Dogs are not just awesome because they are loyal and cheerful. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have one more good reason. In a study published a few days ago in Diabetes Care
, the researchers determined that during a hypoglycemic attack in people with Type I diabetes, the amount of the naturally occurring chemical isoprene in a person's breath increases. And dogs can smell this chemical.
The researchers gradually lowered the blood sugar levels of eight women with Type I diabetes and analyzed the chemical makeup of the women's breath. It turns out that exhaled breath isoprene rose significantly at hypoglycemia compared with nonhypoglycemia.
In a press release, the University of Cambridge mentions how one woman's golden retriever (named Magic) will jump up and put his paws on her shoulders if her blood sugar is low. That's his signal that she's at risk for a hypoglycemic attack.
Finally, the scientists have a more understandable answer why and how dogs can recognize low blood sugar in humans, they're hoping the discovery can open up the possibility for new detection tools for diabetics.
source - http://www.theverge.com