October 4, 2021 – When Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, some residents of Pompeii, Italy, sought refuge in stone vaults on nearby beaches, but to no avail: lava flows still took their lives Took. But the molten rock did not erase the evidence of how they lived and ate. their bones tell a story of how Mediterranean diet That has changed over time, according to new research.
In a study published in science advanceIn this article, the researchers describe using proteins from the bones of 17 of these victims to determine that Food sources that nourish the people of Pompeii.
We are what we eat, and our bodies create new materials using protein We take in. Bones are in a constant state of breaking down and building up, and the protein they contain reflects what we have in our recent diets. In a recent study, researchers compared the characteristics of protein bone material fish, land animals, and edible plants from the same time period to determine who was eating what at that time.
They found that men eat more fish and women eat more land animal products and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Fish was harder to access and thus more expensive, the authors say, suggesting that the males’ higher social status may explain the gender differences in their diets.
For modern humans, the findings suggest that the Mediterranean diet, often considered the healthiest for us, has changed little over the past 2,000 years. The inhabitants of the area probably ate too much at the time of the Vesuvius eruption. fish than is included in today’s diet, but less in the form of cereals.
The study approach, the authors wrote, could allow other accurate comparisons of past diets to current versions and inform our understanding of how changes in these diets affect human health.