Jungle people with almost no heart problems

Researchers have discovered the people with the healthiest hearts in the world. The Tsimane people live in the Amazon region of Bolivia and have almost no risk of serious heart disease because of their plant-based diet and high levels of physical activity. Besides having a healthy heart, the Tsimane also have low blood pressure, low cholesterol levels and low blood glucose. This all adds up to a very strong cardiovascular system. And this means they avoid many of the diseases and conditions that kill hundreds of millions around the world, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and kidney failure. A study estimates that an 80-year-old from the Tsimane tribe has the same cardiovascular age as an American in their mid-50s.

The study on the Tsimane is published in the medical journal 'The Lancet'. Study co-author Dr Gregory S. Thomas stated: "This study suggests that coronary [disease] could be avoided if people adopted some elements of the Tsimane lifestyle, such as keeping their cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar very low, not smoking and being physically active." He added: "Most of the Tsimane are able to live their entire life without developing any coronary [disease]. This has never been seen in any prior research. While difficult to achieve in the industrialized world, we can adopt some aspects of their lifestyle to potentially forestall a condition we thought would eventually effect almost all of us."