutely any old crap. They have been taught little that is useful and their minds have been cluttered up with more rubbish than a backstreet pawnbroker’s shop. You can see them in the comments to any of the silly scaremongering articles that the ‘experts’ feed to the Daily Mail and other hack-rags. Ban smoking in cars? Oh yes, we must. Stop pregnant women having even a small sherry for nine months? Oh yes, we must. Ban Electrofag just in case Studies one day Show that steam is deadly, or in case they lead people into real smoking (which has never happened and is not likely to)? Oh yes, we must. For the cheeeldren.
Other peoples’ cheeeldren. Why am I going to care at all about other peoples’ cheeeldren? I’m sure parents care about their own children but other peoples’? Isn’t it enough work bringing up your own kids without taking responsibility for every screaming snot machine out there?
By all means, if something is genuinely likely to harm children, tell parents about it. There are non-nannying things you can do, like childproof caps on bleach bottles, advice on dangerous things such as ‘keep away from children’ (not easy to do, the miniature banshees are everywhere these days), and making car child seats that face backwards. That last one is so the child does not get splattered by the airbag when you drive into the side of a bus at 90 mph because your little angel has overfilled his nappy and is still producing. These people are offended by the smell of smoke? They think a wisp of smoke is dangerous but they have no idea what’s in the nappy overspray liberally coating their car’s interior. Inhale that, and enjoy. Why have the Chinese not invented Electrokids that look like the real thing but produce nothing noxious? You could even have a volume control…
It’s much safer to keep the fags and ban the children from your car. Much, much safer.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve met peoiple who don’t know that sugar dissolves in water, don’t know what IQ means, and more. These are not stupid people. They are holding down jobs and doing well at them. Not high-faluting science jobs, but essential jobs. Shop workers are essential unless you want to grow all your own food and wait eight years for your whisky to be ready. It is not even necessary for the area manager to know the solubility of sugar or what IQ means. It does not affect their job.
Plumbers and electricians are essential, and they don’t need to know those things either. We had a cracked toilet waste pipe in Local Shop once. It burst and sent a poonami into part of the stock room. There was a great deal thrown away that day. The plumber fixed it in a matter of hours and it was another reminder for me that not everyone is as inured to dealing with large amounts of stinking crap as I am. Every day, a new culture shock.
These people, these intelligent people, will fall for the NAD scam. Bankers and businessmen will fall for it. Hell, if some of the top medics fall for the rubbish spewed out by ‘experts’, what chance do the untrained have?
All politicians are untrained. It’s the only job I can think of that requires no qualifications of any kind at all. All you need do is persuade enough gullible idiots to vote for the promises they know you have no intention of keeping. Hm. Might have a go myself, one day.
Every politician will fall for it. Sensationalise it enough and the Daily Mail will start a campaign. You could even sign it as an expert called ‘Professor Pellagra’ and they still won’t get it.
I wonder, sometimes, what it would feel like to be nice to people for a change. It doesn’t sound like something I’d enjoy. I also wonder if, when watching superhero films, I’m the only one who wants the villain to win. If it ever happens, if Gotham ever does get wiped out and Batman ends up looking like that burger you dropped behind the sofa a month ago, would I be the only one to punch the air and shout ‘Yes!’?
It can be done. Should it be done? Should the drones be induced to ban a chemical essential to all life on Earth? Start with energy drinks. They are loaded with niacin. Tell them what it really is and what it becomes and the ball starts rolling.
Should it be done, though?
I don’t think I can resist it, you know.
Update: Whoo-hoo! Here’s that link again. Look at the table of enzymes that require NAD to work. Top of the list is alcohol dehydrogenase, the one that breaks down alcohol (if we were not meant to drink alcohol, why do we have an enzyme for it, hmmmm?).
Nicotine and alcohol, linked in your liver. You need one to metabolise the other. So NAD isn’t just a nicotine derivative, it promotes alcohol use too! Without it, nobody can tolerate alcohol. This brings in the anti-drink mob too. They just need to be told that if nobody had any NAD, nobody would be able to drink booze.
Now I know for sure this scare scam will work.