General, Research, Technology

Historical evidence has shown that fish diets do not protect against fatal vascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases like heart attack andcoronary heart disease are some of the most common causes of death in the 20th century. It is believed that the cause of most fatal heart diseases is so-called atherosclerosis. With this disease, cholesterol plaques form in the arteries of a person, as a result of which the arteries can become clogged and lead to death. The reasons for the development of atherosclerosis are many, ranging from air pollution and malnutrition. That is why people are advised to visit nature more and eat only natural products. It would seem that people living hundreds of years ago, breathing truly clean air and eating plants and fish, should not have suffered from atherosclerosis. But is it really so?

The mummy of an ancient resident of Greenland

Finding the answer to this questionResearchers from Ascension Healthcare, headquartered in the US state of Wisconsin. According to the scientific publication Jamanetwork, they contacted the leaders of the Museum of Archeology in Cambridge and studied four mummies of people who lived 500 years ago in what is now Greenland. It is known that they mainly fed on fish, which is rich in so-called omega-3 fatty acids, which, according to many scientists, prevents the development of atherosclerosis. Therefore, researchers drew attention to the state of their vessels - in theory, they should have been in perfect condition.

Did ancient people suffer from atherosclerosis?

At the disposal of scientists were mummifiedbodies of men and women who died hundreds of years ago at the age of 18 to 30 years. Their age was calculated by examining bones and teeth. It is known that the inhabitants of Greenland 500 years ago lived in houses built of stone, whale bones and seal skins. They hunted animals and fish with spears, bows and arrows. Mostly they were interested in birds, fish and various marine mammals.

See also: Identified genes responsible for the development of atherosclerosis

Having examined their bodies with a CT scannerthe researchers found that despite the proper nutrition by today's standards, mummies showed an accumulation of fatty substances in the arteries. From this, the researchers concluded that the fish diet cannot guarantee the preservation of the arteries in perfect condition.

Plaque in the abdominal mummy

Due to the fact that atherosclerosis is quitedifficult in terms of studying the disease, the researchers were unable to determine the exact cause of its occurrence. Perhaps, thanks to a special diet, ancient people were indeed less susceptible to the occurrence of atherosclerosis. However, fatty plaques may have formed for other reasons. For example, hundreds of years ago, people probably often breathed smoke from a fire, which can be considered breathing polluted air.

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The researchers ultimately concludedthat if there are problems with the vessels, it is important for people to immediately consult a doctor. It is definitely not worth counting on a fish diet and proper nutrition in general, and the study conducted is excellent proof of this.

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