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Ancient Mummies Had Clogged Arteries, Too

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by micropage7, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. micropage7


    Mar 26, 2010
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    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Across the globe and from several different time periods, mummies exhibited signs of narrowed arteries in CT scans. Here, a mummy shows signs of carotid artery narrowing

    Mummies from thousands of years ago and around the world show evidence of clogged arteries, new research finds.

    The findings, published Sunday (Mar. 10) in the journal The Lancet, suggest that atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease wherein calcium deposits narrow the arteries, may have been a universal disease in all human societies, and not wholly a result of the modern diet.

    "In three different continents and a total of five different sites prehistoric peoples had atherosclerosis," said study co-author Caleb Finch, a neurobiologist at the University of Southern California. While some researchers believed hardening of the arteries was a 20th-century disease, that results from modern overconsumption of fatty, sugary foods, "the generality of our observations suggests it is really a basic part of human aging under all circumstances."

    People have long debated whether clogged arteries and heart disease resulted from the fat and sugar-laden modern diet or an inevitable vagary of aging. There's no doubt that westernized diets have worsened diabetes, obesity and chronic disease, but whether a more primitive diet could completely eliminate those scourges was debatable.

    Finch and his colleagues used CT scanning to analyze the arteries of 137 mummies that spanned 4,000 years. The mummies came from Peruvian, ancestral Pueblo Indian, indigenous Aleutian islander, and ancient Egyptian populations. Some had been deliberately mummified, while others were naturally mummified due to environmental conditions.

    A mummified, woman in her mid-40s who lived in what is now Peru between 1,100 and 1,800 years ago showed signs of narrowed arteries.

    Most of the mummies were younger than about 60 years old. Despite some of the people coming from societies with a grain-based diet and others likely consuming mainly meat and fish, mummies from all populations showed atherosclerosis, or calcium deposits in their arteries. That can narrow the arteries and reduce blood flow, and if the calcium deposits rupture, it can cause heart attacks.

    The findings suggest that heart disease may be an unavoidable part of human aging. It's not clear how far back in evolutionary history this problem emerged: Our closest living relatives, chimpanzees, don't get atherosclerosis in the wild but do in captivity, Finch told LiveScience.

    Even if it's universal, however, that doesn't give people license to chow down on funnel cake and bacon, as ample evidence suggests modern fat- and sugar-heavy diets have worsened heart disease over the last century, Finch said.

  2. Phusius

    Phusius New Member

    Mar 23, 2012
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    This makes sense. I have read some scientists describe human life shouldn't be lasting as long as it does already, we were meant to reproduce, raise the offspring and then die. Instead our brains have developed far enough to the point where we can put off death further and further, we therfore replicate more and more and as said in the movie matrix, "we are like only one other organism in the world, a virus" for mammals adapt and create an equilibrium with their surroundings where as we humans and the virus replicate and spread and consume all resources and then spread to another part to survive.

    My college professor showed a chart upon which the human race will eventually have a great famine or disease will even out our populations again, so when that day comes, I guess we can be considered mammals again and not the virus. lol
  3. dunnmelaniej New Member

    Jan 16, 2013
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    Yeah I have read of these facts somewhere on web as well. This posts added confirmation to it.
  4. caleb

    Sep 15, 2004
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    137 specimens is still pure speculation...
    10 Year Member at TPU

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