Thursday, March 14, 2013

What you eat

Watching the evening news half-heartedly, I heard them announce a scientific test of ancient mummies reveal evidence of clogged arteries...

Now, before you go all postal and preachy on me, let me say that I am not telling you to change your eating habits or food orientation. If it works for you, I'm so happy for you. But what works for you may not work for me, and  it certainly doesn't work for everyone. So back to the news...

The mummified  remains of humans from several different parts of the world were put through CAT SCANS and the results showed fully 1/3 of  the mummies tested showed signs of atherosclerosis. In past studies, conducted only on mummies from Egypt, these same findings were dismissed because the doctors assumed that those people were just as lazy and had the same eating habits as we do  today. This new study, however used mummies from South America and the Arctic regions of North America and surprise, surprise, surprise... They had the same hard arteries and evidence of heart disease as we and the ancient Egyptians. My immediate reaction was one of elation, because I was sure that medical science was dead wrong on this point. If the people of the agrarian cultures of South America were dieing of heart disease and plaque build up in their arteries 4,000 years before cigarettes and Big Macs were even dreamed of, then I was just fine with my french fries and onion rings and an occasional Super Big Carl with double cheese.

"A common assumption is that the rise in levels of atherosclerosis is predominantly lifestyle-related, and that if modern humans could emulate pre-industrial or even pre-agricultural lifestyles, that atherosclerosis, or at least its clinical manifestations, would be avoided,”

“Our findings seem to cast doubt on that assumption, and at the very least, we think they suggest that our understanding of the causes of atherosclerosis is incomplete, and that it might be somehow inherent to the process of human aging.

“The fact that we found similar levels of atherosclerosis in all of the different cultures we studied, all of whom had very different lifestyles and diets, suggests that atherosclerosis may have been far more common in the ancient world than previously thought,”

said, Cardiologist  Randall Thompson, who headed up the study

Of course there were some opposing  viewpoints written that seemed to equate the cattle cooked and eaten  by the rich lazy Egyptians was the same hormone injected anti-biotic laced corn feed  beef we have on our plates today. One even went so far as to suggest that the damage blamed on smoking for the last 20 years was present 4,000 years ago  because ancient peoples cooked over open fires and ingested the smoke while cooking.

Then in another dissenting opinion, a Paleocardiologist and professor at the Icahn School of Medicine (wow talk about someone finding an obscure college degree) said that the more well nourished they were,  the longer they lived and that gave them more time to build up more plaques (to me and my BSCS degree it sounds like the good doctor is agreeing). And then a radiology professor  chimed in, that 4,000 years is barely a tick of the clock on an evolutionary scale and that man of 6,000 years ago is essentially the same as modern man (again it seems to support the new assumption that it's just a  natural thing in humans.

So eat what you desire but keep in mind what my mom used to say,

"All things in moderation"

And just so the scoffers can't say I made this up...

here are a few references

and if you have access to The Lancet Medical Journal  you may read it there too.

now quit loafing at your keyboard and go take a yoga class, Because stress kills and exercise relieves stress

6 comments: said...

That is interesting and good to know. I'll continue to enjoy an occasional fast food run.


NanaDiana said...

Wow- That is a really fascinating study- Hope you had a great day, Kurt- xo Diana


Of course,because they were meat-eaters! I wish they'd do studies on the peasants who could not afford to eat meat so became vegans instead. A vegan diet has no saturated fats or cholesterol the main ingredients[it is presumed] that leads to heart disease.


Really enjoyed this post btw so thanks.

* Still laughing at your "vegan lunch" posting on FB.. :)

Karen said...

Your mother was a wise woman! Tis true, don't ya know.

very interesting mummy finds as well, I would not have believed that to be true without the evidence.

Betty Manousos said...

hi kurt, it's been a while. hope you're doing well. now that is a really brilliant study.
good to know..
and thanks for sharing.

thank you for your lovely comment and continued support my friend. it really does mean a lot to me!