Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Snake Oil works - Official

I'm delighted to learn (courtesy of Scientific American) that snake-oil may have been unfairly maligned. Although synonymous with hucksterism, water-snake oil is in fact an ancient Chinese remedy for arthritis and joint pain. And scientists investigating its properties have found it to be an extremely rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are indeed capable of reducing inflammation, such as arthritis pain. More excitingly, they have been linked with improved mental abilities and reduced blood pressure, cholesterol. They might even function as an anti-depressive.

A team of Japanese scientists recently completed a study in (as usual) mice. Creatures nourished on snake oil showed improved maze-learning and swimming abilities. No such success for mice fed on lard. Rodents can be couch potatoes too.

I expect that in the new "fit towns" that Health Secretary Alan Johnson is planning snake-oil extract will be drip-fed into the water supply.