A Pint and Pauling

Last May SCARC faculty member Chris Petersen and Linus Pauling Institute administrator Steve Lawson teamed up for a talk titled “The Science of Nutrition: The Pauling Legacy and Current Research.”  The talk was sponsored by Science Pub Corvallis and presented to a packed house at the Old World Deli.

Petersen’s half of the evening covered Pauling’s life and work in broad strokes, while Lawson focused on Pauling’s research in orthomolecular medicine and the current emphasis on nutrition and healthy aging at the Linus Pauling Institute.  Among the specific topics covered by Lawson was the possibility that a phytochemical called xanthohumol might act as a cancer chemoprotectant.  Xanthohumol is, fittingly, found in hops, an essential component of most beers, especially in IPA-crazy Oregon.

Chris Petersen presenting at Science Pub Corvallis.  Image courtesy of Mina Carson.

Chris Petersen presenting at Science Pub Corvallis. Image courtesy of Mina Carson.

Steve Lawson discussing current research at LPI. Image courtesy of Mina Carson.

Steve Lawson discussing current research at LPI. Image courtesy of Mina Carson.

Right around the same time, and quite by coincidence, one of Corvallis’ local brewpubs, Sky High Brewing, released its Linus Pauling Peace Ale, in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Pauling having received the Nobel Peace Prize.  The brew is described as “a brilliant inquisitive beer” and is, of course, flavored with organic sweet orange.

peace-ale

As Petersen noted in his presentation, Linus Pauling was mostly a vodka man, though certainly not above drinking the occasional beer.  On the broader subject of alcohol, Pauling wrote in 1986’s How to Live Longer and Feel Better

You should develop a simple regimen about your supplementary vitamins, such that you do not forget to take them.  Also, you should develop good habits about moderate exercise, eating healthful foods that appeal to you, avoiding sucrose, not smoking, drinking large amounts of water, and drinking alcoholic liquors only in moderation, in such a way as not to be a burden to you but rather a pleasure, so that you have no trouble in continuing the regimen.

The message would seem clear then:  tipping the occasional glass is fine, but don’t forget your vitamin C!

Pauling and Martin Niemoller, not disrupting the regimen, 1958.

Pauling and Martin Niemoller, not disrupting the regimen, 1958.

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