Oct. 4, 2021 — When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, some residents of Pompeii, Italy, sought shelter in stone vaults on close by seashores, however to no avail: The lava flows nonetheless took their lives. However molten rock didn’t erase proof of how they lived and what they ate. Their bones inform a narrative of how the Mediterranean diet has modified over time, in response to new analysis.
In a examine printed in Science Advances, researchers describe utilizing proteins from the bones of 17 of those victims to find out the food sources that nourished the people of Pompeii.
We’re what we eat, and our our bodies construct new materials utilizing the protein we absorb. Bones are in a continuing state of breaking down and increase, and the proteins they comprise will mirror what’s in our latest weight loss program. Within the latest examine, researchers in contrast options of protein content material of the bones to these of fish, land animals, and meals crops from the identical time interval to find out who was consuming what on the time.
They discovered that males ate extra fish and ladies tended to eat extra land animal merchandise and regionally grown fruits and vegetables. Fish was tougher to entry and thus dearer, the authors say, suggesting that the upper social standing of the boys might clarify the gender hole of their diets.
For the trendy human, the findings recommend that the Mediterranean weight loss program, typically touted as most wholesome for us, has modified a bit during the last 2,000 years or so. Residents of the realm on the time of the Vesuvius eruption most likely ate much more fish than the weight loss program consists of immediately, however much less in the best way of grains.
The examine’s method “additionally offered dietary information of enough precision for comparability with assessments of meals provide to fashionable populations, opening up the potential for benchmarking historical diets in opposition to modern settings the place the implications for well being are higher understood,” the researchers mentioned.