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Atherosclerosis not linked to our lifestyle or diet

  1. Mar 11, 2013 #1
    A recent lancet article concluding -

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2013 #2


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    Hi thorium, interesting article. I wonder why they say that atherosclerosis is believed to be a modern ailment? It seems the belief they were trying to test must be that the disease wasn't as common for people who lived years ago because of an allegedly better diet (less junk food) and higher level of activity (exercise). But isn't there evidence that diet and exercise DOES reduce atherosclerosis? If so, is the conclusion then that those ancient people also didn't eat right and get enough exercise? :tongue2:
  4. Mar 16, 2013 #3
    Yes, there is substantial evidence that the risk of atherosclerosis in humans is associated with diet and level of exercise as well as genetic factors. And yes, the conclusion, given present evidence, is that the diet and lack of heavy physical activity among the ancient Egyptian upper classes can explain the presence of atherosclerotic lesions in mummified remains.

    It's also true that atherosclerosis can be induced in a variety of mammalian and bird species by feeding them a high fat diet while in captivity.




    Note the second link was published in 1948, indicating the evidence is quite old and has been confirmed by the considerable weight of additional studies since.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  5. Mar 16, 2013 #4


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    Thanks for that Stephen. It kinda struck me that we often think of junk food and a sedentary lifestyle as modern afflictions, but obviously that isn't true.

    As for those poor old birds and mammalians being fed those high fat diets, I wonder why those scientists did that to those nice animals when all they need to do is autopsy our pets.
  6. Mar 17, 2013 #5
    You're welcome. That study with diethylstilbestrol was an early indication of the role of blood lipids in what was then called "atheromatosis". The fact that it can be induced in birds as well as mammals is an indication that the potential for this disease probably developed quite some time ago with the common ancestors. It's also an indication to not feed your pets table food and to make sure they get plenty of exercise.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  7. Mar 17, 2013 #6
    The point, the author was making there was particular tribe (among the other tribes studied) which they believed to be a pre agriculture society, that had features suggestive of atherosclerosis, also other tribes lived in ancient times where disease and famine were quite common.
    A pre agriculture tribe would have a lot more physical activity compared to a agriculture(atleast that is the assumption).

    Honestly if you ask me, i do not know what to make of the article, also i would question their conclusion. But, i am much more irritated that a journal like lancet prints this article with such a conclusion.

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