Archived News

Sponsored: “The Dose Makes the Poison”

Sponsored: “The Dose Makes the Poison”

Many people are fond of throwing around fearmongering words like: “poisonous”, “toxic”, and “dangerous” when it comes to certain foods, beverages, or ingredients – especially if it is something they don’t like or approve of.

Over 500 years ago the Swiss chemist and physician, Parcelsus, expressed the main principle of toxicology:

“All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.”

Whether a food, beverage, ingredient, or even something found in nature is toxic (definition: the ability to cause death or debilitation) depends on the amount a person is exposed to, how they are exposed and for how long.

Even something as vital to our survival as water can be toxic. If we drink too much water at one time, we can experience water poisoning/water toxicity. This excess water causes an electrolyte imbalance known as hyponatremia which can result in death.

Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN

Related Items

Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian


Leave a comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.