BBC has the story:
The beaming smiles of gold-medal winners Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah are some of the defining memories of London 2012.
But a team at University College London says many competitors had dental problems.
“Our data and other studies suggest that, for a similar age profile, the oral health of athletes is poor. It’s quite striking,” said lead researcher Prof Ian Needleman.
He said eating large amounts of carbohydrates regularly, including sugary energy drinks, was damaging teeth.
Impaired immune system function associated with hard training may also play a role.
Many, if not most, high-level athletes think high carbohydrate consumption is necessary for optimal performance. They should know better than I. For their sake, I hope meticulous oral care—brushing, flossing, professional cleaning—helps preserve dental health.
Cross-section of a tooth
Jimmy posted a recent interview with type 1 diabetic Dr. Keith R. Runyan, who is a nephrologist and internist.
Dr. Runyan is training for the Great Floridian Triathlon this coming October so he naturally has a great interest in high level athleticism as it intersects with diabetes. He fuels his workouts with dietary fats and proteins rather than the standard carbohydrates.
Dr. Runyan’s current carb consumption level didn’t come up specifically in the interview, but his website indicates he’s on a ketogenic diet heavily influenced by Dr. Richard Bernstein. I figure he’s eating under 50 grams of digestible carbohydrate daily. He also tried Loren Cordain’s paleo diet; my sense is that it didn’t help much with his diabetes, but perhaps some. My sense is that he incorporates at least a few paleo features into his current eating plan.
People with type 2 diabetes can probably tolerate a higher level of carbohydrates, compared to type 1’s, generally speaking. This didn’t come up in the podcast interview.
Overall, the interview strongly supports carbohydrate-restricted eating for folks with diabetes. Definitely worth a listen for anyone with diabetes who’s not sold on a very-low-carb diet. If you’re sitting on the fence, at least check out Dr. Runyan’s “About Me” page.
Steve Parker, M.D.
Triathlon: run, swim, bike