Thursday, 6 August 2009

Don't smoke the sheep!

No-one is sure what causes diabetes. A number of factors and theories have been put forward, uppermost amongst them being genetic and environmental. Being pre-disposed genetically does not mean that you will get diabetes, indeed there is to my knowledge no-one in my family apart from myself who has developed it. Stress is considered a possible trigger, or a viral attack, and I did suffer both of these before being diagnosed.
Various scientific studies have observed a greater prevalence among certain populations, lending strength to the environmental theory. One particularly strange study I read about recently concerned the high proportion of Type 1 diabetic children in Iceland. The development of the disease often seemed to occur among children conceived during the late autumn and early winter months, and further investigation revealed that, at this time of year a popular traditional dish of smoked mutton was consumed by both men and women. Smoked mutton contains something called nitrose-amines, and it is thought that these may have an adverse effect on the beta-cells of a child – the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. Studies among populations of mice revealed that up to 16% of the progeny of mice fed foods containing the nitrose-amines developed diabetes. The proportion was higher among male progeny.
So, the study concluded, don’t eat smoked mutton before having sex if you are hoping to conceive a child!

In the far off land of fire and ice
Where warrior tales are told,
They love to eat the slow-cooked meat
Of a lamb that’s grown too old...

The sagas tell of valiant men
Who came across the seas,
They’d plunder and they’d pillage, then
Their womenfolk they’d please!

But legend brings a warning dire –
‘Tis dangerous to eat
A sheep cooked on a smoking fire
Before a carnal treat!

For should a child be then conceived
Especially if it’s male
For one in six, it is believed
Its pancreas might fail...

So let this be among your checks
If you are feeling amorous –
Don’t smoke sheep before having sex
Even if you find them glamorous!

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