Tuesday September 17, 2019

Consumption of Dairy Products Changed the Shape of Human Skull: Study

We all know milk makes our bones stronger. But a new study suggests that the consumption of milk and other dairy products did not make skulls of our ancestors stronger or bigger. Read on to know how!

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Human Skull
The diet consumed during one's growing years has a major impact on our bones, jaws and even the face structure. Pixabay.
  • According to a new study, change in Human skull structure could be due to the consumption of a specific diet
  • Researchers believe the practice of chewing altered face structures
  • Skull morphology also varies between people of different genders

New York, August 25, 2017: Do you belong to the category of people who read the label on every food item they purchase? Do you count your calories and keep an account of your daily calorie consumption? Are you the person who religiously reads articles on health and nutrition on the internet? Even if not, this article is going to take you by surprise. What if we tell you that an individual’s diet alters the construction of the human skull?

Having processed food that lacks several important nutrients exposes us to an increased risk of various medical problems like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. However, recent studies have found that the diet you consume, particularly in your growing years, has a major impact on the development of your bones, jaws and even the face structure/human skull!

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A team comprising of David Katz, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary, Professor Tim Weaver and statistician Mark Gote from the University of California-Davis accessed a collection of 559 crania and 534 lower jaws (skull bones) from different corners of the world that ranged from more than a two dozen population from the pre-industrial era. These bones were then studied to analyze the influence that the diet consumed had on the form, size and shape of the human skull during the time man shifted to consumption of agricultural products.

The research found that the advent of farming practices, especially the consumption of dairy products significantly affected the shape of human skull.

The researchers observed modest changes in human skull morphology for groups that were dependent on cereals, dairy, or a combination of the two. This effect was more evident in populations suspected to consume softer foods like cheese.

According to Katz, for the early farmers of the time, “milk did not make for bigger, stronger skull bones.”

Katz found that the primary difference between the skulls of a hunter-gatherer and that of a farmer “are where we would expect to find them, and change in ways we might expect them to.” This he believes, could happen if the demand of chewing decreased within the farming groups.

According to the study, different foods determined how often or how hard one had to chew. The constant movement of the bones in order to properly chew food is what is believed to have altered the shape.

Chewing on hard foods activates bone cells which promote the growth of strong and big jaws. Alternatively, consumption of softer foods like dairy products led to people having smaller jaws with tooth-crowding.

Apart from dietary consumption, the researches claim human skull morphology was also altered by the gender of the people, or between individuals who consumed the same diet but were from different populations.

The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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Next Story

Diabetes Medication to Reduce Heart Disease Shows Promise: Researchers

The results are applicable primarily to dapagliflozin, which was the predominant SGLT2 inhibitor used in Scandinavia during the study period

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diabetes
Diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women and claims 2.1 million female lives every year, more so than men. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of an Indian-origin, have shed light on how a class of medications that help regulate blood sugar for patients with Type 2 diabetes can also protect from heart disease.

The findings published in the journal Cell Metabolism, focus on the effect of diabetes medication — empagliflozin — on cell repair in blood vessels and the resulting risks of heart disease.

Empagliflozin is a medication that falls under a category of drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors, which lower blood sugar.

“We have seen large-scale clinical trials giving us clear evidence that SGLT2 inhibitors can also protect our patients who have diabetes from heart disease,” said Indian-origin researcher and study author Subodh Verma from St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada.

The research suggests that circulating progenitor cells — which are found in the bone marrow and play a role in heart health — along with inflammatory cells are regulated with this diabetes medication.

For patients who have diabetes are at the risk of heart disease, such medications may provide heart protection by relieving damaged cells that would otherwise perpetuate heart disease by causing faulty vessel repair.

Diabetes
According to the researchers, these novel findings may provide the basis for new therapies for patients who have heart disease complicated by diabetes. Pixabay

Using blood samples from the EMPA-HEART CardioLink-6 Trial, the research team was able to show that in diabetes, regenerative progenitor cells were reduced.

Patients who took empagliflozin, however, these progenitor cells were restored later.

“We found that in people with diabetes, not only were beneficial progenitor cells increased but we saw indications of reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, which can also contribute to cardiovascular disease,” said David Hess, Associate Professor at Western University.

According to the researchers, these novel findings may provide the basis for new therapies for patients who have heart disease complicated by diabetes.

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Earlier a research from Karolinska Institute in Sweden said that the new type of drugs for type 2 diabetes — SGLT2 inhibitors — are associated with a reduced risk of heart failure by 34 per cent.

The results are applicable primarily to dapagliflozin, which was the predominant SGLT2 inhibitor used in Scandinavia during the study period. (IANS)