ORANGES, GIBBERISH, AND BLINDNESS
What’s the deal with oranges and blindness? And what does this have to do with gibberish? New research shows that people with a weakness for oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration than those who hate them.
Macular degeneration is a common cause of blindness among relatively elderly folks.
For 15 years, researchers monitored a large group of people. They showed that orange-lovers were at 60% less of a risk than orange-o-phobes.
If you eat oranges once a day, then you fall in that first group. Even if you only eat them once a week, though, you’ll still see benefits.
The study’s author says that flavonoids are most likely responsible for this effect.
Perhaps you’re tired of reading the superficial, pop-science notes about the latest discoveries. But do we have a chance to get further into the subject? I’m afraid not.
For example, “flavonoids” is a beautiful word admired by countless authors. But what are they?
“Flavonoids are the largest class of vegetable polyphenols” (wiki). It doesn’t help to read more, because we then learn that they’re “hydroxy derivatives of flavones”. What’s a flavone? We’re not going to advance more than two turns here.
Or maybe we can learn a little about phenols. After all, you’ve encountered this magical formula – “The polyphenols in green tea are a powerful antioxidant”. Obviously, though, in order to understand polyphenols, we have to start with phenols. Let’s look at the literature:
“Phenols are organic compounds composed of aromatic rings,” but then what? A knowledge of chemical sciences is needed. Or perhaps you know what an “aromatic carbon ring” means? For the rest of us, it’s gibberish. It sounds scientific, at least, but it makes no sense to the common man.
Therefore, the average reader here decides rather quickly that it’s incomprehensible. They take the scientists’ word for it, and this is where science intersects with faith.
THE BLIND ARE AT THE MERCY OF INCOMPREHENSIBLE WORDS?
We’re content with simply knowing that many flavonoids are the pigments that color plants red, purple, yellow, or whatever. And that some of these pigments have a positive effect on health.
It’s also that “flavonoids are the strongest antioxidants”. We won’t worry about this anymore, though. The word has been beat to death, but a quick survey of the population will show you that few people know what it is.
Ultimately, the main thing worth remembering is that oranges are good for the eyes.
“Why didn’t you just come out and say that immediately, then?”
“You wouldn’t have believed it”.
Photo by Victoria Chen on Unsplash