Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Fun: Five Gross & Goofy Body Facts

  1. Like the water slowly dripping out of a leaky faucet, your never-ending trickle of spit really adds up. In just one day, most people produce enough saliva to fill between one and two 2-liter soda bottles.
  2. Love the sweet taste of honey? Guess what you’re eating? That’s right—spit! To make honey, bees roll thin, runny flower nectar around in their mouths. As the nectar warms up, the mixture gets thicker. Chemicals in the bees’ saliva break down the sugars in the nectar, so the honey is easy to digest. Bee spit also helps to keep the sugary liquid fresh for a long time.
  3. Has a grasshopper ever spit on you when you picked it up? The insect’s bitter spray is a mixture of saliva and partially digested food. Yuck!
  4. Sometimes a gila monster eats just a few large meals each year. A chemical in the lizard’s saliva helps to control the amount of sugar in its blood between feasts. Scientists are using the chemical to develop a new drug for patients with diabetes.
  5. Scientists have found two amazing chemicals in the spit of short-tailed shrews. One chemical could be perfect for treating throbbing migraine headaches, and it might also help reduce wrinkles. The other chemical could help lower blood pressure in patients with heart disease.

    Looking for more Gross & Goofy Body facts? Check out my new book It’s Spit-Acular: The Secrets of Saliva.

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