Monkey, piranha-eating people found to have lowest rates of heart disease

Monkey, piranha-eating people found to have lowest rates of heart disease

The Tsimane people, who live in thatched huts in an isolated corner of Bolivian jungle, have surprisingly the lowest rates of heart disease ever measured in the entire world.

Researchers believe that the secret of the Tsimane people’s lowest rates of heart disease might be in hidden in their unique diet. Their main meal often consists of monkey, capuchins or howlers. They also eat hog-nosed coons, a kind of wild pig called peccary, piranha and catfish.

Sometimes, they also gather and eat wild fruits and nuts. However, they also grow rice, corn and plantains on small farm plots.

Co-author Randall Thompson, a cardiologist at Kansas City-based St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, said, “If you think of the calcium plaque as a reasonable measure of arterial age, their arteries are 28 to 30 years younger than ours,” said “Obviously the Tsimane are achieving something that we are not.”

The researchers examined 705 Tsimanes by conducting sophisticated X-ray scans of their coronary arteries. The scans allowed them to determine calcium plaque’s amount in their arteries to estimate their risk of heart disease. The Tsimane people measured, on this basis, much healthier than Americans and Europeans.

The surprising findings of the new study appeared in the Friday (March 17th) edition of the Lancet, a peer-reviewed medical journal.


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