Monday, November 1, 2010

Important Nutritional Information....For Chameleons

Part of being a Dr. Dork is to maintain a high level of dorkiness by perusing the spectrum of scientific journals that are published each month.  In the field of nutrition, there are 5-10 key journals where probably 90% of the research is makes for a lot of reading each month.    

Sometimes these journals publish studies that have the potential to help a significant number of people.  For example, here is a study that was just published this month in Journal of Nutrition:  "Lifestyle Counseling and Supplementation with Flaxseed or Walnuts Influence the Management of Metabolic Syndrome".  This study showed that people with metabolic syndrome (a deadly cluster of conditions such as high cholesterol, obesity, high blood sugar) reduced many of their symptoms after an intense lifestyle counseling program with either flaxseed or walnuts incorporated into their diets.  This has the potential to save lives....pretty important stuff.   

Other studies may not be as important to public health, but they are interesting nonetheless.  For example: "Longer Breastfeeding Is Associated with Increased Lower Body Explosive Strength during Adolescence"  This study showed that teenagers who were breast fed as infants could jump farther in the standing long jump than teenagers who were not breast fed.  Interesting and important, especially if you would like to see your offspring excel one day in the standing long jump.  

And then there are some articles that a head scratchers, at least at first.  Case in point: "Nutritional Metabolic Bone Disease in Juvenile Veiled Chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) and Its Prevention".  As it turns out, chameleons in captivity get this bone disease because the crickets they are fed do not have enough calcium, vitamin D or vitamin A.  Plus, the chameleons don't do enough tanning under UVB light.  In this study, the Dr. Dorks looked at how dusting the chameleon food with these nutrients could prevent this bone disease.  Now the little lizards can live healthier, longer lives in a glass tank next to the beds of small boys everywhere.  This type of research study might not seem important at first, but it really is for the following reasons:  

  1. Not sure
  2. I don't know

In the spirit of full disclosure, let it be known that I do not have a juvenile veiled chameleon. 

Now does anyone know of a good standing long jump coach in the Chicago area? 

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