Sled Dogs’ Fat-Burning Capabilities Could Hold a Key to Type 2 Treatments

Sled dogs have incredible endurance and they may be the key to treating obesity in people who have either type 2 or pre-diabetes.

Mar 31, 2009

One of the most impressive feats of endurance in the animal world is performed by the sled dogs that run up to 100 miles per day in such races as Alaska's Iditarod, a grueling 1,161-mile trek from Simpson to Homer. 

Michael Davis, a professor at Oklahoma State University who has studied sled dogs for 10 years, says their incredible endurance may be the key to treating obesity in people who have either type 2 or pre-diabetes.

The key, says Davis, is understanding how the dogs achieve an incredibly high sensitivity to insulin-a sensitivity that allows them to metabolize glucose and fat.

In his research, Davis has experimented with measuring the insulin sensitivity of dogs who are in "Iditarod-ready" shape and dogs that have been inactive for several months. While his results show a dramatic difference in the metabolic proficiencies of the two groups-the "in-shape" dogs are very insulin-sensitive-he does not yet know why and how extreme exercise brings on such a high level of sensitivity.

The research holds out the hope that once the metabolic process for increasing insulin sensitivity is understood, it may be possible to induce it in type 2s who, because of obesity or handicap, are not able to exercise. 

Davis's work is funded by a $30,000 research grant from Oklahoma State University ($20,000) and the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation ($10,000).

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Exercise, Health Research, Insulin, Pre-Diabetes, Professional Issues, Type 2 Issues


Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • What's on the Horizon with Diabetes Research and Therapy
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 0 comments - Mar 31, 2009

©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.