Livin' on the MDedge

Canned diabetes prevention and a haunted COVID castle


Lower blood sugar with sardines

sardines in a tin can Brand X Pictures/

If you’ve ever turned your nose up at someone eating sardines straight from the can, you could be the one missing out on a good way to boost your own health.

New research from Open University of Catalonia (Spain) has found that eating two cans of whole sardines a week can help prevent people from developing type 2 diabetes (T2D). Now you might be thinking: That’s a lot of fish, can’t I just take a supplement pill? Actually, no.

“Nutrients can play an essential role in the prevention and treatment of many different pathologies, but their effect is usually caused by the synergy that exists between them and the food that they are contained in,” study coauthor Diana Rizzolo, PhD, said in a written statement. See, we told you.

In a study of 152 patients with prediabetes, each participant was put on a specific diet to reduce their chances of developing T2D. Among the patients who were not given sardines each week, the proportion considered to be at the highest risk fell from 27% to 22% after 1 year, but for those who did get the sardines, the size of the high-risk group shrank from 37% to just 8%.

Suggesting sardines during checkups could make eating them more widely accepted, Dr. Rizzolo and associates said. Sardines are cheap, easy to find, and also have the benefits of other oily fish, like boosting insulin resistance and increasing good cholesterol.

So why not have a can with a couple of saltine crackers for lunch? Your blood sugar will thank you. Just please avoid indulging on a plane or in your office, where workers are slowly returning – no need to give them another excuse to avoid their cubicle.

Come for the torture, stay for the vaccine

Bran Castle in Romania is the purported home of Dracula MMZ84 from Pixabay

Bran Castle. Home of Dracula and Vlad the Impaler (at least in pop culture’s eyes). A moody Gothic structure atop a hill. You can practically hear the ancient screams of thousands of tortured souls as you wander the grounds and its cursed halls. Naturally, it’s a major tourist destination.

Unfortunately for Romania, the pandemic has rather put a damper on tourism. The restrictions have done their damage, but here’s a quick LOTME theory: Perhaps people don’t want to be reminded of medieval tortures when we’ve got plenty of modern-day ones right now.

The management of Bran Castle has developed a new gimmick to drum up attendance – come to Bran Castle and get your COVID vaccine. Anyone can come and get jabbed with the Pfizer vaccine on all weekends in May, and when they do, they gain free admittance to the castle and the exhibit within, home to 52 medieval torture instruments. “The idea … was to show how people got jabbed 500-600 years ago in Europe,” the castle’s marketing director said.

While it may not be kind of the jabbing ole Vladdy got his name for – fully impaling people on hundreds of wooden stakes while you eat a nice dinner isn’t exactly smiled upon in today’s world – we’re sure he’d approve of this more limited but ultimately beneficial version. Jabbing people while helping them really is the dream.


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