Ancient Mummies With Clogged Arteries? | Natural Health Podcast

Date: 04/12/2013

Heart Disease in Ancient Civilization

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Under the leadership of Dr. Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, researchers unpacked 137 ancient mummies and subjected them to CT scans. They were looking for signs of atherosclerosis, which they found in one-third of the long-dead subjects. It's the same rate of the disease as we have in modern times.

The fact that 47 of the ancient mummies showed plaque build-up in the arteries blows up the commonly held idea that returning to a prehistoric diet would solve our health problems. It also casts doubt on the widely held assumption that it's largely the modern lifestyle that causes our high rates of cardiovascular disease. The medical community typically blames plaque build-up in the arteries on lack of exercise and a junk-food diet.

In a sense, whether heredity plays the greatest role in the development of plaque-buildup matters little. Even if heredity does make you more vulnerable to atherosclerosis, eating right and exercising likely diminishes the odds that you're going to clog your arteries and die. The inverse also is true: if you eat like Henry the VIII, you're probably going to clog your arteries and keel over whether you have heredity working for or against you. Study after study shows that following a healthy lifestyle prolongs life and that indulging in unhealthy habits shortens life.  If you do have atherosclerosis in your family line, though, you might want to take extra precautions, like introducing proteolytic enzymes, raw foods, and Omega 3's to your regimen if you don't already take them.

As for the curse of the mummies, you can't really blame those ancient ones if they do return to haunt the researchers.  Can you imagine waking up inside a CT machine 4000 years in the future and getting zapped by 200 times as much radiation as you'd get from a chest x-ray? And if those mummies do reanimate, they might be able to sue the physicians for inducing cancer, as CT scans can do.


    Submitted by LISA on
    June 15, 2013 - 1:19pm

    Every civilization has it's problems, every civilization has it's merits, but I really think this society in the current day is making life more difficult for people -- we are heading toward some kind of catastrophy. Most people are too scared to contemplate the common sense possibilities, and are too in denial to even pinpoint the problems.

    Submitted by Bill Sangster on
    March 6, 2014 - 6:44pm

    It is a domino effect :


    Submitted by Jeff on
    November 17, 2017 - 2:54pm

    Since the bodies under study were mummies, I'd guess they were Egyptian. Since the ancient Egyptians didn't eat a prehistoric diet, to infer that the fact that many mummies had arterial plaque does not suggest that such diets have no value to those with cardiovascular disease..
    Let's look at what the ancient Egyptians actually ate...and compare that with how real prehistoric humans ate for much longer periods of time before making assumptions. Perhaps it's more that the ancient Egyptian diets were low in sources of Vit K2.

    Submitted by Karl on
    January 16, 2018 - 5:52pm

    As Jeff said, ancient Egypt is not prehistoric!

    Farming was practiced for thousands of years before mummification was possible.

    Human nutrition changed radically with the domestication of plants - especially grains - and animals that suppliy dairy products.

    Submitted by D. A. Metrov on
    March 5, 2019 - 1:11pm

    It was mostly the royal Egyptians who were mummified. And we know they ate lots of animal products, just like royalty in the Middle Ages. The average Egyptian ate simple fruits, grains, and veggies, and probably had little to no plaque.

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