October 23, 2012
Diabetes tendency brought on waka
University of Otago researchers have spotted signs of the insulin resistance in a 700 year old koiwi found on Marlborough’s Wairau Bar.
Study director Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith says the team has mapped the entire sequence of mitochondrial DNA from what are believed to be some of the earliest Polynesian settlers in Aotearoa.
The remains of two middle-aged women, one young to middle-aged male and a young female were found.
The mutation found in the male’s DNA indicates insulin resistance was something the ancestors brought with them that increases the likelihood of type-two diabetes.
Evidence of gout was also found.
Maori and Pacific Islanders are three times more likely to develop type-two diabetes than other New Zealanders.