This deadly lizard may have spit that could help you shed a few pounds! Read on for more crazy facts about spit..
Did you know you can get salivary stones? These are very similar to kidney stones, but they occur in your salivary glands. Our spit contains calcium and can build up in our salivary ducts. Some studies blame dehydration, poor diet, or medicine, but ultimately they don't know what causes them.
These pesky little rocks are most common in adult males, and have been known to get up to 7cm... ouch! Depending on the size of the stone, most can work themselves out. Things like sucking on a sour candy can activate your glands and the saliva can rush out the stone. However in some cases, surgery is required.
Gila Monster Spit Cuts Food Cravings
Ever get intense cravings for food? Some foods, like chocolate, are loaded with sugar and fat; substances that activate reward pathways in our brains, much like illegal substances do. In fact, studies done at Yale show that food addiction is similar to actual drug addiction.
Well, thanks to the North American lizard the Gila Monster, we may be able to kick those cravings. This monster is feared for its dangerous bite, but its spit may put an end to food addiction.
Some researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, have discovered the Gila monsters spit is full of a compound called exendin-4. Similar to a drug, exendin-4 affects the reward and motivation regions of our brains. It satisfies food cravings without any actual food. They discovered the exciting benefits by testing lab rats. Rats are voracious eaters, but after they were given exendin-4, they lost their appetites. Scientists are hopeful that people struggling with their diets can take a pill of lizard spit and lose a few pounds! AND since the reward and motivation regions also control our want for drugs and alcohol, they are hopeful the spit can help break these addictions as well.
Spit Has Natural Painkillers
In addition to your mouth housing approximately 72 varieties of bacteria, it also produces one of the most powerful painkillers known to man. Our saliva is full of a substance called opiorphine, which has been found to be six times more powerful than morphine.
Studies done at the Pasteur Institute of Paris tested the effectiveness of opiorphine by injecting rats with a painful chemical. Afterwards, they applied opiorphine and the rats quit licking their wounded paws.
Opiorphine is still being tested, but scientists are happy with the results they have gotten. Opiorphine is not only stronger than morphine, it doesn't have any addictive side effects. They think it could also work as an antidepressant.
Parents Have Super Spit
For parents, a pacifier can be a huge stress reliever... or a huge stressor. They are very effetive in soothing a crying baby, but they're covered in germs, especially when they fall on the ground! A lot of parents just pick up the pacifier and rinse it at the sink, while some skip the sink and just suck the pacifier clean themselves.
As disgusting as it sounds, studies done at the University of Gothenburg show that babies whose parents sucked the pacifier clean were far less likely to develop eczema or asthma.