Livin' on the MDedge

Your heart doesn’t like peas any more than you do


Big Vegetable has lied to us all

Hear this, children of the world: Your parents have betrayed you. They tell you day in and day out that vegetables are necessary, that they’re healthy, that you need them, but it is not the truth. Behind their foul taste is nothing but empty lies.

Okay, before we get a full-blown child rebellion on our hands, let’s reel things in. Eating vegetables has many benefits, and will help prevent many nasty medical conditions, such as diabetes or cancer. However, cardiovascular disease is not among them.

Cartoon eggplant nneem/Pixabay

For their study published in Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers analyzed the diet, lifestyle, and medical history of nearly 400,000 U.K. adults over a 5-year period, finding that 4.5% developed heart disease and that the average adult consumed about 5 tablespoons of vegetables per day. Those who consumed the most vegetables had a reduction in heart disease incidence of about 15%, compared with those who ate the least.

Hang on, you’re thinking, we just said that vegetables didn’t prevent cardiovascular disease. But the data show otherwise! Ah, but the data are unadjusted. Once the researchers took socioeconomic status, information level, and general lifestyle into account, that benefit disappeared almost completely. The benefit seems to come not from the vegetables themselves, but from being able to afford better food and medical care in general.

The researchers were quick to note the other benefits of eating vegetables, and that people should probably keep eating those five servings a day. But we’re onto you, scientists. You can’t fool us with your vegetable-based lies. Unless we’re talking about pizza. Pizza is the best vegetable.

The good old days of surgery?

Modern surgical instruments, techniques, and technological innovations are amazing. It’s hard to imagine what surgery was like before laparoscopes came along, or x-ray machines, or even anesthesia. But those days weren’t really that long ago. Modern anesthesia, after all, dates back to just 1846. We’ve got socks almost that old.

Fossil skull skeleton at archeological site Petar Ubiparip/Pixabay

But suppose we go back even further … say 5,300 years. Older than the oldest sock. Scientists studying a funerary chamber in Burgos, Spain, which was built in the 4th millennium B.C., have come across what looks like “the first known radical mastoidectomy in the history of humankind,” Sonia Díaz-Navarro of the University of Valladolid (Spain) and associates wrote in Scientific Reports.

One of the skulls they uncovered shows signs of trepanation. “Despite the [evidence] of cut marks, it is difficult to conclude the type of tool used to remove the bone tissue, most likely a sharp instrument with a circular movement,” they investigators said.

What is clear, though, is that the patient survived the surgery, because there is evidence of bone regeneration at the surgical sites. Sites? “Based on the differences in bone remodelling between the two temporals, it appears that the procedure was first conducted on the right ear, due to an ear pathology sufficiently alarming to require an intervention, which this prehistoric woman survived,” they explained.

The same procedure was then performed on the left ear, “but whether this was performed shortly after the right ear, or several months or even years later can’t be concluded from the existing evidence,” IFL Science reported.

Located nearby was a small section of tree bark with some scratches on it. That, ladies and gentlemen, was the first prior authorization form.


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