Mona Lisa had thyroid problem - US researchers

Accounts for 'yellow skin, thinning hair and goitre'

(ANSA) - Rome, September 5 - The Mona Lisa had thyroid problems that account for her yellow skin, thinning hair and a possible goitre on her neck, two US researchers say.
    In a paper published in the September 2018 issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Brigham and Women's Hospital researcher Mandeep Mehra and University of California, Santa Barbara's Hilary Campbell said that clinical hypothyroidism is a more likely diagnosis than previous hypotheses including a lipid disorder and heart disease.
    "The enigma of the Mona Lisa can be resolved by a simple medical diagnosis of a hypothyroidism-related illness," Dr.
    Mehra said.
    "In many ways, it is the allure of the imperfections of disease that give this masterpiece its mysterious reality and charm." Had Lisa Gherardini suffered from heart disease and a lipid disorder, it's unlikely she would have lived to such an advanced age given the limited treatments available in 16th century Italy.
    Dr. Mehra cited the Mona Lisa's thinning hair, yellow skin, and possible goitre as visual evidence of hypothyroidism.
    "The diet of Italians during the Renaissance was lacking in iodine, and resulting goiters (swollen thyroid gland) were commonly depicted in paintings and sculptures of the era," he said.
    "Additionally, Lisa Gherardini gave birth shortly before sitting for the portrait, which indicates the possibility of peripartum thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid after pregnancy)."

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