Siberian Huskies that race in the Iditarod are some of the most energy efficient animals on the planet. They hardly show normal signs of fatigue after running hundreds of miles day after day
Is is possible that their fat burning knack help to locate ways to treat and stop obesity type 2 diabetes?
On the road to discover this is Michael Davis who as a professor, has studied exercise physiology in Siberian Huskies. Davis recently finished the initial research phase of examining how Siberian huskies training for the taxing Iditarod, become “insulin-sensitive” and effortlessly change fat into energy.
“If we can figure out what exercise is doing to start the process, then we may be able to find how it can be applied to everyone, whether or not they are physically able to exercise,” he says.
Approximately twenty million Americans have diabetes. It has been shown that diet and exercise can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Insulin, a hormone created in the pancreas, typically helps the cells in the body extract glucose from the blood stream and turns it into energy. People with type 2 diabetes often have problems absorbing glucose.
In January, Davis chose sixteen Siberian Huskies in Iditarod that were in excellent shape from the kennel of one of the present racers and had the siberians run for twenty-two miles at a rapid pace of eight mph. Half the dogs were anesthetized for five minutes while researchers took small muscle biopsies from their legs; the other half were measured for insulin sensitivity using catheters.
Davis hopes to be able to understand how cells are reacting under various physical conditions by calculating the same dog’s metabolic stress on their muscles again after the summer, when they are no longer in shape.
The research he is doing spured the attention of at least one animal rights group that opposes experimentation.
Answering their statements, Davis mentions that compares to smaller animals such as mice and rats, dogs share more DNA with humans. “There is a greater likelihood that something you discover in dogs will be directly relevant to humans,” he says.