Vanity, Vitality, and Virility
The Science Behind the Products You Love to BuyBook - 2004
Vanity, Vitality, and Virility is essentially a collection of 'portraits' loosely arranged into 'galleries' that bring together related themes. While it will not advise you what to do if you want to improve your looks, your health, your peace of mind, or your sex life, it does explain thescience behind many of the products that claim to be able to do just that. It looks at a range of products and ingredients that impinge on our everyday life and explains in plain language how 30 commonly encountered chemicals work, and how and why we use them. Chapter one, Vanity - no more wrinkles? has an entry on alpha-hydroxy acids. Advertisers call them 'natural fruit acids' but they are products of the chemical industry. They can improve the skin by penetrating the outer layer and stimulating the growth of new skin. But do they really removewrinkles? Chapter two, Vitality - food for thought, tackles dietary fats: trans fats, essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 fats), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which some say is a necessary preventive against breast cancer despite coming only from animal fats. Chapter three, Virility,Sterility, and Viagra, has a section on 'more and better sex': what natural substances act as aphrodisiacs and can chemists improve upon them? There are substances that can enhance sexual performance and heighten orgasm. How to they work, and are they safe? Chapter four, Germ warfare, contains asection on Hypochlorite: so-called chlorine bleach. It doesn't actually contain chlorine but hypochlorite, and it is this that gives it the power to 'kill all germs stone dead'. But there have been campaigns to ban it because it produces other chemicals when added to water. Chapter five, It's all inthe mind, deals with depression and anti-depressants: Prozac, Lithium (used to treat manic depression: the odd thing is that lithium shouldn't work, but does), and Aluminium, once wrongly convicted of causing Alzheimer's Disease. Chapter six, Polymers in unlikely guises, ranges from super-absorbentpolymers (SAPs) used in tampons and nappies, to 'whispering asphalt' which modifies bitumen by adding polymers, resulting in road surfaces which are quieter and which produce less spray.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
Characteristics: xi, 259 p. ;,25 cm.