An amazing discovery in the jungles of South America is causing scientists to rethink fundamental assumptions about who we are and our diets.
A major discovery in the rainforest of Bolivia has totally floored scientists. Researchers who examined the Tsimane people, a tribe that lives in a remote corner of the South American country, found that they had the loweset rates of heart disease ever measured in any population of people anywhere on Earth, and scientists are trying to determine why.
Scientists are looking at their diet as a possible reason, but it’s not something that the Western world is likely to embrace. The Tsimane people eat monkeys like howlers and capuchins, hog nosed coons, wild pigs, piranha, catfish, and fruits and nuts that they gather.
The study was published in the medical journal the Lancet, and it announced the remarkable finding that their coronary artery disease was far lower than most populations, and the lowest recorded, based on examining 705 members of the Tsimane tribe.
“Our study shows that the Tsimane indigenous South Americans have the lowest prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis of any population yet studied,” said senior anthropology author, Professor Hillard Kaplan, University of New Mexico, USA. “Their lifestyle suggests that a diet low in saturated fats and high in non-processed fibre-rich carbohydrates, along with wild game and fish, not smoking and being active throughout the day could help prevent hardening in the arteries of the heart. The loss of subsistence diets and lifestyles could be classed as a new risk factor for vascular ageing and we believe that components of this way of life could benefit contemporary sedentary populations.”
“Conventional thinking is that inflammation increases the risk of heart disease,” said Professor Randall Thompson, cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, USA. “However, the inflammation common to the Tsimane was not associated with increased risk of heart disease, and may instead be the result of high rates of infections.”