Welcome to the latest edition of The Why. “Why are the Amish better at avoiding heart attacks?” you ask? It looks like someone has been checking out Google News. Perhaps someone just knows enough about your rascally writer to know that he practically grew up in the midst of Amish folks—(Mennonites actually) and knows a bit about this group. Perhaps it’s both.
Whatever the case may be it shouldn’t be too hard to answer the question: Why are the Amish better at avoiding heart attacks? Still, for those not in the know (or the Amish neighborhood), let’s review.
The Amish are a group of people who follow the simple lifestyle of their forefathers. If you check out Wikipedia you’ll get the gist. They are members of a “traditionalist Christian church”. They are closely tied to but definitely “distinct from Mennonites” with whom they share their origins.
Mennonites are okay with using modern day conveniences. Amish are not. They live simply, dress comparatively plainly. Work hard and (in this PA-raised reporter’s opinion) have some great food.
Now that we’re on the same page, why are the Amish better at avoiding heart attacks? According to a new study by the folks at the Broad Institute Amish people statistically-speaking have “lower triglycerides in their blood.” Scientists believe this is something that was caused by gene mutation.
Triglycerides– a form of fat that shows up in one’s blood—are presently considered a likely cause of heart disease. Research indicates that there are “four gene mutations” that can actually reduce the number of triglycerides in one’s blood. Thus, lower levels mean a “lower incidence of heart disease.”
As the research reveals some of the Amish were “blessed” with one of these four gene mutations and they might pass it to their children. Specifically, these four rare gene mutations affect a gene named APOC3. One of these mutations is found in approximately “1 in 20 Amish people and 1 in 150 (other) Americans.”
Mind you, in this reporter’s opinion the simpler life style certainly cannot hurt and probably helps. Still, the study did not address that possibility so that remains merely the humble opinion of one who had read about, written about, walked among and spoken to Amish folks.
Why are the Amish better at avoiding heart attacks? Now you know.
(It does some folks a lot of good living in an Amish Paradise.)
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