Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is eating gold good for you?

Is eating gold good for you?

Although it seems unlikely, you can eat small quantities of gold and some people believe that it has medical benefits.

In the Middle Ages, gold leaf was sometimes added to food and drink for honoured guests at noble banquets. This was a status symbol for the host but was also done in the belief that something so rare and valuable should also be good for the body.

A famous German drink called Goldwasser (literally gold water) is an herbal liqueur that became fashionable a few years ago and you can still find it in some shops off licenses and pubs.

You can find gold on the menu as a food garnish in expensive restaurants and buy in it in some delicatessen and it even has its own E number 175.

Edible gold comes in the form of gold leaf. It is real gold but has been flattened into a very thin sheet. In fact, gold leaf is only around five millionths of an inch in thickness. Because gold is so malleable, one ounce of gold could be hammered into a sheet of gold leaf that measures over 300 square feet.

So is there any point to eating gold?
It does not have any taste and no nutritional goodness. It is biologically inert and has no discernible effect on the body even if you eat it in large amounts and not the more usual gold leaf.

Your body cannot break gold down and it passes through your system in exactly the same state as it entered the body. This lack of interference with your system is why it can be used for gold teeth and fillings.

Some New Age treatment recommends that gold helps improve mental capacity and can regenerate your organs. There has also been investigation into the benefits of gold injections that supposedly protect against arthritis and rheumatic conditions.