Ran across this video today. It’s basic, but a good synopsis of the dangers of sugar. Check it out if you have a few minutes.
Meet Shiva. Shiva is a fattened monkey used by scientists to study obesity and diabetes. With Shiva, they are trying to induce the couch-potatoe lifestyle, limiting his exercise and maximizing his caloric intake. February 20, 2011 NY Times article, “Today’s Lab Rats of Obesity: Furry, Fattened Couch Potatoes” describes the new studies being done on monkeys today. Although many animal rights activists are up in arms over the treatment of these poor little fellas, there has been a few breakthroughs.
For instance, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, a start-up company in Boston, tested it’s new diet drug on some of the monkeys, resulting in a 40 percent reduction in their food intake and a staggering 13 percent loss in weight, in just 8 weeks, and without any apparent heart problems. Another study indicated that when pregnant monkeys ate high-fat diets, their offspring had metabolic problems, and their babies were much more prone to anxiety. Other studies have indicated that eating a healthy diet during pregnancy, regardless of the mothers obesity, reduced troubles in the offspring; suggesting that the diet of a pregnant woman matters more than whether she is obese.
But why use primates over lab rats, or even humans? Experts say primates resemble humans more than lab rats, not only physiologically but in their feeding habits as well. Primates tend to eat when bored, just like humans, even when they are not really hungry. And unlike humans in human studies, primates can’t fudge their daily calorie or carbohydrate counts to scientists… which is something humans are apparently notorious for doing.
Diabetes is one of the worlds foremost health problems, and the seventh leading cause of death in the US. It’s important for everyone to fully be aware of their health status. In 2007 5.7 million people suffered from undiagnosed diabetes. Unsure if you might have diabetes? It’s possible that your dentist can help. For more information, read my previous blog: How your dentist could spot your undiagnosed diabetes.
Read the NY Times article:
Today’s Lab Rats of Obesity: Furry, Fattened Couch Potatoes
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. In 2007, 17.9 million people in the US had diagnosed diabetes, and 5.7 million people had undiagnosed diabetes. January 2011 issue of JADA contained an article on how dentists can detect signs and symptoms of a patient’s possible undiagnosed diabetes. Everyone should have yearly physicals with an MD to acquire one’s overall health, however, some people see their dentist more often than their general physician. Although general dentists aren’t specifically trained to diagnose diabetes, there is some general information you can give us that can help us deduce the probability of diabetes, and send you to an MD if necessary.
Basic information to share with your dentist to aide in the diagnosis of diabetes:
- Waist circumference
- Race or Ethnicity
- Oral Health Status
When reporting to your dentist your oral health status, be sure to include if you experience any of the following symptoms: dry mouth (xerostomia), bad breath (halitosis), delayed wound healing from sores or after extractions, burning of your tongue, palate or gums, recurrent oral infections, history of periodontal disease. If you give your dentist this information, he or she could at the least give you a reasonable prediction of your probability of having diabetes. Of course, if you want to know for sure, just head in for your yearly routine check-up with your doctor.