Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Toxicologist wary of adding medicinal properties to wine

Leading NZ toxicologist wary of adding some medicinal properties to wine

September 16, 2013

A leading New Zealand toxicologist is in two minds about applying medicinal additives to food or wine.

University of Canterbury (food) expert Professor Ian Shaw says the concept of adding chemicals with medicinal properties to food has been around for hundreds of year. But he says people are really just become much more acutely aware of the benefits and pitfalls.

Professor Shaw, Co-Director of UC’s Food Safety Centre, will give a public lecture this week (Wednesday, September 18) about what if food and wine were medicines. See details here: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/event/7990410533

``People are now selecting food according to the chemicals they contain. Companies are promoting the fact their food contains vitamins and other healthy elements. We’re now getting more specific about what we want to eat.

``Is it right to add medicines to food, water and wine to mass medicate consumers? The answers are yes and no. Of course it is right to add some things.

``In New Zealand we have very low levels of iodine in the soil and environment generally because we are a volcanic nation. With not enough iodine in our food we get more goitre which means more thyroid cancer.

``So it makes a lot of sense to put iodine in food to stop that happening. Nobody would argue with that. We fortify our bread with salt which contains iodine to ensure everyone gets enough iodine.

``But at the other end of the spectrum is a chemical called resveratrol which is present in grapes and blueberries so is therefore present in tiny levels in wine.

``This chemical has been shown to have all sorts of beneficial properties such as extending life or preventing heart attacks and neurological diseases. Some companies are considering adding this to wine and creating a new market for people who would not normally drink wine but who might start drinking it feeling they may live longer. Now I am not sure that is a good idea.

``A lot of research papers say how good it is. But we are slowly starting to see other views. Some say resveratrol’s properties look a bit like the female hormone which means it could promote breast cancer. Would it? I don’t know. So to me to add that to our food would be too risky. Because we don’t yet know what the risks are.

``Seaweed contains high levels of iodine, which prevents goitre, but should iodine deficient New Zealanders be force fed seaweed or should iodine be added to our daily bread? Spina bifida is a terrible birth defect caused by a lack of folate in food, but should we force everyone to consume more folate? 

``What are the negative effects of eating too much folate?  Are these risks outweighed by the benefit of preventing a few spina bifida cases in New Zealand each year?  Fluoride is highly toxic, but at very low doses it prevents dental caries; so, why is there so much fuss about adding fluoride to drinking water?’’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Wood Producers: Crisis In New Zealand Log Supply

New Zealand wood processing leaders held a hui with senior government officials and political leaders in Whangarei yesterday to assess the acute log supply shortage to local mills in Northland. More>>

Consents And Taxes: Trustpower 'Very Disappointed' With Judgement

Trustpower is "very disappointed" with a Supreme Court ruling dismissing its bid to claim tax deductions on $17.7 million of project costs in a case closely watched by large-scale infrastructure developers. More>>

ALSO:

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Economic Update: RBNZ Says Rate Cut Seems Likely

The Reserve Bank will likely cut interest rates further as a persistently strong kiwi dollar makes it difficult for the bank to meet its inflation target, it said. The local currency fell. More>>

ALSO:

House Price Action Plan: RBNZ Signals National Lending Restrictions

The central bank wants to cap bank lending to property investors with a deposit of less than 40 percent at 5 percent and restore the 10 percent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 percent, according to a consultation paper released today. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news