In the first world, we tend to see rising blood pressure as an unavoidable consequence of ageing.
However, according to a new study on the Yanomami tribe in South America, our blood pressure problems may have less to do with our age and more to do with our Western diets.
According to researchers, the Yanomami diet — consisting predominantly of fruit and fibre-rich foods — could be why tribe members of all ages have lower blood pressure.
So far, scientists have found it difficult to investigate the causes of the rise in blood pressure in old age.
Numerous theories have sprung up surrounding specific diets and foods that may have an effect on blood pressure, but it’s difficult to find a control group with the correct conditions.
Although, according to a press release from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, a research team has managed to conduct a study on the Yanomami, a South American tribe. YouTube / RedDoor Video Rising blood pressure may be an avoidable consequence of Western diet, according to new research involving members of the Yanomami tribe. Epidemiologist Noel T. Mueller and his team suspected that the drastically different diet of the Yanomami — which consists of lots of fruit and fibre-rich foods and largely free of fats and salts — had an influence on their blood pressure.
To test their theory, they measured blood pressure in Yanomami members of all ages.
One discovery that struck them was that, across the board, Yanomami blood pressure barely changed across different age groups. Food changes in early childhood could prevent high blood pressure in old age
"The idea that rising blood pressure is a result of aging is a widely held belief in cardiology, but our findings add to evidence that rising blood pressure may be an avoidable consequence of Western diet and lifestyle rather than ageing itself," said Mueller.
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This correlated with findings from on investigating another tribe living in South America, the Ye’kuana.
The Ye’kuana isn’t as isolated as the Yanomami and they conduct trade with the industrialized world — while they consume a lot less than most in the Western world, their diet does consist of some processed foods.
"This age-related rise in blood pressure begins in early childhood — which suggests that early childhood may be a ‘window of opportunity’ for lifestyle interventions to prevent later rises in blood pressure," said Mueller.
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