Skip to comments.Archaeology Unearths Gout In Early Pacific People
Posted on 11/23/2007 7:43:15 AM PST by blam
Archaeology unearths gout in early Pacific people
Thursday November 22, 2007
OTAGO (Pacnews) High rates of gout among Mâori and Pacific Island men may have a genetic basis going back thousands of years to the time when Polynesia and Melanesia were being colonized from South East Asia.
University of Otago Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology biological anthropologist Dr. Hallie Buckley has been working with colleagues from the Australian National University and CNRS in Paris to analyze skeletons from a 3,000-year-old cemetery in Vanuatu.
Her paper on possible gouty arthritis amongst the Lapita people so-called because of their distinctive decorated pottery known as the Lapita style has been published in the October edition of Current Anthropology.
We examined the bones of 20 skeletons from the first two field seasons using radiography and other techniques and found erosive lesions or damage to the joints of seven of them. The pattern of these lesions suggests they were most likely the result of gouty arthritis, said Buckley.
Gout is caused by a build-up in the affected joints of urate crystals, the result of hyperuricaemia or high levels of urate acid in the blood.
This surprising finding suggests a very early antiquity of gout in the Pacific Islands and may help to explain the unusually high incidence of hyperuricaemia and gout in many modern Pacific Island populations, including New Zealand Mâori, she said.
Other researchers have already suggested that the higher prevalence of gout in Polynesian populations may be due to a genetic predisposition. A genetic marker for gout susceptibility in Taiwanese Aborigines has been identified, suggesting that a founder effect could be responsible for this.
Buckley also said the Lapita peoples diet tended to consist of local plants and seafood. That purine rich seafood can set off attacks of gout in people who are already susceptible to the condition.
The predominance of this sort of diet may have favored the continued selection of high frequencies of hyperuricaemia and gout in these ancient explorers.
The curse of summer green beans...
Wasn’t it a Mâori chieftan who uttered the famous words “My kingdom for some Indomethacin”?
No, the Maori chieftan said,
“Everybody form a circle...
Put your left foot in,
Your left foot gout,
Your left foot in,
And shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey
And turn yourself around.
Now put your right foot in,
Your right foot gout,
Right foot in
Then you shake it all about.
And then you do the Hokey Pokey
Turn yourself around,
That’s what it’s all about.”
Too much rich foods and palm wine?
Nope. According to the chieftan (see post #6), it's all about the Hokey Pokey.
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That doesn't make sense to me. Isn't that like saying that selection would favor Eskimos who didn't tolerate seal and whale meat?
I'm no Maori chieftan but I've been known to utter those words a few times. Most recently it was during a trip to Oregon when Old Red Toe flared up and I'd left the pills at home. Since I couldn't get a shoe on one foot, I wore a slipper for the flight back to California.
As I hobbled around the Eugene airport I could see the Security people looking my way and whispering to each other. At boarding time the "Red-Toed Slipper Bomber" got the most thorough going-over in the history of Eugene airport security.
I hate gout flare-ups. It’s so difficult to convey how much it hurts to someone that hasn’t had it. I’ve had broken bones that don’t hurt near as much. The only thing I know that hurts more is burns.
Approximately one million people in the United States suffer from attacks of gout. (Did you know that none other than Benjamin Franklin had terrible gouty arthritis!) Gout is nine times more common in men than in women. It predominantly attacks males after puberty, with a peak age of 75. In women, gout attacks usually occur after menopause.
That's interesting because Benjamin Franklin has mtDNA haplogroup 'V' which is predominant in the Sa'ami people (Laplanders, who live in northern Finland).
Boy, is that ever true! It's almost as hard as convincing them the hereditary ailment can be brought on by many things other than booze and high living. Green beans have been mentioned (beans of nearly any kind, in fact).
Beer (my former favorite food) was probably the major culprit in my case. But when I stopped drinking I found that wheat products in general did a job on me. My worst gout attack ever was due to eating too many cornflakes!
Oatmeal is very bad for gout sufferers, as are asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, green peas, wheat bran and wheat germ, beef, pork, poultry, fish and seafood in general. And that's in addition to the real baddies like liver, sweetbreads, anchovies, sardines, beef kidneys, brains, meat extracts, herring, mackerel, scallops, game meats and gravy.
Interesting factoid? Where'd you come up with that?
I think that gout may have been prevalent in Franklin's time mainly because of the high meat content in diets. Historical accounts of menus during that general time period are very heavy on game meats, internal organ meats (heart, kidneys, liver, etc.), which is not to say that there's not a hereditary predisposition to the ailment -- there is.
Gout was so common then they made special "gout chairs" that had an attached foot rest. Gout pain is eased a little when the affected foot is held out straight from the body.
I had my DNA analysed this summer and discovered that I have mtDNA 'V' and yDNA 'R1b' and came across it just reading up on the Sa'ami.
You should start a Gout Ping List!
I'm convinced my Norwegian wife is descended from the Sami. Where did you have the DNA analysis done? I'd like to have hers tested.
"Getting Benjamin Franklin's mtDNA may be easier than getting his Y-chromosome, because all female-line descendants of his mother's six sisters (Folgers/Foulgers) and of his four full sisters carry his mtDNA. The Folger genealogy is well developed. His mother is Abiah Lee Folger.. (Note that Benjamin Franklin inherited his mtDNA from his mother, but did not pass it on to his descendants. Only his mother could pass it on.)
One such purported female-line descendant, Charlene Chambers King, of Abiah's sister Dorcas has had her mtDNA HVR1 and HVF2 measured. The result is available at http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~crrking/mills/mills_dnam.htm. It is in the mtDNA hapolgroup V (Velda) with relative mutations from the Cambridge Reference Sequence at location 16298 for the HVR1 sequence (change of a T nucleotide to a C nucleotide) and mutations at locations 72 (change of a T nucleotide to a C nucleotide), 263 (change of an A nucleotide to a G nucleotide), 309.1C and 315.1C for the HVR2 sequence. (The .1C indicates that an extra C is inserted after the 309 and 315 locations.) Velda is one of the "The Seven Daughters of Eve", the one that originated in northern Spain c17,000 years ago. About 5% of Europeans descend from Velda.
See post #14 & 15.
I've ordered DNA testing kits for my wife and me; we both have interesting genetic backgrounds, at least if family lore is any indication. It will be fun to see if we can settle any of the legends for certain.
The DNA info on the Founding Fathers is riveting. I've bookmarked it and will return to it many times for future study. Again, thanks!
Good luck. I was Irish my whole life and this summer (via DNA) I found out that my R1B is Danish, not Irish. My DYS390 is 23 and the Irish are 24.
I was one of the invaders to the British Isles who stayed.
Don't miss the additional links down at the bottom.
Next time it flares up, give it a try.
So ask your doc about it. BTW, Indocin and Colchine are poisons, which, although work to stop an outbreak, are much worse for you than allopurinol.
I don't have a/the problem. (Gout)
That was meant for all on this thread.
Okay. Thanks for the input.
I live a "balanced" lifestyle: a little joy, a little pain. The problem lies in remembering to have the pain pills on hand at the right time. I no longer drink beer for a lot of reasons, not just gout. I enjoy our local abundance of wines instead, in moderation.
Moonshiners in the south frequently used discarded car radiators to cool their distillate thus contaminating the moonshine with lead. Treatment of the lead toxicity often resulted in permanent resolution of the gout.
I wonder how many Rednecks drank contaminated moonshine to relieve the stress of gout.
Wowzo, you should send that info to the researchers.
The use of old radiators in the “’stills” led to lead in the moonshine.
My mother's dad (Bless their souls) spent a year in prison in the 1920's for moonshining.
Prohibition here wasn’t very strongly enforced. My mom (mostly German ancestry) always lived in a house with the brew going somewhere by the stove. There’s a rural tavern a few miles from where I grew up; in the early 1990s a woman retired from there, having worked as a barmaid since she was 15. Doing the math showed she started during Prohibition. :’D
Sydney Morning Herald
December 13, 2007
IT WAS obvious he was special from the moment archaeologists began to unearth his 3000-year-old remains. Skulls from three other people - two men and a woman - and the jaw of a fourth person had been carefully laid to rest on top of his skeleton.
The old man was one of the mysterious Lapita people - crafters of exquisite pottery who made the last great human migration on Earth, heading out across the Pacific Ocean more than three millenniums ago, to settle Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.
His skull-filled grave is unique in an ancient cemetery on Efate, the main island of Vanuatu, where a team from Australia and Vanuatu has discovered more than 60 Lapita skeletons in a range of burial positions.
"The fact that people wanted these skulls placed on his chest suggests he was specially venerated," Professor Matthew Spriggs, of the Australian National University, says. "The reason may be because he was the leader of the expedition that first settled the island."
No one can know this for sure yet. But a chemical analysis of one of the old man's teeth has revealed he did not grow up on the island, unlike the people sharing the grave with him.
The cemetery was found four years ago near Port Vila, the capital, after a bulldozer driver digging soil for a prawn farm noticed some Lapita pottery. "This is the first time we've been able to profile this pioneering population, what they looked like, the state of their health and their diet," says Dr Stuart Bedford, of the Australian National University, another member of the excavation team.
All the skeletons are headless, suggesting a long, complicated ritual in which the skull is removed after the interred body has decomposed, to be worshipped elsewhere. Teeth were left behind in this process, which the researchers, with colleagues in New Zealand and Britain, have chemically analysed.
The chemical signature of the dental enamel reflects the origin of the water and food the person ate as a child and the results for teeth from 17 of the Lapita people are published in the journal American Antiquity.
Four people, including the old man, were outsiders, probably brought up near the coast, but they ate more plants and animals than those raised on Efate, where the diet was rich in seafood.
Three of these people who must have arrived as adults were also buried in a distinctive fashion, on their backs facing south. "I think they were the first people off the boats," Spriggs says. Two locally raised people who were buried in the same southerly way may have been their children.
"If they were not the very first colonists, then these migrants may instead reflect voyaging between communities for marriage, economic or political purposes," Spriggs says.
The research, which includes an attempt to extract ancient DNA from the remains, will help resolve the mystery of the origins of the Lapita people, whose Polynesian descendants went on to settle Hawaii and Easter Island further east.
One theory is that they came from Taiwan and moved rapidly eastwards and out into the Pacific; another is that Lapita culture arose among people living in Papua New Guinea.
A separate study of the Lapita bones by Dr Hallie Buckley of Otago University suggests some of the males suffered from gouty arthritis, which may explain the high prevalence of this condition among Pacific Islanders today.
I was about to ask if you’d posted that yet. :’)
Also see CholeraJoe’s message #33 (above).
Ancient Headless Skeletons Found In Island Grave
Live Science | 10-29-2007 | Jeanna Bryner
Posted on 10/30/2007 11:14:22 PM EDT by blam
Headless Bodies Hold Secret To Pacific Migration
Yahoo News | 3-15-2007 | Heather Whipps
Posted on 03/15/2007 5:52:10 PM EDT by blam
History Between The Cracks (Vanuatu)
The Sydney Morning Herald | 3-25-2006 | Deborah Smith
Posted on 03/24/2006 7:42:19 PM EST by blam
New Lapita Find Re-dates Known Fiji Settlers (Jomon/Ainu)
Taipei Times | 7-14-2005
Posted on 07/14/2005 1:29:09 PM EDT by blam
3,000-Year-Old Bodies Studied in Australia
AP via Yahoo! News | 08/27/04 | N/A
Posted on 08/27/2004 10:27:50 AM EDT by TigerLikesRooster
Mysterious Giant Human Remains Found In Fiji
Times Of India | 7-14-2002
Posted on 07/14/2002 4:19:44 PM EDT by blam
whoops, left out one because I thought I’d posted it:
Graves Of The Pacific’s First Seafarers Revealed
Science Magazine | 3-26-2006 | Richard Stone
Posted on 04/21/2006 2:26:39 PM EDT by blam