The world’s healthiest and longest living people have been the fascination of researchers for several decades running. Residents of Okinawa, Japan attribute their longevity to several habits, chief among them an exotic vegetable that has been a staple of their diets for centuries.
The Hunza of Pakistan have their own healthy secrets and live up to 120 in some cases.
Recently, researchers from Arizona State University crunched the numbers and found out that one indigenous tribe has the healthiest hearts of any group of people in the world.
Research on this tribe has been the fascination of university scientists, who recently shared their findings with the world in a press release.
“It’s Kind of an Exciting Paper”
Researchers examined the hearts of the Tsimane tribe of Bolivia and found that its members have incredible hearts and cardiovascular symptoms that are a picture of perfect health.
The average Tsimane member has arteries equal to a 50-year-old American, researchers discovered.
“One of the key things about this study is we’ve always thought populations living these traditional lifestyles had low risk factors,” study co-author Ben Trumble said,
“But we were never able to show before that they actually did have these very low levels of atherosclerosis.
“This is the first time it’s been shown.”
Researchers stated that the Tsimane eat the same amount of meat Americans do, but the meat is much leaner as it comes from wild animals instead of animals fattened up on GMO grains like in the United States.
The average hunt for a Tismane man takes between five to six hours and takes them up to 10 miles in the wilderness. About 90 percent of the Tsimane’s food comes from hunting, fishing, foraging and farming.
As of 2017 when the study was conducted, none of the Tsimane’s communities had electricity and none of them had running water.
Most tribal members still speak their native language, and trips from villages to towns take days to complete.
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High Inflammation and Healthy Hearts
“That’s what makes this population really interesting to study,” Trumble said.
“You could say, ‘Oh, they get four to seven hours of activity per day, and they’re not eating cheeseburgers, so of course they’re not going to get heart disease.’
According to Trumble, the tribe has high levels of inflammation, a surprising fact considering their low levels of heart disease.
“But the thing that makes this population really interesting is that they have such levels of inflammation. We’ve always thought of inflammation as this major cause of heart disease.
“They’re just getting it from a different source, and it’s not having any effect at all.”
The tribe also has low levels of coronary artery disease. They don’t eat processed foods, genetically engineered foods, or foods containing trans fats like Americans do, which may explain their healthy hearts.
Their active lifestyle makes a tremendous difference, researchers added.
“While the active lifestyle, lean diet, minimal obesity and smoking are all consistent with having a healthy heart, (the) Tsimane also experience high levels of inflammation and low levels of ‘good cholesterol,’” co-author Michael Gurven said according to Arizona State University.
“Given this combination of factors consistent with both low and high risk, it is remarkable that the Tsimane have such low levels of coronary artery disease.”
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