Medicine: Wine or Pollen

In the U.S., an estimated 1,250,000 people (about 95% of them men) suffer from gout. It can be an embarrassing ailment, because most people—including many doctors—have long associated gout with high living and heavy drinking.* Eighteenth Century British Surgeon John Hunter, who had gout himself, said bluntly that "most people who have had the gout severely have deserved it." Physiologist Erasmus Darwin, who drank little except cowslip wine, announced flatly in 1794: "I have seen no person afflicted with gout who has not drank freely of fermented liquor . . ."

From these, long-accepted opinions many modern physicians dissent. Manhattan Allergist Joseph...

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