AN­CIENT REME­DIES FOR MODERN MAL­ADIES

SCI­EN­TISTS ARE DIG­GING UP THE SE­CRETS TO GOOD HEALTH.

Men's Health (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY RON GERACI

Sci­en­tists are dig­ging up the se­crets to good health. Try these tips sifted from his­tory.

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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.

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