Daily Dose: 10/8/2

A Third Type of Diabetes?: Researchers have long been investigating the effects of diet on the brain, but some are even beginning to use the term “Type 3 Diabetes” to refer to Alzheimer’s disease caused by a sugary, processed diet. When there is too much sugar in your system, your body naturally produces more insulin. Cells may become resistant to this insulin, though, and therefore don’t get enough energy in deteriorate. If this happens to brain cells, it can lead to memory loss and confusion – two of the major symptoms of Alzheimer’s. For ways to decrease this risk, check out this Women’s Health article.

You Could Give Your Pet the Flu: Yup, that’s right. Researchers have discovered that cats and dogs may catch the flu from their owners more often than previously thought. Animals with the flu show the same symptoms as humans – runny nose, fatigue, and problems breathing. To avoid passing it on, experts suggest getting the flu shot, and if you do get the flu, minimizing contact with your pets the same way you would with another human being. It’s no wonder scientists are concerned with the idea of the flu being transferred from person to animal – diseases that jump from species to species can change in a way that make them more dangerous (swine fly, anyone?) Read more about this research here.

It Turns Out Birth Control Works: In a fairly unsurprising study, researchers found that access to free contraceptives such as the pill lead to fewer unintended pregnancies, fewer teenage pregnancies, and fewer abortions. A project in St. Louis tracked over 9,000 women, most of whom were poor or uninsured, over a two-year period. This seems like it would be obvious, but shows the possible longterm impact of new healthcare legislation, which would give millions of women access to free contraceptives.