Breed Of Hog Being Used For Medical Research

US - Researchers at Purdue University say one breed of pig is helping them find cures for common human diseases.
calendar icon 28 December 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

"They're relatively healthy if they're on a lean diet and remain active," says Dr. Mike Sturek, of the University School of Medicine. "But if they take the couch potato sort of angle and eat too much food and don't do any exercise then they really display a gross propensity to obesity."

According to researchers at Purdue, the physiology of the ossabaw hog is so human-like that they make ideal study subjects for human diseases.

"Our main emphasis really is what happens with the metabolic syndrome and diabetes and how does that actually elicit excess coronary artery disease," says Dr. Sturek.

Doctors say the pigs with clogged arteries receive the same life-saving therapies that are used on people.

Like people, experts say inactive hogs who eat a lot have an increased risk of insulin resistance, high blood pressure and excess belly fat.

"We also have seen that their ovaries, in some cases, do become cystic, that they are heavier on average, they're longer on average," says Dr. Rebecca Krisher, of Purdue University.

Source: KDKA
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