A study links the "Black Death" to fast food A study links the "Black Death" to fast food

A study links the "Black Death" to fast food

A study links the "Black Death" to fast food

A new study has linked the second plague pandemic, known as the Black Death, to changes in the human oral microbiome.
The results of the study revealed that the Black Death may have contributed to our love of fast food today.

The second plague pandemic in the mid-fourteenth century killed up to 60% of the European population. It caused fever, fatigue, and vomiting, as well as large, painful swellings called buboes in the thighs, neck, armpits, and groin.

The repercussions of this mass fatality event have been well documented, but a recent study from Penn State and the University of Adelaide sheds new light on the legacy of the Black Death and suggests that it may be linked to our love of fast food today, due to changes in diet and hygiene during that period.

Analysis of calcified dental plaques from skeletons spanning thousands of years revealed that the dominant bacteria found in our mouths today are linked to low-fibre, high-carbohydrate diets, as well as dairy consumption.

All of these factors characterize modern diets, such as fast food, and global events, such as the Black Death, may have led to the dominance of these bacteria, they said.

Changes in diet and hygiene across areas that experienced plague are thought to have affected our oral microbiome, the community of microorganisms, mostly bacteria, found in our mouths.

This mixture of bacteria within the body is known to be linked to immune, heart and brain health, but it can also be linked to certain diseases.

Professor Laura Weirich, from Penn State, said: “Modern microbiomes are linked to a wide range of chronic diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease and poor mental health. Uncovering the origins of these microbial communities may help understand and manage these diseases.”

Laura and her team collected material from the teeth of 235 people buried at 27 archaeological sites in England and Scotland from about 2200 BC to 1835 AD.

After examining the samples, they identified 954 microbial species in two different bacterial communities.

One was dominated by the genus Streptococcus, which is common in the mouths of modern people, and the other was dominated by the genus Methanobrevibacter, which is now considered largely extinct in healthy people.

The analysis revealed that approximately 11% of the variation in the microbiomes they discovered could be explained by changes over history, including the arrival of the Black Death.

Professor Weirich explained: “We know that survivors of the second plague pandemic had higher incomes and could afford higher-calorie foods. It is likely that the epidemic caused changes in people’s diet, which in turn affected the composition of the microbes in the mouth. These are "This is the first time anyone has shown that the microbes in our bodies may have been affected by factors such as previous pandemics."

The study was published in the journal Nature Microbiology.

Healthy drinks in winter

Dr. Daria Utyumova, a gastroenterologist, revealed “winter” drinks that are beneficial to health.

The doctor indicated in an interview with RT that one of these drinks is tea with cinnamon, cloves and aromatic black spices that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

According to the doctor, ginger and honey with lemon contain ascorbic acid and vitamin B, which means that adding them to the drink will help improve blood circulation and strengthen the body’s immune system.

She says: “Herbal tea can also be prepared using rosemary, mint, and purple echinacea - rosemary stimulates kidney function and helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels. As for mint, it has an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect and stimulates the secretion of bile. Purple echinacea contains vitamins A, C, and E, which It helps speed up the regeneration of damaged body tissues.

Another useful drink, according to the doctor, is hot chocolate with honey and cinnamon.

“Hot chocolate contains cocoa beans, which contain antioxidants, iron and phosphorus - thanks to this, the drink has antiviral properties, stimulates the brain and improves mood,” she says.

The doctor advises preparing an aromatic, alcohol-free wine based on pear juice with the addition of cinnamon, cloves and star anise.

She adds: “Pear juice contains a high percentage of potassium and antioxidants, which work to improve cardiovascular health. In addition, it contains sorbitol, which has a choleretic effect, and vitamin B7, which is beneficial for the skin, hair and nails. As for star anise, it contains vitamins A, C, and phosphorus.” , potassium, and calcium, which give the drink soothing, immune-boosting, and anti-inflammatory properties.”

According to her, the common belief that alcohol gives the body a feeling of warmth during a cold is just a lie.

“Alcohol helps dilate superficial blood vessels, which leads to increased blood flow,” she says. “Because of this, the body loses heat faster. So drinking alcohol in winter is dangerous.”
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