Fish oil may prevent negative impacts of high-fructose diet
“Metabolic syndrome” describes a constellation of factors (such as large waistline and elevated blood lipids) that increase a person’s risk for heart disease and other serious health problems. One factor thought by some to be involved in the recent rise in metabolic syndrome is overconsumption of foods and beverages sweetened with sucrose (table sugar) or high-fructose corn syrup. To shed light on which dietary factors might be important in metabolic syndrome risk, a research team led by Drs. Peter Havel (UC Davis) and Andrew Bremer (Vanderbilt University) and performed at the CNPRC studied what happens when rhesus monkeys fed a fructose-rich diet are also given fish oil supplements.
Tracking Diet Transitions During Infancy From Teeth
Excerpt from: Harvard University Press Release, May 2013
Like the rings found in tree trunks, teeth form following a regular pattern that creates permanent daily lines in enamel and dentine, which can be viewed and counted under a microscope.
Barium levels in the deciduous (baby) teeth of human children increase with the introduction of breast milk and/or formula following birth. Barium transfer is restricted by the placenta, but rises after birth from the consumption of breast milk and rises further with the introduction of formula, which has higher barium levels than breast milk.
Examination of molars in four captive macaques at the CNPRC by Dr. Katie Hinde also revealed that barium is enriched in the enamel and dentine formed after birth, which peaked during periods of exclusive suckling, and declined during periods of supplementation. The power of this approach is further confirmed by direct comparisons of barium levels in macaque teeth and their mother’s milk, which show similar changes through time.
This is the first demonstration that major dietary shifts in early life are accurately recorded as elemental signals that remain apparent in primate fossil teeth.
By applying these new techniques to primate teeth in museum collections, we can more precisely assess maternal investment across individuals within species, as well as life history evolution among species.