Ötzi loaded up on fatty food before he died


Ötzi the Iceman
GUT FEELING Ötzi’s stomach was covered in fungi, but researchers still managed to reveal new details about the Iceman’s last meal.

Ötzi didn’t die hungry.

Around 5,300 years ago, the Iceman dined on wild meat and grains before meeting his end in the Italian Alps. His last meal was high in fat and optimal for a high-altitude trek, researchers report July 12 in Current Biology.

Since his mummified remains were discovered in 1991, Ötzi’s life has undergone more scrutiny than many reality TV stars. His cause of death, his fashion, his tattoos, his ax, his cholesterol and his genetic instruction book, or genome, have all made headlines (SN 3/24/12, p.5). And in 2002, DNA analysis of samples from the Iceman’s lower intestine suggested that Ötzi ate red deer, goat and grains before he died. In 2011, radiological scans revealed that the mummy’s stomach contents were still intact (SN 9/24/11, p. 8). Now researchers are back with a more in-depth look inside the mummy’s gastrointestinal tract.

Looking at biopsies of Ötzi’s stomach under a light microscope, researchers saw evidence of animal muscle fibers (shown). The researchers also noticed that meat particles from his stomach repelled water, indicative of high fat content.

SUPER FRESH

Based on ancient DNA, proteins and other molecular data, the new analysis confirms the Iceman’s final menu:…

Marcela
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Marcela

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COO @oneqube | Angel Investor | Proud mom | Advisor @TheTutuProject | Let's Go #NYRangers
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