Life by the Numbers

About 100 billion aspirin tablets are consumed annually throughout the world. More than 40 million pounds (18.14 million kilograms) are produced every year in the U.S. alone. First marketed in 1899 by German pharmaceutical company Bayer, aspirin is derived from willow bark (Salix alba), identified by Hippocrates as a pain reliever more than 2,000 years ago.

The Ocean Quahog IS the Longest-Living Creature Known...
The giant clam has a life span estimated at more than 400 years. A specimen, posthumously named Ming for the dynasty during which it was “born,” was 507 years old before meeting its untimely demise when the unlucky mollusk was dredged up in Icelandic waters by marine researchers in 2006.

Apothecaries...
Apothecaries from the Renaissance onward often displayed a preserved crocodile hanging from the ceiling (as did theologians, philosophers, alchemists and surgeon-barbers) to advertise their so-called expertise.

Fatty Acids…
People with the highest concentration of DHA (a fatty acid found in many fish) in their blood had nearly 50 percent lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish, such as salmon, per week.

Custom Prescriptions...
Until the 1950s, the majority of prescription medications were custom-made from raw ingredients to suit individual patients. Today, the mortar and pestle used to compound medications remains an industry symbol, often appearing on drugstore signs along with the letters “Rx,” an abbreviation for the Latin word recipere, which means “Take, thou.”