ANCIENT REMEDIES FOR MODERN MALADIES
SCIENTISTS ARE DIGGING UP THE SECRETS TO GOOD HEALTH.
Scientists are digging up the secrets to good health. Try these tips sifted from history.
B one-diggers come in many specialities – think bioarchaeology and paleopathology – and it’s not only the past that interests them. “The motto of the Paleopathology Association is mortui viventes docent, or ‘the dead teach the living,’” says Valentina Giuffra., a paleopathologist at the University of Pisa. Scientists can find new treatments when they explore the origin and evolution of diseases that still afflict us. Try these tips sifted from history. 1. PROTECT YOUR TEETH, HELP YOUR HEART Heart disease isn’t just a product of our modern lifestyle. It was a global problem more than 3 000 years ago, says Michaela Binder, a bioarchaeologist at the Austrian Archaeological Institute. “On CT scans, we are increasingly finding calcification in the arteries of mummies,” she says. People of all social categories were affected. And research suggests that bacteria related to dental diseases are an ancient cause of heart disease – and still prevalent today. (Those germs may trigger inflammation that negatively affects arteries.)
THE TAKEAWAY Do what those mummies can’t: see a dentist twice a year, and pamper your teeth.