For many years now, it has been theorized that common forms of heart disease such as atherosclerosis were a modern affliction due to diets and lifestyles. According to a new study out of San Francisco, however, would suggest otherwise.
The study, published in The Lancet, investigated the arteries of multiple mummified bodies from around the world, including Egypt, Peru and even the southwestern United States. The results found that 137 of the mummies studied showed serious signs of arterial calcification, which signified the presence of atherosclerosis, most of whom were more than 4,000 years old. Signs of the disease were even discovered in the famous “Ice Man,” a famous 5,300 year-old mummy discovered in the alps in 1991.
It has long been believed that the diets and lifestyles in these regions during those periods were far too healthy for heart disease to be a health factor. Because of this, while diet and exercise still play a major role, researchers believe that genetics likely have a more significant impact in the presence of the disease than originally thought. That, or there is a significant cause for atherosclerosis that experts are just missing all together. Either way, it would seem that diet alone is not enough to fight off the disease. A combination of healthy diet and exercise is still your best bet in staving off the disease. They also believe that if trends continue as they have over the past 20 years, heart disease may be a thing of the past sooner than we might think thanks to evolutionary changes. So keep living that healthy lifestyle. Not just for you, but for the good of the species!
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