BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39356.443970.471 (Published 04 October 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:728

House cats may serve as sensitive sentinels in assessing human exposure and adverse health outcomes related to low level but chronic PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) found in flame retardants, which end up as household dust. The risks in young animals, through even brief exposure in cat food, include mild learning impairments and reduced concentrations of circulating thyroxine. The risks are unknown in humans, but parents may be advised to vacuum frequently (Science NewsOnline 15September 2007 www.sciencenews.org/articles/20070915/food.asp).

People with fatty livers tend to develop insulin resistance and raised glucose concentrations, but Japanese researchers now think that whether diabetes develops depends on the type of fatty acids in the liver. They created a strain of mice lacking an enzyme that increases the length of the carbon chain of fatty acids, and these mutant mice developed fatty livers which were predominantly made up of shorter fatty acids. When fed on high fat diets, these mice developed …

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