T Nation

Eskimos/Inuit and Aging? PUFAs?


I read that Eskimos/Inuit used to age very quickly (already wizened @~50 years). Any idea why?
Diet and/or living conditions... but what was the most important factor, since other populations live in cold climates but don't/didn't age as quickly?

Might it be because "seafood" (from fish to seals and walruses) contains a ton of PUFAs? Or the lack of veggies?




is it aged? or just looking different to white people?


Most likely it has to do with the harsh environment they live in. Wind + Freezing temperatures most of the time takes a rough toll on the skin in particular.


That is surprising.

Do you have a link?


I don't think it was the food.

I don't think anyone really knows for sure,but the aging, I suspect, came from the smoke/fire in their homes, that was constantly going for heat and cooking.


There's been some research done in Canada about the lifespan difference between native/aboriginal Canadians and European Canadians.
Suicide and injury between 15 and 29
Respiratory disease (from smoking and just smoke)


Exactly! That kind of weather isn't kind to exposed skin. Wind, reflected sunlight, extremely dry air, etc. not a hospitable environment for a persons face. By aged are you referring to their looks OR their physiology? By today's dietary standards the Inuit people shouldn't live past their 30s. They're a great example of the paleo & Atkins lifestyle.


My son (molecular biologist), when poking fun at the paleo diet folks, likes to point out that the lifespan of paleo man was 30 years. Of course, I counter that paleo man had much harsher conditions than us, but I digress.

The reality is that civilization has increased our lifespans. Aboriginal peoples, basically camping all of the time, do not get the advantage of modern technology to protect them from the elements or mediate their nutrient intake.


I live in Alaska and am surrounded by a large number of Inuit and Yupik peoples. What I have found as a large contributed to their poor health is often related to lifestyle. I do find a number of people from these groups who are very healthy, but they are often overshadowed by others who smoke, drink, and have poor activity levels. These three things take such a heavy toll as introduced to people in villages that you can enter a village and see a huge number of people start smoking and drinking when they are around 10. As they grow older most people seem to just sit and watch TV, only going out when necessary for subsistence hunting (unless they have enough money to ship all their food in to the village). The alcoholism is so high it surprised me when I moved up here. One day I came home to find a guy passed out drunk in my parking lot at 2pm. I have four drunk camps around my house and this is considered normal here.