A diet rich in omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids cannot always prevent the occurrence of atherosclerosis. Scientists came to this conclusion by examining the mummies of the young Greenland Eskimos of the sixteenth century. The results of the study of mummies were published by the scientific journal JAMA Network Open.
In the course of their work, experts studied five well-preserved thanks to the cold mummies. They belonged to four adults. We are talking about two men from 18 to 22 and from 25 to 30 years and two women from 16 to 18 and from 25 to 30 years, as well as one child. All remains are over 500 years old.
Computed tomography showed that in three out of four adults, blood vessels were calcified. This is one of the signs of atherosclerosis, as a result of which the lumen of the arteries narrows and the risk of stroke or heart attack increases.
The Greenland Eskimos mainly ate fish and other foods rich in omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids. It is believed that such factors should, on the contrary, interfere with the occurrence of atherosclerosis. However, in the case of these Greenlanders this did not happen.
While scientists suggest that atherosclerosis in the Eskimos could cause smoke from the foci that they constantly inhaled in their homes – similar to how this disease causes smoking today. However, these findings need to be confirmed by further research.
Earlier, the German heart surgeon of the Hanover Medical School, Professor Axel Haverich, concluded that narrowing of the arteries as a result of the occurrence of atherosclerosis does not occur due to the accumulation of cholesterol in the vessels.