Hunza People of Pakistan

Does anyone have real information about the Hunza people of Pakistan? I’ve read that they never get cancer or heart disease and that they have very long life spans. Is there any truth to these stories or is this just a fairy tale cooked up to sell everything from filtered water to bread recipes to laetrile? Thanks.

Sharon

Jeez, I dunno. Snopes had nothing, and a google search on Hunza Pakistan Health turned up an awful lot of hits, with claims by many different “experts” that the reason they were so healthy was definitely either the air, or the water, or certain minerals, or certain proteins they consumed, or their vegetarianism, or their aerobic workouts, or their family systems, or their religious beliefs. I couldn’t find anything in my admittedly cursory survey that had hard numbers as to just how healthy they really were. A lot of websites were selling “the secrets of the Hunza” though. You can buy Hunza water on line.

Qadgop, MD

I remember reading an interesting article on the Hunza people in an American Health magazine years ago. According to the authors the Hunzas longevity is just a myth. They have low literacy rates and no written records so their census statistics can’t be trusted. Some of them claim to be very old because 1. The older they are the more respect they receive. 2. They just get the dates wrong. 3. Some of them have received money from National Geographic to make exaggerated claims of longevity. It was a fascinating article - I wish I could remember more of it. There was an astonishing account of how a lot of them died after receiving second hand clothes from the Red Cross. They caught diseases from the clothes that they had no resistance to. A lot of them die young apparently because they have iodine deficiencies. Also, they look a lot older than they are because at high altitudes wrinkles develop quickly and easily. That’s the reason, apparently, that their claims of being very old have been believed.

      • I posted a thred on this some time back. ***I will second G. Nome’s answer, sort of: I read the same thing about the amazing health of the Hunza, mentioned in a trivia book authored by Isaac Asimov. A web search eventually turned up one account of a researcher going there in the mid-60’s and examining some of the people and finding many common diseases in advanced stages, behaving just as they would in any other poor remote community with little or no medical help available. In short, the researcher couldn’t prove it, but he didn’t believe the stories of their long lifespans. The condition he found them in didn’t suggest they were any better off than could be logically expected, given their circumstances.
  • Which leads us to what is expected: it is true that “primitive” people suffer less of certain diseases due to their diets. Assuming their diet is varied enough, some diet-related diseases do occur less frequenty than in a typical first-world country. The reason is that poor people in remote areas can’t afford junk food- things with ingredients like processed fat, preservatives and artificial engredients for example. This is somewhat similar to when AIDS was first discovered: in the US, initially medicine was highly stressed while the subject of diet was mostly ignored. Eentually it was noted that the average lengths of survival of poor people in Africa was considerably higher than of people undergoing treatment in the US. One difference was eventually traced to diet: the African cases were less likely to have money to purchase “junk food” and to have refriderators to store food in, so all they ate was fresh fruits, vegetables and meat. - MC

Well, no. I don’t believe they caught typhoid from Donna Karan castoffs. That’s what it sounds like though. I must apologise to the Hunzas for my careless grammar.

Have you noticed that people who live at high altitudes love wearing bright pink? They wear pink in the Andes and they wear pink in Nepal. Why is that?

drops a big hunk of Plutonium in the Hunza’s water

How 'bout avoiding cancer now, guys? MUAHAHAHAHA!

Oh. Sorry. That was the evil anti-Arken. Please ignore.