If you thought McDonald’s was the only food capable of giving you artery busting bad health, think again.
A recent study shows an Egyptian princess who lived more than 3,500 years ago had a really bad case of clogged arteries – dispelling the age-old myth that heart disease is a modern problem.
Performing scans on 52 mummies in Cairo and the United States, scientists found that 44 of them had chunks of calcium stuck to their arteries.
“Atherosclerosis clearly existed more than 3,000 years ago,” explained Adel Allam, a cardiology professor at Al Azhar University in Cairo, leader of the study along with his colleague Gregory Thomas, director of nuclear cardiology education at the University of California in Irvine.
“We [obviously] cannot blame this disease on modern civilization.”
Of the mummies studied, scientists found Princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon of Thebes (now Luxor) who lived between 1540 and 1550 B.C. had heart disease, making her officially the oldest mummy with the condition.
“If she were my patient today, she would [definitely] get open heart surgery,” Allam said.
He added that her insides seemed much like those of modern Egyptians with the same affliction. The 43 younger mummies with heart problems had issues running the gamut from artery to congenital heart problems.
Egyptologists believe the ancient Egyptians ate primarily beef, pork, mutton, antelope, duck, and other meats along with fruits and vegetables. Joep Perk, a professional of health sciences at Sweden’s Linnaeus University, believes the heart disease was caused by too much meat and not enough exercise.
“The pharaohs and other royalty probably had more fat in their diet than the average Egyptian… The sculptures and hieroglyphs may show people who were very thin and beautiful, but the reality may have been different.”
(Via Daily Mail)