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Mummies had heart attacks too? News Article or Outlandish Attack.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 11, 2013 at 3:22 PM

http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/03/11/what-the-hardened-arteries-of-ancient-mummies-mean-for-picking-a-diet/print/

The mummies they are studying date back to 4,000 years ago yet humans have been eating grains for 30,000 years. This reporter seems to be particularly inept. Anyone care to take him down at the knees? The one line that is interesting is the claim that it doesn't matter what diet your on. What are your thoughts on that?

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on March 12, 2013
at 02:01 AM

It reads like a school kid's rushed homework, cut and pasted from Yahoo Answers.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 11, 2013
at 11:48 PM

The Unangan were hunter/gatherers, not neolithic. They had the same diet as the Inuit. But the sample used (5 mummies) was small.

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3 Answers

2
26e2364f7966432bbf8acfe930583674

(460)

on March 11, 2013
at 03:57 PM

The Egyptians, Peruvians and Puebloans are well known to have been agricultural civilizations, so the claims that the article levels are false for three of the four civilizations to begin with.

From a statistical perspective, it is asinine to think that these mummies are representative of anything.

It is well established that the Egyptians and Peruvians who were mummified were much better off than their contemporaries. At minimum this leads to a substantial dietary disconnect relative to the diets proffered as representative of a particular culture over a particular time period based upon historical documents, analysis of historical land use, and chemical analysis of both refuse heaps and human remains.

With respect to the Puebloan and Unangan remains, generalizing from such a small sample of five sets of remains per group is ridiculous.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on March 11, 2013
at 11:38 PM

The studies took ~3500 year old mummies, and found that they had artherosclerosis.

This has almost nothing to do with the Paleo diet. To start with the people/mummies were not Paleolithic, the mummies were about 3500 years old, so they are more accurately Neolithic or later. Technically the Paleolithic period extends from about 2.6 million years ago to about 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic period extends from there to about 2000-4500 years ago. These mummies might even be from the copper or bronze age.

Humans are thought to start evolving about 250,000 years ago. The period of human evolution that is the basis of the Paleo diet is the first 240,000 of those years, which ended 6500 years before these mummies existed.

The Egyptian cultures were agrarian and almost certainly had grains as a staple, which obviously isn't part of the Paleo diet. The people that could afford to be mummified were rich, who probably ate the most refined foods available at the time -- perhaps close to the modern SAD diet. They probably didn't get a lot of exercise and drank too much. So these mummies might more accurately reflect today's humans than Paleo humans.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 11, 2013
at 11:48 PM

The Unangan were hunter/gatherers, not neolithic. They had the same diet as the Inuit. But the sample used (5 mummies) was small.

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 11, 2013
at 03:50 PM

The name dropping "paleolithic" in this article is pretty ridiculous. They are only talking about quite modern, neolithic people.

I'm not too bothered about the claim that diet doesn't really matter - age is still the best correlation we have for CVD.

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