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PALEOLITHIC DIET SYMPOSIUM LIST(1997-2005)

The PALEODIET list is a semi-private, semi-moderated symposium for researchers with interest in and knowledge of primitive diets
and their relevance to modern life. Our primary audience is biologists, paleontologists, anthropologists, physiologists, and health care
professionals, though laymen are not necessarily excluded.
The discussions include the latest scientific research, review of existing research, analysis of practical applications, and general
knowledge exchange on all aspects of the paleolithic nutrition and exercise, including consideration of how modern diet may cause
certain health problems and what changes may ameliorate these conditions.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Celiac Ass'n Speech
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 12:18:49 -0500
I had the pleasure of contributing a few suggestions and helping to edit copy on the following speech, which
was written by Ron Hoggan and presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Calgary Chapter of the
Canadian Celiac Association on March 15, 1997.
Hoggan is a noted writer on celiac disease whose work has appeared in numerous places, including at least
one paper published in MEDICAL HYPOTHESES.
Hoggan is also member of this mailing list, but agreed to let me post this as the first official message for this
list. Comments or questions on the following speech are invited.
Dean Esmay
Gluten is a Dubious Luxury of Non-Celiacs, by Ron Hoggan
(Note: In this paper I use the term "gluten" generically, as we celiacs use it, to refer to all proteins peculiar to
cereal grains.)
One must wonder why, in spite of increasing lifespans in the advanced industrialized nations, modern
medicine has failed to clearly identify the cause of many neurological, autoimmune and malignant diseases.
The gluten-free diet is only recommended where there is a clear indication of advanced, gluten-induced
disease, but is this the best advice?
We may sometimes feel disadvantaged by the strict gluten-free diet we have to follow. It is costly and
inconvenient. But perhaps it is those who continue to consume glutinous foods who should be concerned.
Gluten, while dangerous to celiacs, has never been investigated for deleterious effects on the general
population. Yet we have studies that show that hunter-gatherers following traditional life-ways do not
develop the neurological, auto-immune and malignant diseases that people living in the industrialized world
experience, and these people rarely eat gluten-rich foods (1, 2). There is already compelling evidence
connecting the advent of agriculture to bone and joint disease (3), and humankind has only been cultivating
cereal grains for approximately 10, 000 years (2, 4), which is but a brief moment in evolutionary terms.
Remember too, it is only a small population located in the Near East, that has had that length of exposure to
cereal grains (4); most of the world has had agriculture for an even shorter period of time. Neurological and
auto-immune diseases, as well as malignancies, are over-represented among celiacs (5), suggesting that
glutens/gliadins may be a major environmental contributor to such diseases. Yet this area of investigation
appears to have been avoided in research on these health problems. One must wonder at the cause of this
neglect of such an important possibility.
There is abundant evidence connecting the advent of agriculture with retardation of long bone growth, dental
enamel hypoplasia, iron deficiency anemia (indicated by porotic hyperostosis), juvenile osteoporosis, and
joint disease (18). Do these conditions sound familiar? Many are the commonest signs of celiac disease, and
they were apparently the rule, not the exception, in cultures adapting to agriculture.
We know, from paleontologists' study of human remains from the ancient past, that when a culture begins to
cultivate cereal grains they experience substantial reductions in height, which is variously reported as 5" and
6"(2, 4). Clearly, the reduction is substantial and significant. We know, too, that these remains demonstrate
weaker bone structure (through reductions in peak bone-mass) and evidence of articular damage(3).
Additionally, ancient Egyptians, who consumed a diet that would be considered very "heart-healthy" in our
culture, have left behind mummies which clearly demonstrate atherosclerosis (7). While the evidence from
the ancients is compelling, there can always be counter-arguments and debates when we are reaching back as
far as 10, 000 years into the past. Yet a few marginal pockets of scientific enquiry have explored a few
elements of modern implications of this issue.

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W.J.Lutz (4) has offered an alternative perspective on the "French Paradox." (The "French Paradox" is the
unusually low rate of death by myocardial infarction among the French despite quite high per-capita rates of
fat consumption.) Dr. Lutz has studied the spread of agriculture through Europe. He presents a picture
whereby the spread of agriculture, and thus the period of time a culture has been exposed to cereal grains, is
inversely related to the incidence of cardiovascular disease. The underlying assumption, of course, is that the
longer the exposure, the greater the likelihood that those who were intolerant to these grains were trimmed
from the gene pool of such cultures; it seems that the less time a culture has been exposed to gluten, the
greater the portion of the population that continues to develop cancers and cardiovascular disease. (Lutz also
provides similarly compelling data on the rates of breast cancer mortality.)
This work is confirmed by Simmoon's observation that there is a negative correlation between the frequency
of antigen HLA-B8 and the length of time wheat farming has been practised in various parts of Europe (19).
Another interesting study done in China produced what the investigators found to be rather surprising
results(8). In this investigation, the researchers plotted the diets of more than 3500 rural Chinese women, and
measured their levels of SHBG (sex-hormone binding globulins). They were very surprised to find that
wheat consumption, and perhaps reduced fish consumption, were the strongest predictors of levels of SHBG,
which would indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Another study has connected gluten with neurological illness (9). This group of researchers tested 53 patients
with neurological illness of unknown origin for antibodies against gliadin. More than half of them (30
people) demonstrated these antibodies. Nine of those folks proved to have celiac disease, but the other 21
only demonstrated an immune response to gluten, of a type that is often dismissed as meaningless. This study
has some far-reaching implications for neurological research.
Yet another indication that celiacs are not the only segment of the population to suffer from the adverse
effects of gluten is a study that was carried out on a very small group of siblings of celiacs(10). When
subjected to rectal gluten challenge, half of the siblings showed an immune response to gluten, but these
results did not correlate with the hereditary predictors of celiac disease.
As for the connection between autoimmunity and cereal grains, it is clear and compelling. The theoretical
perspective of molecular mimicry suggests that gliadin-derived peptides may activate the immune system
against collagenous tissues, and since intestinal permeability (not celiac disease) is all that is required to
allow the passage of these peptides into the bloodstream, a significant number of many types of autoimmune
diseases seem likely to benefit from a gluten-free diet (11).
In total, then, there are several studies which demonstrate (often coincidentally) that a much larger group
than those with celiac disease are mounting an immune response against gluten, and that this response is
causing or contributing to serious illness. Phytic acid in whole cereal grains binds to minerals, including
calcium. This chemical bond is not broken in the GI tract. The net result is the binding and wasting of muchneeded dietary calcium, even among those whose immune systems can tolerate gluten, and these grains may
be implicated in osteoporosis (12).
I would now like to draw your attention back to the issue of malignancy. _Medical Hypotheses_ will soon
publish a paper I have written which suggests (among other things) that gluten may be implicated in a great
many cases of lymphoma (14). Gluten has been demonstrated to interfere with the celiac patient's ability to
mount an immune response to malignancies (15, 16, 17). In my paper, I have postulated a dynamic whereby
gluten may have a similar effect in others who are simply sensitive to gluten, or who have a sub-clinical form
of this disease.
Ray Audette, a populist writer, has said that Stanislaw Tanchou "....gave the first formula for predicting
cancer risk. It was based on grain consumption and was found to accurately calculate cancer rates in major
European cities. The more grain consumed, the greater the rate of cancer." Tanchou's paper was delivered to
the Paris Medical Society in 1843(20).
We hear all the time about pollution in the industrial world being the source for modern man's high incidence
of cancer. It is the chemical additives, we are told, in the food we eat, that causes much of the problem.
Perhaps.
I would like to suggest that the evidence from antiquity, the pattern of the spread of agriculture in Europe
coinciding with the patterns of civilizatory illnesses, the levels of SBHG associated with wheat consumption,
the high incidence of gliadin antibodies among those with neurological illnesses of unknown origin, the
sensitivity to gluten among siblings of celiacs in spite of the absence of genetic indicators associated with
celiac disease, and my own investigation of the literature regarding lymphoma, all point to the strong
possibility that gluten is a dangerous substance to many more people than just celiacs.
Sources:

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1. Eaton B, Konner M, Shostak M, " Stone Agers in the Fast Lane: Chronic Degenerative Diseases in
Evolutionary Perspective" _The American Journal of Medicine_ 1988; 84:739-749
2. Eaton S, Konner M, "Paleolithic Nutrition" _NEJM_ 1985; 312(5): 283-289
3. Eaton S, Nelson D, "Calcium in evolutionary perspective" _Am. J. Clin. Nutr._1991; 54: 281S - 287S
4. Lutz W J, "The Colonisation of Europe and Our Western Diseases" _Medical Hypotheses_ 1995; 45: 115120
5. Lindeberg S, et al. "Cardiovascular risk factors in a Melanesian population apparently free from stroke and
ischaemic heart disease: the Kitava study" _J Intern Med_ 1994 Sep.
6. Lewin R, "A Revolution of Ideas in Agricultural Origins" _Science_ 1988; 240: 984-986
7. Zimmerman M, "The paleopathology of the cardiovascular system" _Tex Heart Inst J_ 1993; 20(4): 252257
8. Gates et. al. "Association of dietary factors and selected plasma variables with sex hormone-binding
globulin in rural Chinese women" Am J Clin Nutr 1996; 63: 22-31.
9. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones G, Lobo A, Stephenson T, Milford-Ward A, "Does cryptic
gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness?" _Lancet_ 1996; 347: 369-371
10. Troncone R, Greco L, Mayer M, Mazzarella G, Maiuri L, Congia M, Frau F, deVirgilis S, Auricchio S,
"In Siblings of Celiac Children, Rectal Gluten Challenge Reveals Gluten Sensitization Not Restricted to
Celiac HLA" _Gastroenterology_ 1996; 111: 318-324
11. Ostenstad B, Dybwad A, Lea T, Forre O, Vinje O, Sioud M, "Evidence for monoclonal expansion of
synovial T cells bearing V Alpha 2.1/V beta 5.5 gene segments and recognizing a syntehtic peptide that
shares homology with a number of putative autoantigens"
12. Lindeberg, Staffan, personal correspondence Feb, 1997
14. Hoggan R, "Considering Wheat, Rye, and Barley Proteins as Aids to Carcinogens" _Medical
Hypotheses_ In Press 1997.
15. Maclaurin B, Cooke W, Ling N, "Impaired lymphocyte reactivity against tumour cells in patients with
coeliac disease" _Gut_ 1971; 12: 794-800
16. Egan L, Walsh S, Stevens F, Connolly C, Egan E, McCarthy C, "Celiac-Associated Lymphoma"
_Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology_ 1995; 21(2): 123-129
17. Swinson C, Slavin G, Coles E, Booth C, "Coeliac Disease and Malignancy" _Lancet_ 1983; Jan 15: 111115
18. Armelagos G, Van Gerven D, Martin D, Huss-Ashmore R, "Effects of Nutritional Change on the Skeletal
Biology of Northeast African (Sudanese Nubian) Populations" _From Hunters to Farmers The Causes and
Consequences of Food Production in Africa_ Clark & Brandt (eds.) 1984; II: 37-146
19. Simoons F, "Celiac disease as a geographic problem" _Food, Nutrition and Evolution_ 1981; eds.
Walcher D, and Kretchmer N, Masson Publishing, New York
20. Audette R, lowcarb listserv at:, March 11, 1997 from: Vilhjalmur Stefansson's book _Cancer Disease of
Civilization_ 1960; Hill and Wang, New York, NY.
Background Sources:
21. Davis D, "Paleolithic Diet, Evolution, and Carcinogens" _Science_ 1987; 238: 1633-1634
22. Carpenter K, "Protein requirements of adults from an evolutionary perspective" _Am J Clin Nutr_1992;
55: 913-917
23. Eaton S, "Humans, Lipids and Evolution" _LIPIDS_ 1992; 27(10): 814-819
24. Troncone R, Greco L, Mayer M, Mazzarella G, Maiuri L, Congia M, Frau F, deVirgilis S, Auricchio S,
"In Siblings of Celiac Children, Rectal Gluten Challenge Reveals Gluten Sensitization Not Restricted to
Celiac HLA" _Gastroenterology_ 1996; 111: 318-324
25. Marsh M, "Bone Disease and Gluten Sensitivity: Time to Act, to Treat, and to Prevent" _The American
Journal of Gastroenterology_ 1994; 89(12): 2105-2107
26. Young T, Hochman R, Scopelliti J, "Celiac Disease and Arthropathy: Case Report and Literature
Review" _The Guthrie Journal_ 1993; 62(3): 99-104
27. Lindh E, Ljunghall S, Larsson K, Lavo B, " Screening for antibodies against gliadin in patients with
osteoporosis" _Journal of Internal Medicine_ 1992; 231: 403-406
28. de Boer W, Maas M, Tytgat G, "Disappearance of Mesenteric Lymphadenopathy with Gluten-Free Diet
in Celiac Sprue" _Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology_ 1993; 16(4): 317-319
29. Mathus-Vliegen E, Halteren H, Tytgat G, "Malignant lymphoma in coeliac disease: various
manifestations with distinct symptomatology and prognosis?" _Journal of Internal Medicine_ 1994; 236: 4349

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30. Rosenberg S, "The Low-Grade Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas: Challenges and Opportunities" _Journal of
Clinical Oncology" 1985; 3(3): 299-310
28. Swinson C, Coles E, Slavin G, Booth C, "Coeliac Disease and Malignancy" _Lancet_ 1983; Jan 15: 111115
31. Wright D, Jones D, Clark H, Mead G, Hodges E, Howell W, "Is adult-onset coeliac disease due to a lowgrade lymphoma of intraepithelial T lymphocytes?" _Lancet_ 1991; 337: 1373-1374
32. Gouldie R, Lee F, "Coeliac disease and lymphoma" _Lancet_ 1991; 338: 570
33. Freeman H, Weinstein W, Shnitka T, Piercey J, Wensel R, " Pirmary abdominal Lymphoma" _The
American Journal of Medicine_ 1977; 63: 585-594
34. Holmes G, Piror P, Lane M, Pope D, Allan R, "Malignancy in coeliac disease-effect of a gluten free diet"
_Gut_ 1989; 30: 333-338
35. Sturgess R, Ciclitira P, "Coeliac disease and lymphoma" _Lancet_ 1991; 338: 318-319
36. Egan L, Walsh S, Stevens F, Connolly C, Egan E, McCarthy C, _Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology_
1995; 21(20: 123-129
37. Lopes P, Morris D, Galbraith P, Lillicrap D, Pross H, "Lymphoproliferative Disease of "Lak Cell"
precursor Large Granular Lymphocytes in Association with Celiac Disease" _American Journal of
Hematology_ 1993; 43: 116-122
38. Black, Paul "Psychoneuroimmunology: Brain and Immunology" _Scientific American: SCIENCE &
MEDICINE_ 1995; 2(6): 16-25
39. Kapur A, Isaacs P, Kelsey P, "Linear IgA dermatosis, coeliac disease, and extralinear B cell lymphoma"
_Gut_ 1995; 37: 731-733
40. Ilyas M, Niedobitek G, Agathanggelou A, Barry R, Read A, Tierney R, Young L, Rooney N, "NONHODGKIN'S LYMPHOMA, COELIAC DISEASE, AND EPSTIEN-BARR VIRUS: A STUDY OF 13
CASES OF ENTEROPATHY-ASSOCIATED T- AND B-CELL LYMPHOMA" _Journal of Pathology_
1995; 177: 115-122
41. Cooke W, Holmes G, _Coeliac Disease_ 1984; Churchill Livingstone, NY

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Celiac Ass'n Speech
From: Bob Avery
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 05:08:57 EST
Dean and Ron,
It was unclear to me from reading the recent Paleoposts whether the grain indictment referred only to (1)
wheat, (2) wheat plus other glutenous cereals (if so, please enumerate), or (c) all cereals, glutenous and nonglutenous alike. In some parts it appeared that only gluten was being indicted, but in others the word
"cereals" was used with no distinctions being made as to their type. Or do all cereals, including rice, contain
gluten? Could you clarify?
Bob Avery

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Glutenous Grains
From: Ron Hoggan
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 16:46:34 -0700
Hi Bob,
I began the post with:
"Note: In this paper I use the term "gluten" generically, as we celiacs use it, to refer to all toxic proteins in
cereal grains."
I did so because I knew that the original audience would understand what I was saying. Of course, I forgot to
alter it for the list, and I apologize for that cognitive lapse.
I was using the term gluten to refer to the protein fractions of wheat, rye, barley and oats. Technically the
other cereal grains also contain gluten, but there is a dissonance between the jargon of the celiac patient, and
scientific terminology.
I hope that clarifies the issue, and I'm sorry for any confusion.
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4/298 (1997)

Best Wishes, Ron Hoggan Calgary, Alberta, Canada

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Clear communication
From: Ward Nicholson
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 18:49:25 -0600
Bob Avery writes:
> It was unclear to me from from reading the recent Paleoposts whether the grain indictment referred
> only to (1) wheat, (2) wheat plus other glutenous cereals (if so, please enumerate), or (c) all
> cereals, glutenous and non-glutenous alike. In some parts it appeared that only gluten was being
> indicted, but in others the word "cereals" was used with no distinctions being made as to their
> type. Or do all cereals, including rice, contain gluten? Could you clarify?
I would like to add a related request here to the researchers on this list who are posting to try if at all possible
to translate your findings and communications into plain English.
As a lay person with a very keen interest in Paleodiet, I have spent many hours at the local university library
digging up references, and my number-one complaint by far is feeling like I am reading language from
another planet. In having written up some of the research myself for other lay people interested in the
subject, I found most of my time was spent simply trying to decipher what I found in the research journals
and put it into a form I felt people of intelligence but without the specialized training or understanding of all
the jargon could understand.
If Paleodiet research is not to seep out and have a widespread influence on the public until long after it is
past-due to be heard, I believe those communicating the research need to make a concerted effort to write in
terms others can understand. I have discussed privately with a couple of others interested in the field why
Paleodiet research is lagging in getting out to the public and has not had the influence on the nutrition field
that it should have yet, and in my opinion, the complicated research lingo amounting to a communication gap
is the reason.
Also there is fact that researchers generally tend to keep in their own world and do not make concerted
efforts to publish popularly, but primarily in obscure journals. Then, too, there is the question of the research
being scattered all over the place in these obscure journals, making it exceedingly difficult to find even if you
are keenly interested in it like I have been.
Aside from Eaton, Shostak and Konner's "Paleolithic Prescription" which seemingly went mostly unnoticed
in the bookstores when it was first published in 1988 (although it seemed to have made some inroads and in
the medical community's thinking) little attempt to present the scientific research (complete with references
not only for credibility but for those who want to pursue the material further) in a unified, coherent, all-inone-place fashion has been made by the Paleodiet community. I personally think it would behoove
researchers to follow the lead of people like Stephen Jay Gould in publishing for the popular science press,
who has shown you can write popularly with rigor and need not fear sullying your scientific reputation, but
in fact, perhaps, increase it.
So to summarize, one thing I would like to see discussed on this list besides just the research are ways to see
that Paleodiet is better publicized and communicated to the nutritional world at large which seems largely
ignorant of it so far. And hopefully we can begin breaking down the communication gap by beginning to
address it first right here on this list itself. Thanks,
--Ward Nicholson
Wichita, KS

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Questions on terminology
From: Ward Nicholson
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 23:47:39 -0600
I enjoyed reading Ron Hoggan's recap of the celiac disease/gluten connection. However, there are several
points I am unclear on due to undefined terminology. Ron, would you be so kind as to fill in the blanks for
those of us without the extensive background you have in the field? Specifically here are the words and
concepts I am unclear on:
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> Neurological and auto-immune diseases, as well as malignancies, are over-represented among celiacs
> (5), suggesting that glutens/gliadins may be a major environmental contributor to such diseases.
The word gliadins here seems to slip in without any definition--only some sort of unclear similarity (in my
mind) to glutens due to the context. What exactly are gliadins and why are they distinguished here from
glutens rather than simply lumped in together under the catchall term "gluten" that you are using as a catchall
for many other proteins also found in cereal grains?
> There is abundant evidence connecting the advent of agriculture with retardation of long bone
> growth, dental enamel hypoplasia, iron deficiency anemia (indicated by porotic hyperostosis),
> juvenile osteoporosis, and joint disease (18). Do these conditions sound familiar?
All but two. I would like to know in plain terms what "dental enamel hypoplasia" is, as well as "porotic
hyperostosis." I know from past study in the research that the latter is some kind of bone disease, but I can't
remember exactly what kind. Please fill me in.
> We know, from palenotologists' study of human remains from the ancient past, that when a culture
> begins to cultivate cereal grains they experience substantial reductions in height, which is
> variously reported as 5" and 6"(2, 4). Clearly, the reduction is substantial and significant. We
> know, too, that these remains demonstrate weaker bone structure (through reductions in peak
> bone-mass) and evidence of articular damage(3).
I am not sure I know what "articular damage" refers to. Could you please explain? (Maybe just a technical
term of good ole "arthritis"? :-\)
> W.J.Lutz (4) has offered an alternative perspective on the "French Paradox." (The "French Paradox"
> is the unusually low rate of death by myocardial infarction among the French despite quite high
> per-capita rates of fat consumption.)
I know this may be being a bit picky about the language here, but is there any reason "myocardial infarct"
could not more simply be rendered as "heart attack" so it would be more clear to more people, or is there
some reason "heart attack" is just not considered an accurate-enough term, and therefore it is mandatory to
use "myocardial infarct" instead?
Further on...
> This work is confirmed by Simmoon's observation that there is a negative correlation between the
> frequency of antigen HLA-B8 and the length of time wheat farming has been practised in various
> parts of Europe (19).
What is "antigen HLA-B8, " is this negative correlation good or bad, and what does it do in the body? It
doesn't tell me a whole lot that there is a negative correlation when I don't even know what HLA-B8 is in the
first place. I thought an antigen was a foreign protein the body reacted to by producing antibodies. The above
statement--in my mind--seems to suggest that somehow a substance the body does not produce somehow
varies with the consumption of wheat. That doesn't seem to make sense to me. Either that, or I am just not
getting something here. Please explain.
> Another interesting study done in China produced what the investigators found to be rather
> surprising results(8). In this investigation, the researchers plotted the diets of more than 3500
> rural Chinese women, and measured their levels of SHBG (sex-hormone binding globulins). They
> were very surprised to find that wheat consumption, and perhaps reduced fish consumption, were the
> strongest predictors of levels of SHBG, which would indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular
> disease.
I cannot figure out from the above whether the levels of SHBG went up or down in relation to wheat and fish
consumption, only that there is some sort of correlation. Does SHBG go up when wheat and fish
consumption go up, or is it the reverse? Furthermore, it is not clear to me from the above whether *higher*
or *lower* levels of SHBG result in an increased or decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. It only seems
to say that there is some sort of correlation, but what that correlation is is unclear to me here. Beyond this,
what the heck do sex-hormone binding globulins (SHBG) do in the body in the first place, and why would it
be good or bad if their levels went up or down?
> Another study has connected gluten with neurological illness (9). This group of researchers tested
> 53 patients with neurological illness of unknown origin for antibodies against gliadin. More than
> half of them (30 people) demonstrated these antibodies. Nine of those folks proved to have celiac
> disease, but the other 21 only demonstrated an immune response to gluten, of a type that is often
> dismissed as meaningless. This study has some far-reaching implications for neurological research.
This seems clear enough--that an immune response to gluten might still be problematic even if the person
does not have classic hereditary markers for celiac disease.
> Yet another indication that celiacs are not the only segment of the population to suffer from the
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

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> adverse effects of gluten is a study that was carried out on a very small group of siblings of
> celiacs(10). When subjected to rectal gluten challenge, half of the siblings showed an immune
> response to gluten, but these results did not correlate with the hereditary predictors of celiac
> disease.
I am not sure I understand the underlying assumptions here you are basing your statements on. Are you
saying that certain immune responses somehow are used as "markers" for certain hereditary characteristics
(which perhaps cannot be directly determined except through these markers) that may predict for celiac
disease? And that there are additional immune responses that you are postulating may also predict for it, but
conventional scientific wisdom does not yet acknowledge them?
> As for the connection between autoimmunity and cereal grains, it is clear and compelling. The
> theoretical perspective of molecular mimicry suggests that gliadin-derived peptides may activate
> the immune system against collagenous tissues, and since intestinal permeability (not celiac
> disease) is all that is required to allow the passage of these peptides into the bloodstream, a
> significant number of many types of autoimmune diseases seem likely to benefit from a gluten-free
> diet (11).
This seems clear enough except for the part about collagen. According to my dictionary, collagen is a
"fibrous protein constituent of bone, cartilage, tendon, and other connective tissue." So what? What is the
point about collagen here? I would guess there is perhaps sp, e postulation being made here that the immune
system's action against collagen could be the mechanism behind bone deterioration seen in Neolithic farming
communities, but this is a leap I am simply guessing at. Is this is fact what is being suggested, or am I
completely off base? I am unclear.
> In total, then, there are several studies which demonstrate (often coincidentally) that a much
> larger group than those with celiac disease are mounting an immune response against gluten, and
> that this response is causing or contributing to serious illness. Phytic acid in whole cereal
> grains binds to minerals, including calcium. This chemical bond is not broken in the GI tract. The
> net result is the binding and wasting of much-needed dietary calcium, even among those whose
> immune systems can tolerate gluten, and these grains may be implicated in osteoporosis (12).
Okay, clear enough.
> I would now like to draw your attention back to the issue of malignancy. _Medical Hypotheses_ will
> soon publish a paper I have written which suggests (among other things) that gluten may be
> implicated in a great many cases of lymphoma (14). Gluten has been demonstrated to interfere with
> the celiac patient's ability to mount an immune response to malignancies (15, 16, 17). In my paper,
> I have postulated a dynamic whereby gluten may have a similar effect in others who are simply
> sensitive to gluten, or who have a sub-clinical form of this disease.
This is clear language--thanks.
> I would like to suggest that the evidence from antiquity, the pattern of the spread of agriculture
> in Europe coinciding with the patterns of civilizatory illnesses, the levels of SBHG associated
> with wheat consumption, the high incidence of gliadin antibodies among those with neurological
> illnesses of unknown origin, the sensitivity to gluten among siblings of celiacs in spite of the
> absence of genetic indicators associated with celiac disease, and my own investigation of the
> literature regarding lymphoma, all point to the strong possibility that gluten is a dangerous
> substance to many more people than just celiacs.
Several questions here. Again, please explain what gliadin is and why antibodies against it would be
something that might lead to neurological illness. What are the possible mechanisms you would postulate?
And again, what do SBHGs do in the body, and are their correlated levels with increased wheat consumption
ones of increase or decrease, and is more or less SBHG good or bad? I don't have the background in
physiology or pathology to have a clue about any of this.
Thanks, Ron. I know it may seem tedious to you to explain these things, but remember, not all of us have the
background you do. I take Discover magazine, Science News, and read several issues of Scientific American
a year, and I like to think I am science-literate for a lay person, but I am really struggling here with some of
this.
--Ward Nicholson
Wichita, KS

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Questions on terminology
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

7/298 (1997)

From: (Ron Hoggan)


Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 01:22:05 -0700 (MST)
Hi Ward, Your demands for excellence are certainly apparent in your writing and in the questions you are
asking here. I will try for the same level of clarity in my responses. :=)
> Specifically here are the words and concepts I am unclear on: Neurological and auto-immune
> diseases, as well as malignancies, are over-represented among celiacs (5), suggesting that
> glutens/gliadins may be a major environmental contributor to such diseases. The word gliadins here
> seems to slip in without any definition--only some sort of unclear similarity (in my mind) to
> glutens due to the context. What exactly are gliadins
They are a sub-group of alcohol soluble proteins
> and why are they distinguished here from glutens Due to my sloppy writing. I should have stuck
> with the term gluten. rather than simply lumped in together under the catchall term "gluten" that
> you are using as a catchall for many other proteins also found in cereal grains?
Yes, that is what I should have done.
> There is abundant evidence connecting the advent of agriculture with retardation of long bone
> growth, dental enamel hypoplasia, iron deficiency anemia (indicated by porotic hyperostosis),
> juvenile osteoporosis, and joint disease (18). Do these conditions sound familiar? All but two. I
> would like to know in plain terms what "dental enamel hypoplasia"
holes in dental enamel, usually horizontal, and usually due to a period or periods of malnutrition
> is, as well as "porotic hyperostosis." I know from past study in the research that the latter is
> some kind of bone disease, but I can't remember exactly what kind. Please fill me in.
It is a condition where the outer layer of the bone becomes enlarged. It indicates a condition of iron
deficiency anemia.
> We know, from palenotologists' study of human remains from the ancient past, that when a culture
> begins to cultivate cereal grains they experience substantial reductions in height, which is
> variously reported as 5" and 6"(2, 4). Clearly, the reduction is substantial and significant. We
> know, too, that these remains demonstrate weaker bone structure (through reductions in peak
> bone-mass) and evidence of articular damage(3). I am not sure I know what "articular damage"
> refers to. Could you please explain? (Maybe just a technical term of good ole "arthritis"? :-\)
Sorry, I don't agree with you here. Articular damage is joint damage. I'm pretty convinced that it would be
due to arthritis, but I think I would have a fight on my hands trying to defend my position against some of the
practitioners who specialize in that area. You wouldn't believe how I've been trashed on alt.support.arthritis
on that very point. :=)
> W.J.Lutz (4) has offered an alternative perspective on the "French Paradox." (The "French Paradox"
> is the unusually low rate of death by myocardial infarction among the French despite quite high
> per-capita rates of fat consumption.) I know this may be being a bit picky about the languare
> here, but is there any reason "myocardial infarct" could not more simply be rendered as "heart
> attack" so it would be more clear to more people, or is there some reason "heart attack" is just
> not considered an accurate-enough term, and therefore it is mandatory to use "myocardial infarct"
> instead?
Nope, just sloppy writing. I tell my students to write what they mean, and don't use specialized words unless
they are necessary for clarity and precision..... then I have to admit to the same error today. Don't tell my
students, okay?
> Further on... This work is confirmed by Simmoon's observation that there is a negative correlation
> between the frequency of antigen HLA-B8 and the length of time wheat farming has been practised
> in various parts of Europe (19). What is "antigen HLA-B8, " is this negative correlation good or bad,
> and what does it do in the body?
Sorry that presumes familiarity with celiac disease. It is a gene. It indicates a predisposition for celiac
disease. Although it is present in 20% to 30% of the population, only a small fraction of those who have it
develop celiac disease. A huge majority of celiacs have this gene.
> It doesn't tell me a whole lot that there is a negative correlation when I don't even know what
> HLA-B8 is in the first place. I thought an antigen was a foreign protein the body reacted to by
> producing antibodies. The above statement--in my mind--seems to suggest that somehow a substance
> the body does not produce somehow varies with the consumption of wheat. That doesn't seem to
> make sense to me. Either that, or I am just not getting something here. Please explain.

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I was saying (although not clearly) that the incidence of this gene is reduced with an increased duration of
wheat consumption. This suggests to me that perhaps some of the other people with autoimmune diseases,
and gluten sensitivity, associated with HLA-B8 are suffering from gluten consumption. It must have been
serious enough, and the onset early enough (prior to reproduction) to reduce this gene's representation in the
gene pool.
> Another interesting study done in China produced what the investigators found to be rather
> surprising results(8). In this investigation, the researchers plotted the diets of more than 3500
> rural Chinese women, and measured their levels of SHBG (sex-hormone binding globulins). They
> were very surprised to find that wheat consumption, and perhaps reduced fish consumption, were the
> strongest predictors of levels of SHBG, which would indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular
> disease. I cannot figure out from the above whether the levels of SHBG went up or down in relation
> to wheat and fish consumption, only that there is some sort of correlation. Does SHBG go up when
> wheat and fish consumption go up, or is it the reverse?
It is the reverse, although I'm not clear about why. The SHBG correlate positively with HDLs, which
bespeaks a reduced risk of atherosclerosis. That means that wheat consumption is associated with reductions
in SHBG, and therefore, with an increased risk.
> Furthermore, it is not clear to me from the above whether *higher* or *lower* levels of SHBG
> result in an increased or decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. It only seems to say that
> there is some sort of correlation, but what that correlation is is unclear to me here. Beyond
> this, what the heck do sex-hormone binding globulins (SHBG) do in the body in the first place, and
> why would it be good or bad if their levels went up or down?
As near as I can tell, they bind to sex hormones in the blood, presumably for wasting, but I'm not at all sure
of that. Why do you ask such difficult questions?
> Another study has connected gluten with neurological illness (9). This group of researchers tested
> 53 patients with neurological illness of unknown origin for antibodies against gliadin. More than
> half of them (30 people) demonstrated these antibodies. Nine of those folks proved to have celiac
> disease, but the other 21 only demonstrated an immune response to gluten, of a type that is often
> dismissed as meaningless. This study has some far-reaching implications for neurological research.
> This seems clear enough--that an immune response to gluten might still be problematic even if the
> person does not have classic hereditary markers for celiac disease.
Hey! That's one point for me!
> Yet another indication that celiacs are not the only segment of the population to suffer from the
> adverse effects of gluten is a study that was carried out on a very small group of siblings of
> celiacs(10). When subjected to rectal gluten challenge, half of the siblings showed an immune
> response to gluten, but these results did not correlate with the hereditary predictors of celiac
> disease. I am not sure I understand the underlying assumptions here you are basing your statements
> on. Are you saying that certain immune responses somehow are used as "markers" for certain
> hereditary characteristics (which perhaps cannot be directly determined except through these
> markers) that may predict for celiac disease? And that there are additional immune responses that
> you are postulating may also predict for it, but conventional scientific wisdom does not yet
> acknowledge them?
I'm saying that 1/2 of the siblings tested with a rectal gluten challenge showed an immune response (either
elevated levels of a specific type of lymphocytes, or damage to the intestinal villi). This gluten sensitivity did
not correlate with the genetic markers we associate with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. That is,
somehow another (probably genetic) factor also seems to be at work in gluten sensitivity.
> As for the connection between autoimmunity and cereal grains, it is clear and compelling. The
> theoretical perspective of molecular mimicry suggests that gliadin-derived peptides may activate
> the immune system against collagenous tissues, and since intestinal permeability (not celiac
> disease) is all that is required to allow the passage of these peptides into the bloodstream, a
> significant number of many types of autoimmune diseases seem likely to benefit from a gluten-free
> diet (11). This seems clear enough except for the part about collagen. According to my
> dictionary, collagen is a "fibrous protein constituent of bone, cartilage, tendon, and other
> connective tissue." So what? What is the point about collagen here? I would guess there is perhaps
> sp, e postulation being made here that the immune system's action against collagen could be the
> mechanism behind bone deterioration seen in Neolithic farming communities, but this is a leap I am
> simply guessing at.

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No, my point is that in many autoimmune diseases, such as some types of arthritis, celiac disease, some types
of nephropathy, etc., there is damage to the collagen.
> Is this is fact what is being suggested, or am I completely off base? I am unclear.
I think that gluten will eventually be revealed as one of the primary causes of autoimmune diseases which
are now thought to have multiple interacting causes.
> In total, then, there are several studies which demonstrate (often coincidentally) that a much
> larger group than those with celiac disease are mounting an immune response against gluten, and
> that this response is causing or contributing to serious illness. Phytic acid in whole cereal
> grains binds to minerals, including calcium. This chemical bond is not broken in the GI tract. The
> net result is the binding and wasting of much-needed dietary calcium, even among those whose
> immune systems can tolerate gluten, and these grains may be implicated in osteoporosis (12). Okay,
> clear enough.
> I would now like to draw your attention back to the issue of malignancy. _Medical Hypotheses_ will
> soon publish a paper I have written which suggests (among other things) that gluten may be
> implicated in a great many cases of lymphoma (14). Gluten has been demonstrated to interfere with
> the celiac patient's ability to mount an immune response to malignancies (15, 16, 17). In my paper,
> I have postulated a dynamic whereby gluten may have a similar effect in others who are simply
> sensitive to gluten, or who have a sub-clinical form of this disease. This is clear language--thanks.
> I would like to suggest that the evidence from antiquity, the pattern of the spread of agriculture
> in Europe coinciding with the patterns of civilizatory illnesses, the levels of SBHG associated
> with wheat consumption, the high incidence of gliadin antibodies among those with neurological
> illnesses of unknown origin, the sensitivity to gluten among siblings of celiacs in spite of the
> absence of genetic indicators associated with celiac disease, and my own investigation of the
> literature regarding lymphoma, all point to the strong possibility that gluten is a dangerous
> substance to many more people than just celiacs.
> Several questions here. Again, please explain what gliadin is and why antibodies against it would
> be something that might lead to neurological illness. What are the possible mechanisms you would
> postulate? And again, what do SBHGs do in the body, and are their correlated levels with increased
> wheat consumption ones of increase or decrease, and is more or less SBHG good or bad? I don't have
> the background in physiology or pathology to have a clue about any of this.
> Thanks, Ron. I know it may seem tedious to you to explain these things, but remember, not all of
> us have the background you do. I take Discover magazine, Science News, and read several issues of
> Scientific American a year, and I like to think I am science-literate for a layperson, but I am
> really struggling here with some of this.
Yes, this was written for a group of people who have celiac disease. Most of us know that most celiacs have
HLA-B8. We may not be too clear on what that is, but we know it is in most celiacs, but only in a minority
of the general population. I guess I should have altered it for the list.
I was also under some time constraints. I had promised the organizer that I would keep the talk under 15
minutes. (She knows me.) You might not believe this, but I do get a little carried away, at times, and she
didn't want me going on and on for hours.
Thanks for your comments, Ward.
Best Wishes, Ron

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Celiac Ass'n Speech
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 05:31:43 -0500
I take no credit for Ron's paper except that I made some small content suggestions and suggested some
alternate phrasing in some spots. I have never seen anyone explicitly put forth the suggestion that glutens are
a primary culprit in modern disease processes (although Ray Audette does refer generically to "foreign
proteins" in grains, beans, and dairy), but the idea seems to have merit. Certainly hunter/gatherers never eat
the stuff, and apparently some fairly healthy horticulturists do not either.

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I had told Ron he'd better put something at the top explaining to people that "gluten" is a phrase celiacs
commonly use to refer to all proteins peculiar to cereal grains, but perhaps that wasn't sufficient. (Ron refers
to them as "toxic proteins" but I'm less willing to use that phrasing.) But that is the short answer; "gluten"
refers generically proteins peculiar to all forms of cereal grains. (All grains contain glutens, although the
amount varies. Wheat is quite high in it, whereas if I'm not mistaken brown rice is relatively low.)
The paper in question was delivered to a specialized audience of people with celiac disease (a potentially
deadly condition brought about by intolerance to glutens) and health professionals who treat them. My
forwarding it here was because it raises interesting issues that touch on the concept of paleolithic nutrition.
One of the beliefs of some in the paleolithic nutrition field is that excessive carbohydrate consumption
causes many of the diseases of civilization, especially hypertension, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. Grains and
grain products are post-agricultural humanity's primary source for carbohydrate; hunter/gatherers, who of
course would rarely eat grains, seem to average only about 30% carbohydrate intake, with most of it very
high in fibre and quite low on the glycemic index, with animal and nut protein frequently making up a
majority of the calories.
However, it seems quite possible that dietary carbohydrate might be a red herring, or a smaller ingredient
than it is sometimes regarded as. The first thing to make me realize this was Staffan Lindeberg's studies on
the Kitava (and Lindeberg is also a member of this listserv, BTW). The Kitava are not hunter/gatherers, but
are not exactly agriculturalists either; they would best be defined as primitive horticulturists, as they mostly
cultivate wild plants and do not grow or consume cereal grains (and if I'm not mistaken, do not eat dairy
either). Their diet is relatively high in carbohydrate and somewhat low in fat, although saturated fat intake is
fairly high. About 80% of them smoke cigarettes on a daily basis, and while they are physically active, they
are only somewhat more so than most Westerners. Yet their rates of obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart
attacks are vanishingly small. (I don't know if Lindeberg and his team ever looked for rheumatoid arthritis or
cancer, two common autoimmune diseases typical to civilization. Perhaps he can tell us that himself.)
Genetics does not seem to be the explanation, either. For a very good summary of Lindeberg's work written
by Lindeberg himself, with a bibliography of his complete papers as published in peer-reviewed journals, see
http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml.
In _The Paleolithic Prescription_, Eaton, Shostak, and Konner stated that while grains and grain products
were unnatural to humans in the wild, they were "too valuable" to suggest giving up their use, although he
never explained exactly what he thought was valuable about them. I wonder at times whether Eaton has
rethought that matter.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: More on glutens
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 06:28:41 -0500
To give some examples of what I'm talking about, Arthur De Vany, who's currently writing a book which he
has excerpted at http://www.socsci.uci.edu/econ/personnel/devany/Essay.html, makes the following
statement:
> "The only universal characteristic of ancestral and living hunter gatherer diets is the almost
> complete absence of simple carbohydrates. There were no simple carbohydrates like sugar and pasta.
> Fruits were tough and fibrous, not the refined, sweet stuff we have today. The closest thing to a
> simple carb was honey, rare and guarded by wild bees. There were no grain or cereal sources of
> carbs in the ancestral diet." (From "Evolutionary Fitness: What Evolution Teaches Us About How to
> Live and Stay Healthy Copyright 1995 by Arthur De Vany, Ph.D. and excerpted at the above URL.)
I don't want to pick on De Vany, who is far from alone in making this kind of claim. But this somewhat
common belief appears to be false. There's more to cereal grains than that they are high in simple
carbohydrate; they also contain forms of protein (which can be generically referred to as glutens) which are
completely foreign to the human animal, and which have been shown to cause serious disease in at least
some individuals. Allergies to cereal grains seem to be among the most common of food allergies, too. As
Hoggan mentions, there is at least some evidence that the proteins in grains may be implicated in far more
serious autoimmune responses than just food allergies. Ray Audette has often suggested that obesity is an
autoimmune disorder, and has also suggested that what he calls "foreign proteins" in grains and beans may
be a primary culprit in a number of diseases that hunter/gatherers never suffer from.

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One might also wonder about dairy. I know of no evidence that the ancestral human diet would ever include
dairy. In fact, although I eat dairy products myself, you could argue that the consumption of dairy is just
about the most bizarre thing that modern humans do. Dairy products contain lactose, and compellingly, about
75% of the world population is lactose-intolerant. But lactose isn't the only foreign substance; casein is also
in all dairy products, and is another substance which would be foreign to the human digestive tract, and
which appears to cause at least some individuals problems. I know of no rigorous evidence that casein is a
major danger, but it does seem logical to posit that substances unique to foods that would never have been
eaten by humans in nature should be looked at with suspicion.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Thanks, and another question or three :-)
From: Ward Nicholson
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 10:57:59 -0600
Hi Ron, thanks for your great reply to my response to your gluten paper--I think you answered every single
nitpicking question I had. :-) Sorry if I sounded a bit peeved here and there in asking all those questions. At
the time, I just thought, "Oh no! Here we go again with another scientific paper that makes me feel like an
idiot!" :-) (Any smart-aleck comments from anyone on the possible truth of that supposition will be met with
a rap on the knuckles with a No. 2 pencil. :-))
I have another question on gluten, and then another couple of generic questions about Paleodiet for anybody
here. First, Ron, based on wide reading in the field, I have had suspicions about the problematic role of
grains for some time, although I wasn't really sure, so it is great to see all the research you are doing going
into the whys and wherefores. So due to your and others' influences, I have been trying to cut back on grain
products recently, but I have a problem in that I am a distance runner, and I can't seem to get the oomph I
need without eating a certain amount of grains. I don't do what the running community calls "carbo-load"
(that is, stuff yourself with carbohydrates for fuel prior to tough workouts or races), but I *have* seemed to
find that my energy has better staying power during my runs if I eat some kind of bread at the meal prior to
my runs. Potatoes and such--another kind of carb--don't seem to do the trick as well. Also, too much fruit and
my blood-sugar reacts by getting pumped up but then nosediving. (I have pretty sensitive blood sugar due to
a past history of over-indulgence.)
My question is this: The breads I have been eating are all "sprouted"-type breads. I.e., either the very
moist/heavy "Manna"-brand breads (round loaves), or the types of sprouted bread like "Ezekiel bread" or
Shiloh Farms "7-grain" breads you can find in the health-food store. At first I was under the impression that
when they were sprouted, grains became gluten-free, but I have recently learned (I think) that this is an
illusion. Is it true that sprouted breads are just as problematic as those made from regularly processed and
milled grains?
Assuming the answer to that question is yes, or at least a qualified yes--well, then, what to do for someone
like me who has been dependent on them for energy? Perhaps I just need to experiment more, or commit to a
longer-term program of getting myself off grains, and maybe my energy for running wold eventually return
to normal levels. But just wondered if anybody here who is an endurance athlete had any practical
suggestions or examples from your own life specifically about how you made the transition.
Question number two: Recently I was talking privately with a Paleodiet researcher (who may or may not be
on this list yet, I don't know), who said the often-cited estimate of a ratio of 65% plant/35% animal foods for
humans during Paleolithic times has turned out to have been based on mistabulated ethnographic data. (As
far as I can tell, "ethnographic data" apparently meant that a database of modern hunter-gatherers
plant/animal-food eating patterns had been amassed, and was the basis for projecting back into the past what
the ratio may have been in prehistory, but I may be wrong in that interpretation.)
Anyway, with a corrected retabulation of the data, it is looking like the ratio of animal foods in Paleolithic
times would have been more like 50%, possible as high as 65%, ever since homo erectus 1.7 million years
ago. Also, the researcher said that muscle meats would have been the very *last* part of the animal to be
eaten, with the brains, organs, and bone marrow being far more highly prized.

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I found this a bit mind-boggling, mainly because of the practical implications for people trying to
approximate a Paleodiet today. Due to the way food animals are processed and put on sale today, you can't
even find brains or bone marrow, and precious few organs for the eating. This means--according to what I
understand--that in focusing mainly on muscle meats today, we are eating the lowest-grade portion of the
animal. And beyond that, there is the factor of cost: It would be cost-prohibitive for most people even in fully
economically developed countries to afford to eat 50% or 65% of their diet as meat--let alone be able to feed
the whole world this way. Even if the ratio were the lower 35% animal food, it would still be a tough row to
hoe for most people other than the economically well-off getting that much in our modern diets.
This obviously means we have to make some compromises--or at least intelligent substitutions--in trying to
achieve the nutrient profile obtainable from a truly Paleolithic diet. I have developed quite a taste for meat as
I have changed my diet to be somewhat more in conformity with what is known of the Paleolithic norm, but I
know it's nowhere close to what it could be. So my question is: what do those of you in the Paleodiet
research community do about your own diets, assuming you are trying to put into practice what you have
learned in your research? Is it really necessary to eat as high as 50-65% animal products for optimal health,
or is there perhaps a *range* of say 10 or 20% to 60% that for all practical purposes might get close to the
same results? And/or if not, are there other foods or supplements that might wisely be used to bridge the
gap?
Third question: The "caloric restriction" research community studying longevity in lower animals (and more
recently in primates) has found lifespans can be greatly increased in lower animals by restricting food intake
so as to lower the rate of metabolic wear-and-tear on the body. From what I know about it--which is not very
much--in addition to volume of food intake, the caloric restriction researchers have also seemingly
implicated protein, and specifically animal protein, as a factor that accelerates aging, and so they advise
minimizing its intake to the lowest prudent level. (To what they call "CRAN" or "CRON, " meaning
respectively, "caloric restriction with adequate nutrition" or "caloric restriction with optimal nutrition.") This
would seem to be at direct odds with current dietary advice in the Paleodiet community.
My question about this point is: Is focusing strictly on longevity inevitably at cross-purposes with fully
robust Paleolithic nutrition? Are there cost/benefits to the level of protein intake--or to anything for that
matter--so that it is folly to think you can have your cake and eat it too? That you have to weigh the pluses
and minuses and settle with the particular compromise that pleases you the most?
An example: From reports of people practicing caloric restriction, it seems that among other things one
experiences drastically reduced sex drive as well as muscularity--you get extremely skinny and--apparently, I
am surmising this--probably don't have very high sex hormone levels in view of the reduced sex drive many
seem to experience. (These just seem to be the actual results that people doing it experience.)
Anyway, let's assume caloric restriction in a modern protected lab environment might theoretically result in
increased longevity. Looking at the other side of the coin, would the characteristics of reduced sex drive and
decreased muscularity and physical prowess not have been counter-survival for the species in a rough-andtumble Paleolithic environment? I am myself not interested in doing caloric restriction, because I simply
don't feel my best nor enjoy life in the present without certain amounts of food and certain levels of animal
protein, but I do wonder if I might be sacrificing a bit of longevity. It's something I don't at all worry about,
but nevertheless it is an interesting question, I think.
Any comments from the researchers or anybody else on the list about any of this?
--Ward Nicholson
Wichita, KS

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Stanislas Tanchou
From: Ray Audette
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 21:57:51 -0800
Tanchou was the doctor who first recognized auto-immune diseases as a unique type of disorder. One of the
characteristics he listed for recoginizing such a "disease of civilization" was that they never appeared in wild
animal populations or in hunter-gatherers. This characteristic is shared by obesity, diabetes, cancer, etc.
The resulting 100 year search for auto-immune diseases among hunter-gatherers was documented by
Vilhjalmur Stefansson in his book "Cancer Disease of Civilization"(New York, Hill & Wang, 1960).
Stefansson is considered by many as the father of Paleolithic Nutrition. He adopted the Inuit diet in 1906 and
almost never ate vegetables again. He died in 1962 after writing his autobiography "Discovery".
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Perhaps the best synopsis of Stefansson's nutritional work is found in his 3 part article in Harpers Magazine
in the 1930s. Dean has a copy, perhaps he would post it.
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin:A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Staffan Lindeberg series in Harper's Monthly
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 02:39:31 -0500
Indeed, the 3-part "Adventures in Diet" article by Stefansson is one of the treasures of my (very) modest
library. I would be happy to digitize it and run it through OCR software, but since the articles were published
in 1960 I believe they would still be covered under copyright law. I believe I would need permission from
either Harper's or Stefansson's estate to reprint it electronically. I've been meaning for some time to contact
Harper's, but I lack any kind of address for them.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Grains and primates
From: Ray Audette
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 00:03:41 -0800
As pointed out in many sources, grains are not edible to any species of primate without technological
intervention. After all raw grain is essentially flour, water and fiber (in French - paper mache) and will cause
a bowel obstruction in any primate if eaten in sufficient quantities. As humans have only been eating grains
for about 350 generations, our primate immune systems recognize grain proteins as "foreign" and will
therefore mount a response to them. Auto-immune diseases such as cancer have shown a mathematical
correlation to grain consumption and indeed OSHA lists all grains as potential work place carcinogens.
Grains also inhibit digestion in primates by absorbing and eliminating many vitamins necessary to
metabolize natural foods. A good example of this is Pelegra, a vitamin deficiency disease caused by eating
corn - even though corn contains the very vitamin (nicotenic acid) whose deficiency causes the disease.
A good account of the effects of grain in ancient times can be found in Eades' "Protein Power" in the chapter
Curse of the Mummies. This tells of the thousands of autopsies performed on ancient Egyptians, who in spite
of eating what the "Battle Creek" nutritionalists would consider ideal, had higher obesity rates, heart disease
rates, and probability higher cancer rates given their short lifespans.
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Carbs and Proteins
From: Art De Vany
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 17:02:00 -0800
I do agree with Dean Esmay's point regarding the excerpt from my in-progress book. Alas, simplification is
inevitable when one excerpts material from more lengthy and complex content. In emphasizing the relatively
low carbohydrate content of hunter-gatherer diets, and particularly the seemingly low glycemic indices of
their foods, I was mounting an attack on a good deal of modern diet advice and not giving the whole story.
The book will contain a discussion of the role of altered and foreign substances in the diet and their
connection to the Western Diseases, to the extent there is credible research on these subjects. Certain large
proteins do seem to be implicated in immune responses because they make their way to the lower intestine
where such responses are elicited.
I should like to put forth a proposition that seems to generalize and contain the key points of the many
models of Paleolithic living and modern living. It is this:

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The paleolithic pattern is multidimensional; it encompasses diet and activity, and it is not a steady state
pattern, but one of adaptation and novelty that accommodates variety of eating and activity patterns. Diet and
activity cannot be understood adequately unless they are part of an integrated model and analyses based on
averages are misleading. Averages are but one moment of the whole distribution on a single axis in the
multidimensional space and are falsely predicated on normal or bell-shaped distributions which living
organisms fail to follow [they follow power laws]. Averages and steady-state analyses can be highly
misleading in understanding a far-from-equilibrium living system. A multidimensional, dynamic model is
essential for understanding the complex, self-organized processes that are at work here.
Here is the maladaptation hypothesis within the dynamic framework. The paleolithic pattern is an attractor in
a multidimensional dynamic space and this attractor lies some distance from the modern pattern. The
distance between these two attractors is a measure of the degree to which paleolithic humans are maladapted
to modern life.
The implications of this view are far-reaching. The fat axis, protein locii, carb dimensions and so on are but a
few subspaces of this large dynamic pattern. Projecting complex patterns onto these simpler subspaces is
useful, but also can be highly misleading. Three or four macronutrient component models of diet can be
helpful, but are wholly inadequate for understanding human nutrition (that is why the paleo model is so
appealing). Diet is inadequate unless it is integrated with physical and cognitive activity.
Arthur De Vany
NeXTMAIL, SUN Mail & MIME welcome http://www.socsci.uci.edu/mbs/personnel/devany/devany.html
Department of Economics Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences 3151 Social Science Plaza Irvine,
CA 92697-5100

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Marathon food
From: Ray Audette
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 00:22:59 -0800
> Is it true that sprouted breads are just as problematic as those made from regularly processed and
> milled grains? Assuming the answer to that question is yes, or at least a qualified yes--well,
> then, what to do for someone like me who has been dependent on them for energy? Perhaps I just
> need to experiment more, or commit to a longer-term program of getting myself off grains, and
> maybe my energy for running wold eventually return to normal levels. But just wondered if anybody
> here who is an endurance athlete had any practical suggestions or examples from your own life
> specifically about how you made the transition.
My ancestors, French Canadian fur traders performed a 9 month marathon every year when they paddled
their canoes 16 hours a day in order to reach B.C. and return to Quebec before the rivers froze. During this
time they ate nothing but pemmican. From my own experience, I can tell you that this is the paleolithic
energy food you are looking for. Pemmican is made from raw red dehydrated meat saturated with tallow (by
calories 80% fat). It is very energy dense, easily absorbed and will keep without refrigeration for 200-300
years. It contains all the nutrients and vitamins a human requires and can be eaten exclusively for long
periods of time. It is also ideal baby food being very close to human milk in its' nutritional components. My
son Gray-Hawk has eaten it every day since age three weeks.
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Longevity
From: Ray Audette
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 00:33:04 -0800
> Anyway, let's assume caloric restriction in a modern protected lab environment might theoretically
> result in increased longevity.
Actually, it's reduced body fat that produces this result. The correlation between thinness and lifespan is well
known in humans and led to these studies in rodents. Reducing calories is the only way most researchers
know to lower body fat.

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My co-author Troy Gilchrist (NeanderThin 6 years) and I (NeanderThin 12 years) recently had our body fat
tested at a health fair we exhibited at. His was 4.8% and mine was 5.2%. This puts us at the high end of the
longevity scale!
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Kagnoff Speech
From: Don Wiss
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 00:43:57 -0500
While again this was written for a celiac aware audience, it does get into the various proteins in the grains
that celiacs find toxic. Fits in with the recent discussion of grains versus the "gluten" grains. Don.
"Genetics and What's New in Research"
------------------------------------a talk by Martin F. Kagnoff, MD summarized by Jim Lyles
Dr. Martin F. Kagnoff is the director of the Laboratory of Mucosal Immunology at the University of
California at San Diego, and well-known for his research in celiac disease, particularly with respect to
genetic factors. He gave a talk at the 1995 CSA/USA conference on October 5, 1995, in San Francisco,
California. What follows are some highlights of Dr. Kagnoff's talk.
Celiac Disease (CD) is associated with small bowel damage, which occurs when a celiac eats gluten
containing foods. "Gluten" is something of a misnomer. Gluten really refers to the disease- activating
proteins in wheat, and we know there are similar, related, but somewhat different proteins in other grains that
activate CD as well. However, gluten-free (GF) has come to mean free of the grains which are toxic to
celiacs.
Nutrients are not absorbed properly in an untreated celiac, due to the damage in the small bowel. This results
in a wide spectrum of different symptoms.
When a celiac consumes gluten, the damage to the small intestine may be slight or it may be extensive. It
depends on how sensitive that individual is to gluten, and on how much gluten is consumed. However, it is
not just the small intestine that is sensitive to gluten; the entire digestive tract including the large bowel is
sensitive. In a study done several years ago, wheat was placed at the very bottom of the small intestine,
where celiac damage does not usually occur. This caused the type of damage that is characteristic of CD.
More recently, Mike Marsh has inserted gluten into the rectum to help in diagnosing CD. He has found that
inflammation and changes in the rectal lining occur in celiacs exposed to gluten in this fashion.
Dr. Kagnoff showed slides with the two extremes: normal, healthy villi with small crypts and completely
flattened villi with elongated crypts. He said that there are many in-between situations, where the villi are
only partly gone or partly damaged. A healthy small intestine has many folds, with villi on the folds, and
microvilli on the villi. Altogether, this provides a surface area equivalent to two regulation-size tennis courts;
this is about 600 times as large as the surface area inside piece of tubing the same size and length as the
small intestine. As the villi are damaged and the microvilli disappear in active CD, the absorptive surface is
greatly reduced. The severity of the symptoms varies depending on the amount of absorptive surface that has
been lost.
Another point to consider is: What do you absorb in your small intestine, and where? One of the common
symptoms of untreated CD is iron deficiency. Some celiacs had iron deficiency for years, but were not
diagnosed until other symptoms began to show up as well. Dr. Kagnoff has a set of twins as patients that
were diagnosed with iron deficiency at age seven, are short in stature, and wasn't until they were over 40 that
they developed symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea which finally led to a diagnosis of CD. The reason
this can happen is that iron is absorbed in the very top portion of the small bowel. If the villi damage is not
severe and limited to that area, then other nutrients are absorbed further down in the intestine and only iron is
malabsorbed. Another common problem with untreated celiacs is iron malabsorption coupled with calcium
malabsorption. After malabsorbing calcium for years these people are susceptible to bone fractures, but
really don't have that full-blown "picture" of CD which is the underlying cause of these fractures.

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As the small bowel lining becomes more damaged and abnormal, one starts to malabsorb fat-soluble
vitamins such as D, E, A, and K. As the disease progresses, water soluble vitamins start malabsorbing as
well. However, if the damage is limited to the first foot or so of the small intestine, full-blown malabsorption
may never occur as the remaining 20 feet or so if small intestine will continue to absorb nutrients normally.
However, in these cases iron absorption will be a continual problem as iron is only absorbed in the earliest
portion of the small intestine.
In CD genes, environmental factors, and the immune system all play a role. Dr. Kagnoff touched on all three
of these factors.
Environmental Factors
--------------------We all know that ingesting certain grains activates CD: wheat, rye, barley, and if taken in large enough
quantities, oats. There is some debate in some groups as to whether or not oats are toxic to celiacs. We know
that rice, corn, and sorghum are fine, as long as they are not contaminated by one of the toxic grains. When
you look at the plant ancestry, you find that wheat, rye, and barley all come from a common ancestor. If you
go up one more level, you find a point where oats also shares a common ancestor. These grains all have a
high content of some alcohol-soluble proteins that are called prolamins. (The content is somewhat lower in
oats.) These prolamins have a very high content of glutamine and proline, which are two amino acids.
When we talk about a gluten-free (GF) diet, what we are really talking about are these alcohol-soluble
proteins, which are named as follows:
Grain Proteins -----------wheat gliadins barley hordeins rye secalins oats avenins
Note that we are not talking about a single protein. A variety of wheat may have 40 different gliadins
encoded on multiple genes within the wheat. Some of the chromosome specialists years ago tried to engineer
wheat that would lack the gliadins that active CD; but there were so many different genes encoding gliadins,
on different chromosomes, that they soon realized it was an almost impossible feat.
Within the wheat gliadins, there have been studies to determine which part(s) of the gliadin activate CD.
Gliadins (and the corresponding proteins of the other three toxic grains) are proteins made up of many
different building blocks that are called amino acids. We've found that only a small part of these proteins is
needed to activate CD, about 12-15 of these amino acids; these are called gliadin peptides. Studies are being
conducted all around the world, and some sort of consensus is being reached as to which peptide sequence
activates a celiac response.
One particular wheat gliadin (alpha-gliadin) has been studied in more detail. Don Kasarda, of the USDA
research facility, and his group purified this protein, and others at the facility isolated the nucleotide and
peptide sequences for alpha-gliadin. Other groups around the world have also worked with this single
protein. What they've found is this protein has 266 amino acids, with over 60 glutamines and over 30
prolines. This is very unusual; most proteins have a fairly random scattering of amino acids.
Tests with celiacs using alpha-gliadin have been conducted to isolate the actual amino acid sequence that
triggers a celiac-type response. Groups in Norway and England have isolated the same sequence, which
MAY be the part of alpha-gliadin that activates the disease.
Genetic Factors
--------------Is CD a genetic disease? The answer is probably "yes"; susceptibility to CD is certainly genetic. Certain
genetic factors are required; without them you don't get CD. However, even with them you might not get the
disease, so CD is not entirely genetic.
Within families of celiacs, depending on which studies you read, the incidence among other family members
is between 2% and 15%. This is a relatively small number, but still far greater than the incidence in the
population at large. What really points to a very strong genetic association is the incidence in monozygotic
(identical) twins: Where one twin has CD, at least 70% of the time the other also has CD. The fact that this
incidence is not 100% is another indication that there are other factors besides genetics involved in CD.
Susceptibility to CD is associated with HLA genes encoded on the sixth chromosome. The HLA genes are
among the most diverse set of genes encoded in humans or other mammals. They determine and govern why
we are different from one another in terms of our immune system and how it reacts and responds.

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Celiacs nearly always have one of two HLA genes: DQ2 or DQ8. These genes are relatively common among
Caucasians of European descent, occurring in about 25% of the population. These genes are not found in
Japan or Africa among the blacks; consequently CD is virtually unheard of in these areas of the world. Most
people with these HLA genes don't get CD, so there is still more to this puzzle than we currently know.
About 95% of the celiac population carry the DQ2 gene, another 5% carry the DQ8 gene, and far less than
1% would carry anything else.
If a celiac and a sibling share the same HLA genes, there is a 20-40% chance that the sibling will develop
CD also.
There are some studies going on which are trying to induce something similar to CD in animals. Dr.
Kagnoff's group has just submitted one for publication in which they cloned DQ2 and other HLA genes and
put them into mice. They are beginning to look at how the mice respond to gliadin.
The Immune System
----------------In CD, two types of T-cells come into play. The first type is intraepithelial T-lymphocytes, which exist
between the epithelial cells. In active CD, one of the striking features is an increase in the number and
density of these intraepithelial T-lymphocytes. These T-cells were thought to be responsible for the villi
damage, but recent studies suggest that these cells actually help in the growth and development of epithelial
cells. The increase in these T-cells during active CD may be an attempt to maintain the normalcy of the
epithelial lining. In fact, when the gene responsible for these cells is deleted from mice, the epithelial lining
is totally abnormal.
The T-cells in the lamina propria are the ones responsible for the villi damage, by reacting to the presence of
gliadin. During this reaction the T-cells release cytokines, and it is the cytokines which appear to cause the
damage to the villi.
Diagnostic Tests
---------------CD can present with a broad array of symptoms. Often the symptoms are very subtle and appear to be far
removed from the small intestine. This makes diagnosing CD difficult in many cases.
The blood tests can be useful for screening. Three of the four antibody tests can be highly sensitive, but only
when there is fairly marked damage to the villi. These tests generally do not come back positive when the
damage is mild. Also, we have to take into account how often these tests give a false positive. For a while the
endomysial antibody was felt to be nearly 100% specific, i.e., no false positives. In recent years that number
has fallen off some, as there have been some false positives detected. The bottom line is: These tests are
good as a screening device and to monitor compliance with the GF diet, but they cannot be used in place of
the small bowel biopsy for diagnosing CD. Dr. Kagnoff does not believe these tests would be useful in
screening the population at large; they are most useful in screening those in whom there is some suspicion of
CD due to the symptoms.
Next we need to look at HLA Class II DQ gene typing tests. These can be useful in eliminating the
possibility of CD, as CD is virtually unheard of unless you have one of the two DQ markers we discussed
earlier. Of course, the converse is not true: The vast majority of those which DO have one of these markers
also don't have CD, so all you can say in that case is that CD remains a possibility.
The HLA typing tests are also useful in determining for the siblings of a celiac if CD can be eliminated as a
potential future concern.
At this point Dr. Kagnoff answered some questions from the floor:
Q: What is the risk of small bowel lymphoma?
A: There is good (but not definitive) evidence that the increase in lymphoma is related to not being on a strict
GF diet. For celiacs on a strict GF diet, the risk of small bowel lymphoma is not significantly greater than it
is for non-celiacs. The question is, how much gluten is okay? Dr. Kagnoff has detected inflammation in
biopsies of individuals who only eat a small amount of gluten. We know from other malignancies that
ongoing inflammation is associated with increased risk.
On the other hand, the overall risk is still very small, even in studies where people with active CD have eaten
gluten for 30, 40, or 50 years. The risk is real, but the risk of an earthquake in California is probably higher.
However, I still recommend that celiacs maintain as GF a diet as they can.
Q: What is the risk of colon cancer in celiacs?
A: There is no evidence that there is an increase risk of colon cancer in celiacs. The increase in risk, which is
small, refers to cancers in the mouth, esophagus, oral pharynx, lymphoma of the small bowel, and cancer of
the small intestine (which is very rare, even in celiacs). There is no increased risk elsewhere.
Q: What is the possibility of developing a GF grain of wheat?
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A: Very unlikely. By the time you eliminated all of the gliadin-related genes from wheat, I'm not sure there
would be much left.
Q: Are you born with CD, or can it "develop" at any age?
A: First it must be triggered by some event in the environment, such as a certain kind of flu, stress, etc. Then,
once it is triggered, you continue to have the disease for the rest of your life.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Glutenous Grains
From: Bob Avery
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 03:21:05 EST
Dean or Ron or anyone,
It is common practice in the natural foods community to consume the juice of sprouted wheat and barley
grass. The grains are planted and allowed to sprout until they produce a short grass a few inches tall. The
grass is harvested and put through a juicer. The resulting juice is drunk as is (raw) or mixed with other raw
vegetable juices.
Do any of you know whether the proteins in these grasses are objectionable from the celiac patient's
perspective, or is their nutrient profile sufficiently different from that of the grains themselves so as not to be
a concern as regards "gluten" toxicity?
Bob Avery

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Dairy products in the diet and evolution
From: John Allen
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 14:11:05 UTC+1200
Dean Esmay (I believe) raised this point in a previous message:
> One might also wonder about dairy. I know of no evidence that the ancestral human diet would ever
> include dairy. In fact, although I eat dairy products myself, you could argue that the consumption
> of dairy is just about the most bizarre thing that modern humans do. Dairy products contain
> lactose, and compellingly, about 75% of the world population is lactose-intolerant. But lactose
> isn't the only foreign substance; casein is also in all dairy products, and is another substance
> which would be foreign to the human digestive tract, and which appears to cause at least some
> individuals problems. I know of no rigorous evidence that casien is a major danger, but it does
> seem logical to posit that substances unique to foods that would never have been eaten by humans
> in nature should be looked at with suspicion.
With Susan Cheer, I have recently published a paper in Current Anthropology called "The non-thrifty
genotype" (37:831-842, 1996), in which I provide a somewhat heterodox view of the Thrifty Genotype
concept and attempt to link lactose tolerance and use of dairy products to the issue of why European-derived
populations appear to be virtually unique in not possessing the Thrifty Genotype. Lactose is a simple sugar,
and those were (are) unusual in hunter-gather diets. In addition, the proteins in milk are evidently insulin
secretogogues, thus the insulin response to lactose in milk is much greater than to lactose alone (ie, mixed in
a solution of water). Anyway, I have tried to make a consistent evolutionary story about these facts and a few
others. The most fundamental observation raised in the paper is that populations with high lactose tolerance
rates have low rates of Type II diabetes; the relationship is quite a strong one despite all the other factors that
one would think would be involved.
If anyone would like a copy of the article, just send me an e-mail.
Cheers, John Allen
**********************************************************
Dr John S Allen Department of Anthropology University of Auckland Private Bag 92019 Auckland, NEW
ZEALAND 64-9-373-7599, Ext 8574 (office) 64-9-373-7441 (fax)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Kitava
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From: Staffan Lindeberg


Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 19:00:45 +0100
Dean wrote:
> However, it seems quite possible that dietary carbohydrate might be a red herring, or a smaller
> ingredient than it is sometimes regarded as. The first thing to make me realize this was Staffan
> Lindeberg's studies on the Kitava (and Lindeberg is also a member of this listserv, BTW). If you
> wish I am Staffan to any of you. The Kitava are not hunter/gatherers, but are not exactly
> agriculturalists either; they would best be defined as primitive horticulturalists, as they mostly
> cultivate wild plants ...
Their staple crops are tubers: yam, sweet potato, taro, and tapioca.
> ... and do not grow or consume cereal grains (and if I'm not mistaken, do not eat dairy either).
Correct. 70% of the daily energy intake in a Western society like Sweden is provided by foods which are not
eaten in Kitava and which were unavailable during human evolution, namely dairy products, oils, margarine,
refined sugar and cereals.
Table 1. Estimated dietary intakes (daily medians) in Kitava.
------------------------------------------------------By weight Protein Fat Carbohydrate Energy (g) (g) (g) (g) (kJ)
------------------------------------------------------Tubers 1200 25 2 300 5600 (Yam, sweet potato, taro)
Fruit 400 3 <1 50 920 Coconut 110 4 43 7 1865 Fish 85 17 4 0 445 Other veg. 200 5 <1 14 360 Western
food <1 0 <1 <1 20
Total 2 000 54 50 370 9200
------------------------------------------------------> Their diet is relatively high in carbohydrate and somewhat low in fat, although saturated fat
> intake is fairly high.
It is high in saturated fat from coconut (not coconut oil which is devoid of fiber and minerals).
Table 2. Estimated dietary macronutrient composition expressed as per cent of total energy in Kitava, among
the general Swedish population, and as recommended to general western populations (Recommended dietary
allowances, RDA].
------------------------------------------------------Kitava Sweden RDA
------------------------------------------------------Total fat 21 37 30 -Saturated 17 16 <10 -Monounsaturated 2 16
> 10 -Polyunsaturated 2 5 5-10 Protein 10 12 10-15 Carbohydrate 69 48 55-60 Alcohol 0 2?
------------------------------------------------------> About 80% of them smoke cigarettes on a daily basis, and while they are physically active, they
> are only somewhat moreso than most Westerners. Yet their rates of obesity, diabetes, stroke, and
> heart attacks are vanishingly small. (I don't know if Lindeberg and his team ever looked for
> rheumatoid arthritis or cancer, two common autoimmune diseases typical to civilization. Perhaps he
> can tell us that himself.)
1. In our survey, protracted illness during several months or more was practically unknown, as were
successively growing visible tumours. One of the few exceptions was an elderly man who was reported to
have had an ulcer at the front of the lower part of one leg, and to have become ill and died after several years.
This case was known to the majority (and was presented almost identically by the different groups across the
island). One man had heard of an old lady who had had a growth at one of her breasts and who had died
within a rather short time. Another man aged 67, a betel-chewer but non-smoker, suffered since several
months, possibly years, from a dry, non-tender ulcer at the hard palate, which was examined by me. No other
case corresponding to superficially growing malignancies was known in Kitava.

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Comments: The ulcer of the hard palate was obviously an oral carcinoma, which has been the most common
malignancy among males in PNG [Wallington, 1986 #3676; Atkinson, 1964 #3294; Henderson, 1979
#3296], and which, since Kitavans are all betel chewers, is probably caused by the highly alkaline lime
component of the betel quid [MacLennan, 1985 #3295; Thomas, 1992 #3570; Boyle, 1990 #1581; Nair, 1990
#1580; Prokopczyk, 1991 #1576; Stich, 1991 #1578; Nishikawa, 1992 #1573; Sharan, 1992 #1570;
Sundqvist, 1992 #1662]. The man with a reported leg ulcer probably had a tropical phagedenic ulcer, which
are common in the area (J=FCptner H, personal communication) and in which squamous cell carcinomas
(cancer) occasionally develop [Meyer, 1991 #3293]. In sub-Saharan Africa, malignant change in poorly
treated tropical ulcers account for up to 10% of all malignant tumours in some groups [Ziegler, 1991 #3362].
Until the last 10-20 years, women have most of the time been stripped above their hips, and even today the
majority freely uncover their breasts. Nevertheless, Kitavans were unaware of superficial tumors, with the
possible exception of one reported woman who may have had breast cancer. J=FCptner, however, observed
one case during his five years in the 1960s as the only general practitioner (serving 12, 000 people) in
Kiriwina, the main Trobriand island. This was in a pregnant woman, whose mother and mother-in-law
refused to have her operated, and who developed enlargement of supraclavicular lymph nodes and died
within few months. It thus seems justified to consider breast cancer to be less common in the Trobriand
Islands than in the USA [Seidman, 1985 #3345]. In contrast, J=FCptner, who was a trained gynecologist,
diagnosed more than 10 cases of ovarian cancer among 12, 000 inhabitants in 5 years, which is a higher
incidence than in the USA (p<0.008) [Heintz, 1985 #3297] or as compared to the rest of Papua New Guinea
(p<0.02) [Mola, 1982 #3298]. It is tempting to speculate that the high intake of saturated fat from coconut
may be an explanation, since milk, an important source of saturated fat in westerners, has been suggested to
cause ovarian cancer [Rose, 1986 #3581; Mettlin, 1990 #3576], although much of the debate has concerned
lactose rather than saturated fat [Mettlin, 1991 #3579; Cramer, 1991 #3580; Harlow, 1991 #3583].
J=FCptner found no case of cervical carcinoma (the most common gynecological cancer in PNG [Mola,
1982 #3298]) and no other malignancies, but he made very few autopsies. The absence of growths
corresponding to lymphoma is thus confirmed by J=FCptner. Burkitt's lymphomas are fairly common in
those coastal areas of PNG where malaria transmission is intense [Henderson, 1979 #3296].
2. As to other non-communicable diseases, accidents were reported to be a fairly common cause of death,
and most cases had drowned or fallen from coconut trees (One 70-year-old non-attending man died after
falling from one tree during our expedition). Five of those who were older than 85, and who declined to
participate, referred to their aching legs, and four of them suffered from stiffness and pain of hips and/or
knees. Two of them had enlarged circumferences and flexion contractures of the knees, suggestive of chronic
arthritis. One case of severe emphysema in an elderly male smoker was encountered, but milder cases may
well have been present. Two cases of dementia were noted, most certainly due to mental retardation. Both
subjects were younger than 30 years. All the elderly seemed mentally well preserved. No case of severe
personality disorder was noted, although during an earlier visit on the island a man aged about 30 was seen
who was highly suspected of suffering from schizophrenia. (In Kiriwina I also met a man with obvious latent
psychosis. Incidentally, he had been separated from his parents as an infant.)
The majority of Kitavans were, on gross inspection, and by the brief discussions during the initial selection
procedures, in excellent condition. Starvation had not been experienced except for one month around 1927.
Food was abundant and considerable amounts were wasted. Many children aged 2-7 years had large
abdomens, but all appeared healthy. No evidence of malnutrition was found. Estimated protein intake in
adults averaged 55 g per day.
Comments: Accidents are expected to be common [Barss, 1984 #1613], and the same is true for infectious
arthritides [Theis, 1991 #3328]. There is more uncertainty regarding primary osteoarthritis, which is reported
to be extremely rare in Japan [Nakamura, 1987 #3329]. According to Theis, "primary osteoarthritis of the hip
is rarely seen among Chinese and [Asians] Indians, whereas the same condition is very common in the knee"
[Theis, 1991 #3328]. Osteoarthritis, which apparently is not primarily an inflammatory disorder, obviously
affects humans irrespectively of their lifestyle although unphysiological tearing may worsen it [References
below]. J=FCptner diagnosed a few cases of symmetric polyarthritis, primarily affecting the knees and
occasionally the joints of the hand. This MAY indicate the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, but other causes
are perhaps more likely.

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Among the most probable causes of the large abdomens are firstly intestines distended by voluminous foods
or by worms (Ascaris in particular) [Schwartzman, 1991 #3349; Barnish, 1992 #3348] and secondly
hepatosplenomegaly (enlarged liver and spleen) from chronic malaria [Strickland, 1991 #3351; Cattani, 1992
#3350]. Protein-energy malnutrition or vitamin deficiency has neither been diagnosed nor suspected by my
colleagues J=FCptner, Schiefenh=F6vel and Kame among Trobriand Islanders (personal communications).
In contrast, Stanhope reported, on the basis of government medical protocols and interviews of former
medical officers, two deaths from malnutrition among 17 deceased children between 1962 and 1967, and
suggested that "in bad yam seasons, malnutrition appears in [Kiriwina] inland villages and vitamin A
deficiency has been reported" [Stanhope, 1969 #1053]. On Kitava, however, there are no inland villages.
There is some evidence indicating that infection of Ascaris lumbricoides may cause stunting and possibly
even impaired vitamin A status in developing countries [Solomons, 1993 #3682], where carotene intake,
however, would be lower than in the Trobriands. The estimated protein intake in adults is expected to be
sufficient [Garlick, 1993 #3460].
According to J=FCptner, retained placenta was the most common cause of maternal death in the 1960s.
Chronic bronchitis and asthma are prevalent in PNG even in non-smokers [Anderson, 1992 #3352]. Further
comments on non-communicable diseases are best avoided at this stage.
In conclusion, accidents are thus common causes of death in Kitava. Malnutrition is virtually non-existent.
Whether non-communicable diseases other than cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer and malnutrition are
uncommon cannot be assessed from the present findings.
> Genetics
> does not seem to be the explanation, either.
Substantial evidence from other surveys indicates that you are right, Dean, although the significance of
genetic factors for the virtual absence of CVD was not possible for us to study properly, since the
environment was essentially similar to all Kitavans and since both environment and ethnic descent differed
between Kitava and Sweden. The only migrant available to us, a man aged 44 who had grown up on Kitava
and who was now a businessman in Alotau, the provincial capital, came for a visit during our expedition. He
differed in several aspects from all other adults regardless of sex: he had the highest diastolic blood pressure
(120/92), the highest body mass index (28.0), the highest waist to hip ratio (1.06) and the highest PAI-1
activity (possibly indicating decreased clot-resolving capacity). The most obvious difference in his lifestyle,
as compared with non-migrant Kitavans, was the adoption of western dietary habits.
Although this finding is suggestive, one subject is not much to comment upon, but some general remarks
may be relevant. The risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, diabetes or CVD in
response to a certain environment undoubtedly differs between humans. Within western populations, familial
heritage apparently is a strong determinant of some cardiovascular risk factors. For instance, fibrinogen
seems largely to be determined by genetic heritability, which in one study explained an estimated 50% of the
variation of fibrinogen, while the combined effect of obesity and smoking accounted for only 3% [Hamsten,
1987 #3078]. =46urthermore, genetics may influence the risk of CVD on the population level, as in some
Pacific Islanders who seem to develop diabetes more easily than other ethnic groups after westernization
[King, 1992 #3749; Zimmet, 1979 #1020], and the same may be true for Maoris in New Zealand [Prior, 1974
#1032]. Even the higher CVD rates among blacks in the US [Gillum, 1982 #3374] or Asian Indians in the
UK [McKeigue, 1989 #3448] may hypothetically be due to lower resistance to the Western life style. The
prevalence of inherited disorders such as familial hypercholesterolemia may exert some influence on overall
death rates, for instance in South African whites [Rossouw, 1984 #430].
However, the environment is obviously more important to explain the vast differences in extent of coronary
atherosclerosis or occurrence of CVD and diabetes that have been found in cross-cultural surveys, migrant
studies and observations of secular trends [Tejada, 1968 #1835; Solberg, 1972 #3740; Trowell, 1981 #2064;
Keys, 1980 #3159; Prior, 1974 #1032; INTERHEALTH Steering Committee, 1991 #919; O'Dea, 1992
#1538; Dyerberg, 1989 #1637; Kevau, 1990 #1454; Hughes, 1986 #3449; World Health Organization, 1992
#3759]. It is reasonable to assume that environmental factors may actually be necessary requirements for the
development of CVD, and that cross-cultural differences only to a minor degree are explained in terms of
population genetics. Papua New Guinea is no exception, as is evident from the increasing number of
myocardial infarctions and diabetics in urbanized populations [Kevau, 1990 #1454; King, 1985 #3646]. As
yet there are no scientific reports on CVD rates in migrants from the Trobriand Islands. Sporadic interviews
that I made in Kiriwina indicate that at least one overweight Trobriander in Port Moresby may have been
struck by spontaneous sudden death.

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Genetics and environment as causes of CVD are not mutually exclusive [Smith, 1992 #3665]. Or, as it has
been put, "the answer to 'Why does this particular individual in this population get this disease?' is not
necessarily the same as the answer to 'Why does this population have so much disease?'" [Rose, 1985
#3645]. The two approaches are not in academic competition (they only compete for funding).
Conclusion: The findings in the only studied migrant suggest that Kitavans are not protected from
hypertension or androgenic obesity when exposed to western dietary habits. This would be consistent with
the emergence of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and IHD in Melanesia and other parts the Pacific.
I am sorry for the long answer.
Staffan Lindeberg
REFERENCES ON OSTEOARTHRITIS
Alexander, C. J. (1994). "Utilisation of joint movement range in arboreal primates compared with human
subjects: an evolutionary frame for primary osteoarthritis." Ann Rheum Dis 53(11): 720-5.
Beighton, P. and L. Solomon (1981). Arthritides in the negroid peoples of southern Africa. Western
Diseases: their Emergence and Prevention. Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press. 83-92.
Bridges, P. S. (1991). "Degenerative joint disease in hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists from the
Southeastern United States." Am J Phys Anthropol 85(4): 379-91.
Cohen, M. N. and G. J. Armelagos, Ed. (1984). Paleopathology at the origins of agriculture. London,
Academic Press.
Crawford Adams, J. and D. L. Hamblen (1995). Outline of orthopaedics. Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone.
Nelson, D. T. (1993). "The course of osteoarthritis and factors that affect it." Rheum Dis Clin North Am
19(3): 607-15.
Nelson, D. T., M. T. Hannan, et al. (1991). "Occupational physical demands, knee bending, and knee
osteoarthritis: results from the Framingham Study." J Rheumatol 18(10): 1587-92.
Hoaglund, F. T., C. S. Oishi, et al. (1995). "Extreme variations in racial rates of total hip arthroplasty for
primary coxarthrosis: a population-based study in San Francisco." Ann Rheum Dis 54(2): 107-10.
Holm, S. (1993). "Pathophysiology of disc degeneration." Acta Orthop Scand 64 (Suppl 251): 13-5.
Joosab, M., M. Torode, et al. (1994). "Preliminary findings on the effect of load-carrying to the structural
integrity of the cervical spine." Surg Radiol Anat 16(4): 393-8.
Jumah, K. B. and P. K. Nyame (1994). "Relationship between load carrying on the head and cervical
spondylosis in Ghanaians." West Afr J Med 13(3): 181-2.
Jurmain, R. D. and L. Kilgore (1995). "Skeletal evidence of osteoarthritis: a palaeopathological perspective."
Ann Rheum Dis 54(6): 443-50.
Kraemer, J. (1995). "Natural course and prognosis of intervertebral disc diseases. International Society for
the Study of the Lumbar Spine Seattle, Washington, June 1994." Spine 20(6): 635-9.
Lane, N. E. (1995). "Exercise: a cause of osteoarthritis." J Rheumatol Suppl 43(3): 3-6. Lane, N. E. and L. B.
Kremer (1995). "Radiographic indices for osteoarthritis." Rheum Dis Clin North Am 21(2): 379-94.
Langeland, M. and F. Lingaas (1995). "Spondylosis deformans in the boxer: estimates of heritability." J
Small Anim Pract 36(4): 166-9.
Nakamura, S., S. Ninomiya, et al. (1989). "Primary osteoarthritis of the hip joint in Japan." Clin Orthop 111:
190-6.
Osti, O. L. and D. E. Cullum (1994). "Occupational low back pain and intervertebral disc degeneration:
epidemiology, imaging, and pathology." Clin J Pain 10(4): 331-4.
Panush, R. S. (1990). "Does exercise cause arthritis? Long-term consequences of exercise on the
musculoskeletal system." Rheum Dis Clin North Am 16: 827-36.
Rauschning, W. (1993). "Pathoanatomy of lumbar disc degeneration and stenosis." Acta Orthop Scand 64
(Suppl 251): 3-12.
Rogers, J. and P. Dieppe (1994). "Is tibiofemoral osteoarthritis in the knee joint a new disease?" Ann Rheum
Dis 53(9): 612-3.
Roos, H., M. Ornell, et al. (1995). "Soccer after anterior cruciate ligament injury--an incompatible
combination? A national survey of incidence and risk factors and a 7-year follow-up of 310 players [see
comments]." Acta Orthop Scand 66(2): 107-12.
Swanepoel, M. W., L. M. Adams, et al. (1995). "Human lumbar apophyseal joint damage and intervertebral
disc degeneration." Ann Rheum Dis 54(3): 182-8.
van Saase, J. L. C. M., L. K. J. van Romunde, et al. (1989). "Epidemiology od osteoarthritis: Zoetermeer
survey. Comparison of radiological osteoarthritis in a Dutch population with that in 10 other populations."
Ann Rheum Dis 48: 271-80.

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Videman, T., S. Sarna, et al. (1995). "The long-term effects of physical loading and exercise lifestyles on
back-related symptoms, disability, and spinal pathology among men." Spine 20(6): 699-709.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Glutenous Grains
From: Don Wiss
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 1997 19:51:09 -0500
Bob Avery asked:
> It is common practice in the natural foods community to consume the juice of sprouted wheat and
> barley grass. Do any of you know whether the proteins in these grasses are objectionable from the
> celiac patient's perspective, or is their nutrient profile sufficiently different from that of the
> grains themselves so as not to be a concern as regards "gluten" toxicity?
This is what a leading US wheat protein expert has to say:
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 16:15:38 PST Sender: Celiac/Coeliac Wheat/Gluten-Free List From: "Donald D.
Kasarda" Subject: Re: Query: sprouted wheat
Jules Levin asked:
> I just purchased an antioxidant from a health-food store, called "BIOGUARD". The label reads:
> "Bioguard is composed entirely of hydroponically grown wheat sprouts. Hypoallergenically free of
> wheat gluten and yeast."
Reply from Don Kasarda, Albany, California
Most sprouted wheat still has gluten or gluten peptides remaining. Although the sprouting begins enzymatic
action that starts to break down the gluten (a storage protein for the plant) into peptides and even amino
acids. Generally this is not a complete process for sprouts used in foods so some active peptides (active in
celiac disease) remain. I don't know anything about Bioguard specifically, but I would be cautious about it
until the company can say on what basis they are claiming "gluten-free." For example, how have they tested
this?

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Plant foods in paleodiets
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 03:16:14 +0100
Ward Nicholson wrote:
> Recently I was talking privately with a Paleodiet researcher (who may or may not be on this list
> yet, I don't know), who said the often-cited estimate of a ratio of 65% plant/35% animal foods for
> humans during Paleolithic times has turned out to have been based on mistabulated ethnographic data.
This is a very important debate for all of us in order to know whether there is evidence of an optimal balance
of macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat and protein) for humans.
Let us start with asking what edible items were found in the African savanna, items which all contemporary
humans are expected to be adapted to. How much vegetable foods were available? I fear that we may only be
able to get learned guesses even from quarternary biologists and paleoclimatologists (do we have any on this
list?) but I am not sure. Incidentally I asked one today and I will forward the question to a couple of more of
them (Raymonde Bonnefille, Rachid Cheddadi, Daniel Livingstone and Jim Ritchie; Any other
suggestions?).
It has been put forward e.g. by Brand Miller (Brand Miller JC, Colagiuri S. The carnivore connection:
dietary carbohydrate in the evolution of NIDDM. Diabetologia 1994; 37: 1280-6) that human diet was low in
carbohydrate from the time of H. habilis up to sapiens leaving Africa, allegedly because dry climates during
the Ice Ages would result in grasslands being the main edible plants instead of roots and fruits.
I know at least two subscribers to our list who have well founded opinions on this matter: Loren Cordain and
John Allen. I hope both will give us their view.
Staffan Lindeberg

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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Our own diet
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 03:20:38 +0100
Ward Nicholson wrote:
> So my question is: what do those of you in the Paleodiet research community do about your own
> diets, assuming you are trying to put into practice what you have learned in your research?
A typical day my lunch and dinner is meat or fish with plenty of tubers and vegetables including pulses.
Recently I eat less potatoes. For breakfast and in between meals I take fruits and nuts. I eat hardly any dairy
products, margarine, refined sugar or cereals. We add some rape-seed oil by cooking. My salt intake is below
30 mmol/24 hours compared to 100-250 for most Westerners and 1 (one) for the Yanomamo indians of the
Amazon. When in 1987 I started following this programme at the age of 37 I lost 9 kg of weight and
regained the weight of my youth (65 kg, BMI 20.5). My serum cholesterol dropped from 5.2 to 3.7 mmol/L
(201-143 mg/dL) and my blood pressure went from 130/82 to 120/65 in 6 months (9 measurements,
p=3D0.004).
> Is it really necessary to eat as high as 50-65% animal products for optimal health, or is there
> perhaps a *range* of say 10 or 20% to 60% that for all practical purposes might get close to the
> same results?
Good question. I would say the latter.
> And/or if not, are there other foods or supplements that might wisely be used to bridge the gap?
Probably not needed for you and me. Not without risks either.
Staffan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Grains and primates
From: Don Wiss
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 13:03:02 -0500
Ray Audette wrote:
> As humans have only been eating grains for about 350 generations,
Ray,
How long is a generation? If we exclude the longer rice eating Asians and stick with grain growing, we have
10, 000 years for people in the Near East, down to 5, 000 years for much of Europe, and less than 2, 000 for
some very far from the grain start. So it could be a lot less than 350. Maybe better presented with a range of
generations depending on where your ancestors are from.
I'm taking my numbers from this article:
Lutz, W.J., "The Colonisation of Europe and Our Western Diseases", Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 45, pages
115-120, 1995
I have a text version of the article that I can e-mail, but can't make available on the web or a list for copyright
reasons. It lacks exhibits so the real article is better. If you want this copy, please don't reply to this message
but e-mail me at
Don.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Hunting on the Grasslands
From: Ray Audette
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 21:57:58 -0800
As a hunter-gatherer who hunts every day on the grasslands in and around Dallas, Texas, I can tell you that
there is not much vegetable food to be had. Besides a few berries, nuts and edible roots found around the
creek beds which can be eaten only seasonally there is not much but grass. As grass is not edible to any
species of primate I must eat large amounts of game.

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The fat content of my diet depends on the game caught and thus the method used to hunt. My own method
uses no weapons as this is illegal within the city limits. Using only my Harris Hawk, I take rabbits, hares,
squirrels, ducks, geese, pheasant and quail. I never stay out longer than 1.5 hours and have about an 80%
success rate. I often feel (especially on the bad days) that I could do nearly as well only throwing rocks. As
all of these with the exception of the waterfowl (the most difficult to catch) are very low in fat eating only
what I could hunt and gather in this way would prove difficult. I would probably suffer from what the Inuit
call rabbit starvation.
Large game that has good fat reserves will require that I employ a weapon. At close range, a sharp stick will
kill any animal (many states in the U.S. allow hunting bear with spears). Getting close enough to use this
sharp stick is the problem even if it is propelled by a bow or spear-thrower. Using this method, I could still
surprise the occasional cow (or buffalo in the old days) at the watering hole and obtain enough fatty meat to
survive. As rustling is still considered very serious in Texas I don't regularly do this!
To take large game, I need dogs! Alone with a pack of dogs, I can out-hunt a dozen men armed only with
spears or bows or a pack of wolves. The dogs will bring the game to me. As the dogs will hold the animal at
bay, I run a lot less chance of injury (those horns hurt-ask any Texas cowboy) and can even employ a bow or
spear-thrower and further reduce my risk. When mankind teamed up with dogs through their mutual
neotenazation during the Mesolithic era, fatty large game became the food of choice. As wolves are
temperate creatures and lack our efficient cooling system, this symbiosis was most efficient in cooler
climates. Some have postulated that this resulted in the extinction of many species of large fat bearing
mammals (mammoths, ground sloths, wooly rhinos, etc.)and the predators who depended on them. In the old
world this neoteny took many thousands of years to fully develop. This extinction in the new world had to
wait for these hunting teams to arrive over the land bridge, but once they arrived it happened much faster.
Once the fattest large game was hunted to extinction, mankind began to associate with domesticated (ie
neotenized) animals who also carried fat reserves such as cows, pigs and sheep. When the limits of this
pastoral lifestyle were met the result was the Neolithic Revolution and current eating habits.
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Message from Loren Cordain re: misc issues
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 22:41:20 -0500
Loren is having a little trouble with his mail software. I'm working with him to solve this issue but in the
meantime here is a response he has written to various things that have been discussed this week. With luck
any further comments can come from him directly.
Dean
--[begin Dr. Cordain's letter]--Greetings! I have enjoyed reading the paleodiet digest to date but have been somewhat reticent to make any
comments simply because of my unfamiliarity with the format. Thanks to some helpful hints from Dean, I
hope that this message makes it through.
Both Staffan and Ward have commented upon the macronutrient content of preagricultural diets and Staffan
has suggested that I provide my input. What follows is a portion of a message that I have previously sent to
Staffan.

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Although Richard Lee (1) and others have suggested that the average macronutrient content of all world
wide hunter gatherers was derived from a subsistence pattern of 35% animal food and 65% vegetable food, it
has been shown that these figures are likely erroneous (2). Lee derived his macronutrient percent estimate
from compiled data from the Ethnographic Atlas (3), however it has been shown that he distorted the original
data by reducing the number of North American cases and by reclassifying shellfishing into a gathering
activity (2). A re-analysis of the data in the Ethnographic Atlas shows results much different from those
which Lee originally presented. Indeed for most (77%) of the societies listed in the Ethnographic Atlas,
gathered plant food contributes less than half the calories (2). Leonard et al. (4) in an analysis of 5 recently
and carefully studied hunter gatherer groups (!Kung, Ache, Hiwi, Inuit and Pygmies) has shown the mean
value for energy intake from animal food sources to be 59%. Leonard et al.'s (4) data include Lee's analysis
of the !Kung diet which contains 33% of its calories from animal food. However, careful analysis of the
!Kung diet shows that of their daily intake of 2, 140 calories, only 190 calories were derived from plant
foods other than mongongo nuts. Because of the close proximity of an enormous mongongo nut forest, it is
likely that the !Kung data is not representative of a typical hunter-gatherer. Since vegetable food is virtually
unavailable to the Inuit, who obtain 96% of their caloric intake from animal food, this data is also
unrepresentative of the typical hunter gatherer. An average value for the Leonard et al. (4) data without these
two extreme values would show that 56% of the calories were derived from animal foods. In her classic
study of Australian Aborigines temporarily reverting to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, O'Dea (5) showed that
animal foods contributed 64 % of the total energy (6). The macronutrient breakdown was 54 % protein, 33%
carbohydrate and 13% fat (6). These values are significantly different than those now almost universally
accepted by my friend and co-author, Boyd Eaton et al. (7) of 34.2% protein, 44.3% carbohydrate and 21.5
% fat.
Clearly, the carbohydrate content of the average paleolithic diet varied according to geographic location,
latitude and season; however in aggregate, it almost certainly was significantly lower than the 55%
carbohydrate recommended by the American Heart Association Diet. Except for seasonal occurrences of
honey and dried fruit, its carbohydrates were rich in fiber and of a low glycemic index. The paleolithic diet
was devoid of starches from cereal grains, and starches from legumes and tubers generally contributed fewer
calories than those from animal derived foods. Prior to the regular use of fire, many tubers almost all
legumes would have been unavailable for consumption because of their high antinutrient load (8). Since
animal sources almost always contributed the majority of total daily calories (an average value would
probably be between 55-65%), it is unlikely that the carbohydrate content could have regularly exceeded
40% and under most circumstances was probably between 30-35%. As humans moved into more extreme
latitudes (40-45degrees N or S), carbohydrates would have contributed even fewer than 30-35% of the total
calories, particularly during winter or early spring. So, with this enormous caloric intake derived from animal
foods, how can the seeming paradox of low serum cholesterol (and presumably reduced risk from coronary
heart disease), observed in virtually all hunter gatherers, be explained? Recent studies by Wolfe and coworkers (9, 10, 11) have shown that isocaloric replacement of carbohydrate with animal derived protein
improves all lipid profile indices including total CHOL, HDL, LDL and VLDL. A high protein diet similarly
improves virtually all indices of type II diabetic control and symptoms of Syndrome X (5) whereas low fat,
high carbohydrate diets have been repeatedly shown (in tightly controlled dietary kitchen studies) to worsen
HDL, VLDL, triglyceride and total CHOL/HDL ratios (12, 13, 14).
On another unrelated matter, I have received notification that many scientific journals including NEJM will
now refuse to publish any material which has appeared previously on the Internet. Consequently, I think that
as scientists and authors, it is important that we use this forum to share ideas and thoughts on the paleolithic
diet, but to be somewhat guarded in putting out portions of our unpublished work for common disposal.
Clearly, individual e-mail messages between two scientists do not constitute a risk. Perhaps Dean could
comment upon this.
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
References
1. Lee RB. What hunters do for a living, or how to make out on scarce resources. In Lee RB, DeVore I (Eds).
Man the Hunter. Chicago: Aldine, 1968:30-48.
2. Ember CR. Myths about hunter gatherers. Ethnology 1978;17:439-48.
3. Murdock GP. Ethnographic atlas: a summary. Ethnology 1967;6:109-236.
4. Leonard WR, Robertson ML. Evolutionary perspectives on human nutrition: the influence of brain and
body size on diet and metabolism. Am J Hum Biol 1994;6:77-88.

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5. O'Dea K. Marked improvement in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic Australian Aborigines
after temporary reversion to traditional lifestyle. Diabetes 1984;33:596-604.
6. Naughton JM, O'Dea K, Sinclair AJ. Animal foods in traditional Australian diets: polyunsaturated and low
in fat. Lipids 1986;21:684-90.
7. Eaton SB, Konner M. Paleolithic nutrition. A consideration of its nature and current implications. N Engl J
Med 1985;312:283-89.
8. Stahl AB. Hominid dietary selection before fire. Current Anthropology 1984;25:151-68.
9. Wolfe BM, Giovannetti PM. Short term effects of substituting protein for carbohydrate in the diets of
moderately hypercholesterolemic human subjects. Metabolism 1991;40:338-43.
10. Wolfe BM, Giovannetti PM. High protein diet complements resin therapy of familial
hypercholesterolemia. Clin Invest Med 1992;15:349-59.
11. Wolfe BM. Potential role of raising dietary protein intake for reducing risk of atherosclerosis. Can J
Cardiol 1995;11(supp G):127G-131G.
12. Gonen B, Patsch W, Kuisk I, Schonfeld G. The effect of short term feeding of a high carbohydrate diet
on HDL subclasses in normal subjects. Metabolism 1981;30:1125-29.
13. Coulston AM, Liu GC, Reaven GM. Plasma glucose, insulin and lipid responses to high carbohydrate
low-fat diets in normal humans. Metabolism 1983;32:52-56.
14. Chen YDI, Coulston AM, Zhou MY, Hollenbeck CB, Reaven GM. Why do low fat high carbohydrate
diets accentuate lipemia in patients with NIDDM? Diabetes Care 1995;18:10-16.
--[end Dr. Cordain's letter]-========================================================================= Date:
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 23:43:46 -0500 From: Dean Esmay Subject: On the issue of publication
Regarding Loren's concern about prior publication issues, I do not have a definitive answer. But I can
provide some information and suggestions that might be helpful:
As of today there are about 40 persons signed up for this list. I cannot imagine membership ever exceeding
about ten times that amount. The list is also not a "publication" per se, as what is written here is not generally
distributed to anyone other than list members. Considering a small group of maybe a few hundred people
exchanging informal comments a "publication" would be a stretch indeed. Which is not to say that some
hard-nosed editor couldn't possibly see it that way, but I would be surprised if one did.
However, all messages posted to this list are archived. We hope at some point to make these archives
available through the World Wide Web so they may be read by others who wish to learn about this field or
catch up on previous conversations. The existence of these archives, even though they can only be seen if
someone specifically goes looking for them, might arguably be considered a form of "publication" by the
editors of some journals. This is some cause for concern.
But I think there are a few things that can prevent any problems:
1) Any message you write to this list is, by current copyright law, automatically copyrighted by you. Which
means that, beyond the distribution to list members which you implicitely agreed to when you wrote to the
list, no one has any right to further redistribute anything you write without your express permission. This
does not mean that someone cannot do so, but they have no RIGHT to do so and have legally violated your
rights if they do.
2) Because anything written to the list by any list member is copyrighted by that member, I will, upon
request, remove any individual message from the archives. The messages are, after all, not my property.
3) You may also at any time further protect yourself by simply writing, at the top or bottom of any message,
a protective statement. An example would be: "This message is copyright 1997 by Dean Esmay. This
message may only be distributed privately to members of the Paleolithic Diet & Exercise Symposium
discussion group, and may not be reprinted or otherwise distributed by anyone to anyone. These constitute
informal comments to colleagues and are not for publication."
Technically, by copyright law, you do not have to attach such a statement to be protected. However, adding
such a statement will be additional protection, emphasizing the nature of the communication and serving as
an easy verification to anyone who asks that what you wrote was PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE TO A
SMALL GROUP and not for publication. (And I will fully back anyone up on that if necessary.)
4) Most of the time common sense should be sufficient. If you don't say anything here that you wouldn't say
to a journalist from DISCOVER magazine who called you for an interview, it's unlikely you'll ever have any
real trouble.
I'm glad Loren brought this up though, as discussing it now may avoid grief later.

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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Plant foods in paleodiets
From: Jeanne Sept
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 15:23:14 -0500
Staffan Lindeberg wrote:
> Let us start with asking what edible items were found in the African savanna, items which all
> contemporary humans are expected to be adapted to. How much vegetable foods were available?
Let me refer you to my WWW page, which has links to an old syllabus/bibliography (not current, sorry) for a
class I teach called "Prehistoric Diet and Nutrition" and to my home page, which lists a number of recent
articles I have written on this topic.
http://www.indiana.edu/~origins/
Several points: - a long-term primate perspective on human diet is important for reconstructing early hominid
diets - the types of foods accessible depend upon the type of technology you have (e.g. digging tools? fire?)
and your guts, which we can only speculate about for extinct critters, in addition to teeth, etc, which
determine the costs/benefits of foraging decisions... e.g. can you cook your legumes, or do you eat them at an
immature stage before they are hard and tempered with secondary compounds? - the range of mixed
woodland & grassland environments of our African early hominid ancestors would have offered plenty of
opportunities for plant food foraging, including many patches of various types of large and small fleshy fruits
(mostly quite fibrous by modern standards) and legumes, and patches of tender "terrestrial herbaceous
vegetation" in riparian forests ; shallow corms, rhizomes, bulbs and deeply buried tubers in well-drained
and/or rocky soils (most wild tubers I am familiar with are high in dietary fiber, and simple carbos, but low
in starch). Honey is an often-overlooked woodland/forest food source. - archaeological evidence suggests
that at least some lean meat and marrow were a common component of the diets of early Homo, although no
one has been able to estimate relatively how important animal foods were for the early sites... for a variety of
reasons. Animal foods would have been increasingly important to early hominids invading the temperate
zones of Eurasia during the Pleistocene, and it is clear that folks were actively hunting by the Middle
Pleistocene. - if you want to trace nutritional inheritance to the origins of our species, you can also use a
tropical African model... though of course the % of animal foods will be habitat dependent... which is why
the !Kung-derived 70% veg model is not the best model for interpreting archaeological evidence for Upper
Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in western Europe (which is what Eaton and Konner did in their book).
Jeanne Sept
Anthropology Department Indiana University Bloomington IN 47405
http://www.indiana.edu/~origins/

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Acidosis problems?
From: David Ross
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 21:59:04 -0500
In light of some of the upwardly revised estimates of the percentage of protein in the paleo-diet (50-60%),
could someone comment on the possibility that early man (or contemporary hunter-gatherers for that matter)
was a victim of acidosis problems. I believe that there is a fair amount of evidence that the acid-ash of excess
protein (roughly, any more than 50 gms/day) can not, in the long run, be neutralized by the buffering systems
that maintain fluid PH levels at beneficial levels.
David Ross

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Plant foods in paleodiets
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 22:52:02 -0500

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It would seem, at least in my superficial reading, that perhaps Dr. Livingstone has misinterpreted the
question (through no fault of his own) to be about whether humans are omnivores or carnivores. Yet I do not
think that anyone now seriously believes that humans evolved as anything other than omnivores with a taste
for a wide variety of foods.
This may point out to a language difficulty. I have frequently seen Barry Sears' THE ZONE diet, which uses
40% carbohydrate, referred to as "low-carbohydrate." This absurdly lumps it in with other diets of less than
10% carbohydrate. On the other hand, the current dietary fashion in America is to that the ideal diet is 65%
carbohydrate. This would be quite high by some standards but is normal, and perhaps even a little bit low by
others (e.g. the rural Chinese).
I think we need to either standardize on phrasing (e.g. "moderately low carbohydrate" vs. "extremely low
carbohydrate") that is intuitively understandable, or try to stick more to numbers.
I wish we could get Boyd Eaton to join us, as he seems to have done an awful lot of work in this department.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Plant foods in paleodiets
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 03:15:56 +0100
In order to learn more about carbohydrates in human evolution I sent a mail to Dr. Daniel Livingstone, a
highly respected paleoecologist and limnologist who holds the James B. Duke Professorship of Zoology and
Geology at Duke University, where he has been since 1956. He has worked in Nova Scotia, arctic Alaska,
and especially tropical Africa on lakes and their history. He is best known as the designer of the Livingstone
sampler for lake sediments, and for having been tasted and rejected by a large Nile crocodile. This is my
question ....
> It has been put forward e.g. by Brand Miller (Brand Miller JC, Colagiuri S. The carnivore
> connection: dietary carbohydrate in the evolution of NIDDM. Diabetologia 1994; 37: 1280-6) that
> human diet was low in carbohydrate from the time of H. habilis up to sapiens leaving Africa,
> allegedly because dry climates during the Ice Ages would result in grasslands being the main
> edible plants instead of roots and fruits. Please give me your opinion on this issue which is
> important to evolutionary medicine in order to know wether there is evidence of an optimal balance
> of macronutrients for humans.
... and his answer:
The question may be of significance, but I doubt that my opinion on it is worth much.
However, for what it is worth, I wouldn't bet much on this idea. It rests on such a train of untested ideas that
the final conclusion doesn't have much weight.
First, very little is known about the environment of early paleolithic people. We know something from pollen
analysis about the nature of tropical African vegetation during the last part of the last ice age and the time
since then. We get a few glimpses of what things were like during earlier periods from studies of the isotopic
composition of old soils, marine cores, plant fossils, mainly leaves, buried under volcanic ash, and an
occasional pollen analysis of the sediment from paleoanthropological sites.
The picture that emerges is one of a complex mosaic of vegetation types. During the last ice age, and
presumably earlier ones as well, although this is not a well-tested presumption, the vegetation was richer in
grasses and poorer in trees than it has been during post-glacial time. It is not easy to place most
archaeological sites accurately in that shifting vegetational context, but Desmond Clark, the dean of African
prehistorians, believes that until Sangoan time, which may be 100, 000-200, 000 years ago or so, when a
culture developed that was intermediate between the late Acheulian and Middle Stone Age, people were not
adapted to life in a forest. This is an interesting idea, and well worth serious stratigraphic testing. I have tried
but failed to give it a usefully rigorous test.
It is likely that people from early paleolithic time onward lived in a more or less open vegetation. Paleolithic
sites seem to cluster around water, and it is likely that our ancestors, like ourselves, were obliged to drink
water, and not having containers larger than ostrich shells, could not carry it very far. There is always a
possibility that they had skin or gourd containers, but sewing up skins would probably require stone tools
such as burins, which don't show up until much later in the record. It is always possible that they could get
by without drinking water, as gorillas and some antelopes do, but the distribution of sites argues against this.

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In the African vegetation matrix, the local vegetation close to permanent water tends to be richer in trees than
the vegetation farther away. I don't mean to argue for gallery forest around every cluster of Olduwan tools,
but only to suggest that it is not likely that early Paleolithic people spent their lives far away from trees.
From watching baboons, and from keeping a Canadian countryman's eye on the resources that might be used
for food in an emergency, I don't think that even in a grassland early Paleolithic people would find it difficult
to consume carbohydrates. I would expect them to depend heavily on grass seeds, and from the time they had
digging sticks, on underground storage organs of vascular plants. I don't eat them in Africa, because some
are very poisonous and I don't know which are safe, but I have no reason to believe that our early Paleolithic
ancestors were so ignorant.
As for what those people actually ate, that is still an open question, so far as I know. There has been some
isotopic analysis of their bones, but I have not followed that closely enough even to tell if it suggests
membership in a food chain based on C-3 or C-4 plants. In this state of affairs, there is a place for speculative
papers suggesting that they did not consume appreciable quantities of carbohydrates, but that speculation
doesn't seem to me very solid, and I wouldn't modify my diet, nor advise you to modify your dietary advice,
in accord with it.
You really need to get in touch with paleoanthropologists about this. The people who work with Lower
Paleolithic cultures are excellent natural historians, they read the papers we publish on the paleoecology of
Africa, and they are in a better position to have currently valid opinions than I am. Try Dr. Robert J.
Blumenschine in the Anthropology Department of Rutgers University, Rutgers, New Jersey, USA .
Our African heritage affects our health in other ways. Our peculiar fluoride requirement looks like a legacy
of a prehistory spent where waters are fluoride rich. Possibly something similar is behind our lithium
requirement.
People tend to develop semi-religious feelings about questions of this sort. When I was a boy, much
influenced by the writings of Viljhalmur Steffansson, I believed that we were all natural carnivores, because
Innuit were heavy meat-eaters and free of dental caries. I was dragged kicking and screaming to acceptance
of the idea, based on studies of Kalihari Bushmen and the great apes, that our early ancestors were probably
omnivores, with a heavy component of plant material in their diets. Maybe I burn with the zeal of the newly
converted, and you should be wary of my opinion for that reason.
I think, though, that it is no such faith, but rather a cold assessment of what little we know about the history
of African vegetation that makes me skeptical of the idea that early Paleolithic people lived in an
environment so poor in potential carbohydrate foods that they had to eat other things. That is probably the
only part of my opinion that you care about, since you will know more than I do about the other stuff.
I hope that this helps.
Dan Livingstone
[end of included e-mail]
I have posted the same question to Dr Blumenschine.
Staffan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Important paper: The non-thrifty genotype
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 03:16:51 +0100
> John Allen wrote:
> With Susan Cheer, I have recently published a paper in Current Anthropology called "The
> non-thrifty genotype" (37:831-842, 1996)...
This is in my opinion one of the more important papers on diet in human evolution and I expect it to become
a classic. It may not be coincidental that the paper is written by two scholars outside of the medical
profession. These two anthropologists can see the wood despite all the trees.
In his posting John offered a copy to be obtained from him by sending an e-mail to .
Staffan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Publication and NIDDM
From: Art De Vany
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Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 11:36:14 -0800


This refusal to publish web-distributed papers is a rear guard action by traditional venues threatened by new
technology. It will pass. In the meantime, I do not submit papers to journals that make that stipulation. The
value of the journal outlet is the peer review process and the open criticism to which claims are subject. The
journal name becomes a quality signal that saves search costs. In the information age, these quality signals
will take many forms. Authority and knowledge will be decentralized and knowledge communities, such as
this one, will evolve the criteria that are appropriate to the problems they seek to address.
While much has been made of the racial and cultural distribution of the ravages of drugs and of the
destruction of inner city culture by the war on drugs, I see too little concern over the ravages of high
glycemic carbohydrate diet on Amerindians, Mexican Americans, and African Americans. NIDDM is near
epidemic proportions among these groups and African-American females, who already disproportionately
bear the burden of the war on drugs because of what it has done to the competition for mates, are at high risk
(a risk that may reach that of the Pima).
An african-american child, raised in a northern city, with too little sunlight and eating a high glycemic, high
carbohydrate diet, drinking whole milk and eating grains may be the prototype for a non-insulin dependent
diabetic adult. School lunch programs almost by design fit that pattern---they are nearly identical to the
federal food distributions that ravaged the american indians (Diabetes as a Disease of Civilization).
The AHA diet and the food industry (primarily carb producers) sponsored food pyramid are one-diet-fits-allpeople models. They are wrong and they are potentially highly destructive. They are (in my opinion, at least)
contrary to the health interests of people from nearly all cultures that adapted late to agriculture. I have no
evidence, but it does seem that "soul food" with its greens and fat and high protein beans is far better adapted
to an african american genetic profile which exhibits high proportions of lactose intolerance and insulin
resistance. (Any thoughts on that?)
Scotty Pippen endorsing milk and Oprah pushing carbs in her book are unwittingly harming those who share
their genetic and cultural heritage. Even as a NEPHS (northern european paleolithic homo sapien) I don't
touch this stuff.
Arthur De Vany NeXTMAIL, SUN Mail & MIME welcome
http://www.socsci.uci.edu/mbs/personnel/devany/devany.html Department of Economics Institute for
Mathematical Behavioral Sciences 3151 Social Science Plaza Irvine, CA 92697-5100

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Grasslands
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 14:27:42 -0500
Ray makes a good point that food calories from most of the plants located on grasslands are generally
unavailable to hominids. Further information on this concept can be found in: Foley R. A reconsideration of
the role of predation on large mammals in tropical hunter-gatherer adaptation. Man 1982;17:393-402.
Cordially,
Loren Cordain

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Charter clarification & philosophical digression
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 14:57:03 -0500
I have gotten a few private questions about this list's charter, so I thought I'd best make a brief statement.
This very new Symposium is open to discussion of any and all issues that relate to the pre-agricultural
lifestyle pattern for humans. The assumption is that you know enough about the subject to pose intelligent
questions or give reasonably authoritative answers, but otherwise discussion -can- be in any area desired.
Indeed, I hope that discussion turns at some point to issues like exercise, ethics, and biosustainability. Not
that there is any hurry; I just want to avoid anyone getting the impression that diet is the only -allowedsubject because it -happens- to be all that anyone is discussing at the moment.

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There is a greek word, "nomos, " which refers to the concept of spontaneous order--that is, when anarchy
somehow generates order. It's a concept implicit in Adam Smith's free market economic theories, for
example, and also to the theory of evolution. A mailing list like this one operates under similar principles,
and might even be considered as a living organism. It has certain set limitations and patterns, but what
happens within those parameters is rarely more than moderately predictable.
If discussion stays focused on any one topic, that will be solely because no member has chosen to bring
anything else up. There is nothing wrong with that, because whatever the group finds stimulating or
enlightening is perfectly acceptable. But if anyone should ever wish to turn the beast in a different direction,
he need only do one thing: post a message about a different subject. If the beast doesn't turn the first time, a
little patience and further prodding should produce the desired result. (Just don't prod too hard or you might
get an undesirable reaction.)
The only person "in charge" here is me, and my only function is to maintain the minimal order necessary to
prevent the organism from disintegrating. You as list members may bring up any subject you wish, so long
as it relates in a substantive way to the pre-agricultral lifestyle pattern for humans. Indeed, you are
encouraged to do so at any time, so long as it relates in a substantive and informed manner.
I hope this clears up any private misapprehensions. Please continue. :-)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Grains
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 15:30:01 -0500
I had my preconceptions rocked this week. Which is always a healthy thing, but I'm still reeling from it.
My assumption has long been that most cereal grains and beans are foreign to the human digestive tract
because they can only be rendered edible by technology--i.e. extended cooking. Earliest evidence for use of
fire for cooking among humans seems to be 25, 000 years (I have no reference for that handy, let me know if
that's in dispute), which would indicate the potential for some adaptation to cooked foods. Yet it would seem
that the fact that grains and beans are inedible without things like cooking pots and mortar and pestle ought
to make us look with suspicion to those foods, since that all by itself would tend to indicate that humans
would never have eaten them in any appreciable quantity until around the time of agriculture.
Enter the members of the raw food community who I recently encountered online. These people eat
absolutely everything raw, on the belief that the molecular changes wrought by cooking foods are unnatural,
addicting, and carcinogenic. I am mildly skeptical of this belief system, although there is some rational
argument for it; humans ARE the only animals who cook food and most of the evidence I've seen suggests
that we haven't been doing it for very long.
But what really rocked me is that these people (and I've seen messages from more than one of them) eat
whole cereal grains and beans raw. They most commonly will use overnight soaking methods, either in pots
or jars or even just wrapping the stuff in moist rags. However they will also apparently eat them even
without this, eating them completely raw without even any soaking. Their claim is that if you haven't been
eating this way all your life it might take a week or two for your digestive tract to adjust, but that they
otherwise have no trouble at all living this way.
At first I was tempted to dismiss this as a bizarre cultish sort of thing. But if these people appear to be happy
eating this way. The very fact that it's POSSIBLE for them to do this should, at minimum, throw back open
to question whether or not humans have been eating cereal grains since before the advent of agriculture after
all. Although it's hard to imagine them making up the majority of the diet, if people can comfortably eat wild
grains without technology then there's not much reason to think they wouldn't, is there?
Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Hunting on the Grasslands
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 16:07:05 +0100

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Ray may be right that survival on the grasslands of our African ancestors depended on game rather than
vegetables, unless these grasslands differed from Ray's own hunting habitat. What we need to know is
whether our ancestors were mainly confined to such open grasslands during human evolution. Perhaps they
stayed near the waters and perhaps their habitats differed. As far as I can figure out we don't even know for
sure that there was savanna at the places in question and if so what kind of savanna. I would expect Ray's
diet to be very healthy, but the question is if saturating vegetables rich in carbohydrates with a low glycemic
index could have been part of lower Paleolithic diets and hence healthy too. Until further notice I consider
humans omnivores.
Staffan Lindeberg

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Plant foods in paleodiets
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 01:13:50 +0100
Loren Cordain wrote:
Although Richard Lee (1) and others have suggested that the average
> macronutrient content of all world wide hunter gatherers ... ... i.e. contemporary
> hunter-gatherers who may not be representative of paleolithic ones. The former have largely been
> forced aside by other populations while the latter could choose the best habitats for themselves.
> ... was derived from a subsistence pattern of 35% animal food and 65% vegetable food, it has been
> shown that these figures are likely erroneous (2). ... ... Clearly, the carbohydrate content of
> the average paleolithic diet varied according to geographic location, latitude and season; however
> in aggregate, it almost certainly was significantly lower than the 55% carbohydrate recemmended by
> the American Heart Association Diet.
I agree. But if, in some of their habitats during evolution, they depended on vegetables we would expect
them to have preserved their capacity to handle considerable amounts of carbohydrate. As Loren notes, the
available carbohydrates were, compared to typical Western ones, of low glycemic index and the foods in
question were rich in soluble fiber (which is quite different than cereal fiber in regard to metabolic effects).
Such carbohydrate-rich foods would also have been high in minerals and vitamins, some of which may be of
considerable importance to prevent common Western disorders. The probable depletion of these minerals
and vitamins in many of our contemporary high-tech plant foods could further exaggerate any differences in
the intake of these nutrients. Finally, dietary allowances may differ substantially due to other differences in
lifestyle.
In conclusion, it takes a lot more to convince me to stop eating plenty of fruit, nuts and saturating vegetables.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Raw foods diets (was Grains)
From: Secola/Nieft
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 11:11:36 -0800
Hi all,
A large thank you to Dean Esmay for making this list happen. I very much appreciate the opportunity to
participate.
With this post I mark my failure to lurk this list without posting. I am a 8+ year happily-omnivorous raw
fooder (99.9% raw) who started out as a strict "instincto". Instinctos are the raw food fringe which most
closely matches a pre-fire paleolithic ideal. Briefly, an instincto eats one raw food at a time according to
sensory pleasure. S/he chooses the best smelling (with perhaps a little taste-test as well) food from a variety
of raw items and consumes that food alone until a "taste-change" or "stop" presents itself. The stop can be a
change in mouth-feel, rising acidity, blandness, burning, etc. It can also be a sense of repletion.

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In any case, the beginning instincto is instructed to "eat their fill" of the most attractive raw food available.
These foods include animal foods (fish, roe, shellfish, crustaceans, meat, organ meat, marrow, eggs, insects,
etc.) and plantfoods (fruits, veggies, nuts, honey, pollens, etc.). Grains and legumes "can" be eaten if
attractive in their raw state, though they rarely are unless sprouted and even then are not very tasty in
su=ignificant amounts. Great care is taken to obtain the most "instincto-quality" foods which means organic
or wild vs. chemically-farmed. Dairy is avoided and even sprouted wheat is avoided.
There are problems with nearly every instincto idea and practice but the biggest ones include overeating
modern too-sweet fruits, obtaining high-quality animal foods, fanaticism, and, of course, the social
limitations.
Dean Esmay writes:
> I had my preconceptions rocked this week. Which is always a healthy thing, but I'm still reeling
> from it.
Oh, Dean, if you could only see the majority of raw fooders (most who have vegan aspirations) try to deal
with the arguments for paleo-diets while maintaining their ethical superiority stances regarding animal foods.
_Their_ pre-conceptions are rocked as well. Many even continue to argue the nutritional and
anthropological(!) superiority of an all-plant diet. You have indeed stumbled into strange, but interesting
waters...but so have many vegetarians when they come across the paleo-diet ideations ;)
> Yet it would seem that the fact that grains and beans are inedible without things like cooking
> pots and mortar and pestle ought to make us look with suspicion to those foods, since that all by
> itself would tend to indicate that humans would never have eaten them in any appreciable quantity
> until around the time of agriculture. Enter the members of the raw food community who I recently
> encountered online. These people eat absolutely everything raw, on the belief that the molecular
> changes wrought by cooking foods are unnatural, addicting, and carcinogenic.
Very few of them eat absolutely everything raw. After you hang around them for a time you realize that most
are quite taken with the simplicity of rawism, but are constantly dealing with "cooked food addictions",
backsliding, and finding the "right" supplements. The track record of most raw regimes (including instincto)
is quite dismal.
> I am mildly skeptical of this belief system, although there is some rational argument for it;
> humans ARE the only animals who cook food and most of the evidence I've seen suggests that we
> haven't been doing it for very long.
I, too, am mildly skeptical. Yet it does seem to be something of a scientific black-hole as regards the utility
of cooking. I have spent many years trying to research what anthropology as to say about when humans
began widespread cooking and there are very few references to be found that are more edifying than
intriguing. Further, the difference between raw and cooked foods in digestion and metabolism appear to be
little studied. How science can overlook something so fundamental and obvious may be an example of
cultural blinders resulting from the "obvious a priori" that cooked food is natural for humans.
> But what really rocked me is that these people (and I've seen messages from more than one of them)
> eat whole cereal grains and beans raw. They most commonly will use overnight soaking methods,
> either in pots or jars or even just wrapping the stuff in moist rags. However they will also
> apparently eat them even without this, eating them completely raw without even any soaking. Their
> claim is that if you haven't been eating this way all your life it might take a week or two for
> your digestive tract to adjust, but that they otherwise have no trouble at all living this way.
You may grow weary of raw foodist's "claims" overtime as I have. But note that instinctos _rarely_ find
sprouted grains or legumes attractive for more than a mouthful or two. It may be that vegan-rawists are
simply extremely mis-nourished on only raw plant foods. Their tendency to rely on sprouts (and greenpowder-type supplements) to try to maintain some homeostasis may be a frustrating stop-gap effort to
maintain their vegan ideations with a second-class protein such as sprouts. Further, sprouts are usually spiced
or mixed in some way to mask the taste-change which would prevent their consumption in large amounts
otherwise.
> At first I was tempted to dismiss this as a bizarre cultish sort of thing.
From what I have seen you would be more right than wrong. Ward Nicholson's 3-part interview in Chet
Day's HEALTH & BEYOND is probably the best ever written on the subject (http://chetday.com/). The third
part (not on the webpage, but available as hardcopy) deals with these cultish and fanatical aspects in a very
straightforward manner.

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I am ambivalent about bringing up the topic on this list since there are plenty of rawists on it: I don't want to
debate raw food ideology! But neither do I want to witness a misrepresentation of all rawists as happy
healthy sprout-eaters. IMO, the fields of Darwinian medicine, evolutionary psychology, paleo-diet, and
instincto are on a collision course and may meet as a minor revolution down the road. Much of the rest of
rawist ideology (fruitarianism, "Natural Hygiene", sproutarian, etc.) seems unwilling or unable to modify its
tenets according to new information, anthropological or otherwise. In sum, I don't want some zealotrous rawvegans to alienate the paleo-diet community as they have many folks in the raw foods (and caloricrestriction) arenas.
> But if these people apparear to be happy eating this way. The very fact that it's POSSIBLE for
> them to do this should, at minimum, throw back open to question whether or not humans have been
> eating cereal grains since before the advent of agriculture after all.
How happy (or healthy) these people are is a matter for serious exploration. There is probably a reasonable
argument for the paleolithic consumption of grains/legumes as a "drought-food" or "survival-food" but I
seriously question why a human would bother unless animal foods were in _very_ short supply. The
extinctions of many (but clearly not all) large game animals which coincides with the last glacial retreat may
have played a part in such a scenario, but that begs the question of whether such grains are optimal for
human health. Cooked grains are clearly more denatured than raw grains, but...there is an interesting
instincto "claim" regarding bread: apparently when long-time instinctos have experimented with bread-eating
they find that, relative to the much-maligned "Wonder bread", whole-grain breads are much _harder_ to
digest and more likely to cause nervous tension after consumption. Wonder bread is problematic but _less_
so. The implication is that if bread is problematic, whole-grain bread is even more problematic than Wonder
bread, since whole grains have even greater molecular complexity than polished grains. Both may be best
left unconsumed.
> Although it's hard to imagine them making up the majority of the diet, if people can comfortably
> eat wild grains without technology then there's not much reason to think they wouldn't, is there?
Not unless there were no animal foods to be had. Modern rawists _decide_ to avoid animal foods for a
variety of "reasons". It is hard to imagine paleolithic folks prostelystising the evils of animal food
consumption, but perhaps an abundance of wild stands of grain, combined with a dearth of animal foods, and
perhaps some population pressure(?) played a part in the rise of agriculture.
Below is some text from "Instinctive Nutrition" by Severen Schaeffer (Celestial Arts, 1986) regarding the
onset/origin of cooking. I think it applies analogously to the idea of grain consumption as well. (Instinctos,
fruitarians, and every other rawist in between, seem to agree that cooked grains, esp bread, are perhaps the
most addictive class of denatured foods. This passage also serves as an example of the tenuous type of
ideation that keeps a raw fooder "motivated" when they need to see cooking as evil...
--------"Once humans discovered how fire could be used for cooking, they were on a one-way trip to metabolic
chaos and organic disharmony. They had tied a knot they couldn't undo, that we, their descendants, have
rendered practically inextricable.
"In order to understand this, let is imagine a tribe of Homo Erectus somewhere in the forest, say around 400,
000 B.C. They are gathered near a fire, eating yams and other foods collected earlier in the day. The ones
who are eating yams are those whose bodies need the nutrients yams contain: this is what makes them smell
and taste good. Those who do not need yams are not attracted to them.
"Whatever they're eating, they're eating it raw, the way it came off the tree or out of the ground. It has never
occurred to them to mix, grind, pound, heat, or do anything else to an attractive piece of food other than to
eat it.
"One member of the group, call him Onemug [a German pun for Einstein], has eaten less than a fourth of a
yam when the taste becomes unattractive. Carelessly he throws it down, and it rolls to the edge of the fire,
unnoticed. And there it begins to bake. And it begins to smell. And the smell is stronger than ever a yam
smelled before. The smell reaches Onemug's nose, and it is good. So Onemug follows his nose, and takes up
the baked yam and begins to eat it. He can do so now because the taste has become good again. So Onemug
eats the rest of the yam. The yams molecular structure, modified by heat, no longer causes its taste to change
from good to bad.

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"A day or so later, Onemug is hungry, but all the tribe has found to eat that day is yams. Thanks to cooking,
Onemug had been able to eat more yam than he actually needed, so his organism was still overloaded with it.
As a result, naturally, he finds the raw yam unattractive. But Onemug is a genius: he remembers that the hot
yam from the fire was good: he associates: fire + good = good. On an impulse, he pushes a yam into the fire.
And sure enough, after a while an attractive smell comes to his nose. And he is able to eat the yam with a
degree of pleasure until he is full.
"Of course, the other members of the tribe smelled the cooked yam too, and begin to follow suit. So all of
them begin to eat yams, not until the body has had its fill of the nutrients yams contain, but until the belly has
no room for more. And naturally, the next day, because they don't need them, none of them is attracted to
raw yams any longer.
"This brings upon the tribe an unexpected change in the way it lives. Up to now, yams in their natural state
were delicious. Now, however, they have to be cooked or they can't be eaten. Instinct has to be tricked or it
will stop the organism from overloading itself with substances it doesn't need.
"Thus is birth given to the artifice of cooking. It is not an 'art' in the sense of haute cuisine but it must
inevitably become one. For by disrupting the dynamic structure of food, cooking kills its taste: each
mouthful tastes just like the last. Since it will no longer trigger an alliesthetic response, it will not become
unpalatable. But it _will_ be boring, because the taste of cooked food does not vary.
"Over the centuries, ways will be found to 'enliven' it, to make it interesting and pleasurable to eat. Food in
its original state will of itself be more pleasurable than any artifice can make it, but only if the body needs it.
However, once the organism has become saturated with remnants of denatured foods (which it can neither
use nor eliminate because biochemically it 'doesn't know how'), then the senses of smell and taste themselves
become denatured and dulled. Thus must leaves, herbs, spices, ferments, oils, extracts, mixing, baking,
roasting, basting and boiling, etc. be called upon to provide flavor where none remains. The relationship
between the dynamic molecular effects of these procedures on the food, and the effects of the food on the
human organism, have only recently become a subject for scientific enquiry--which has generally assumed
along with everyone else, that cooking is perfectly 'natural' for humans."
----------------Whatcha think, paleo-listers?
Cheers, Kirt
Kirt Nieft / Melisa Secola

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fire and raw foods (was GRAINS)
From: Ward Nicholson
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 13:34:54 -0600
Dean Esmay writes:
> I had my preconceptions rocked this week. Which is always a healthy thing, but I'm still reeling
> from it. My assumption has long been that most cereal grains and beans are foreign to the human
> digestive tract because they can only be rendered edible by technology--i.e. extended cooking.
> Earliest evidence for use of fire for cooking among humans seems to be 25, 000 years (I have no
> reference for that handy, let me know if that's in dispute), which would indicate the potential
> for some adaptation to cooked foods.
From what I know from having combed through the research I have been able to find myself, the evidence
for earliest use of fire itself goes back much further than 25, 000 years, although it is very difficult to say
with any certainty just when cooking practices began as a result of previous familiarity with fire. About
controlled use of fire itself, however, even someone as skeptical as Steven James, in a review article of the
evidence for early fire use, concedes that by at least 230, 000 years ago, at the Terra Amata site in Spain, one
finds clear evidence. [James S, 1989, "Hominid use of fire in the lower and middle Pleistocene. A review of
the evidence." Current Anthropology, v.30:1-26] (Newer dating techniques may have pushed the date for this
site back to 300, 000 years, but I am not sure.)

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However, since this review-of-the-evidence article, there is now other recent evidence at, I believe, another 2
or perhaps 3 sites in Spain and/or France, including one in France (Menez-Dragan) that would push the
controlled-fire-use date back to around 380, 000 to 465, 000 years if the claims stand up to testing. Also of
significance is that burnt rhinocerous bones were found close to a hearth inside a cave at this site, leading the
researchers to tentatively conclude cooking had occurred, as it seemed unlikely to them the rhinocerous
bones could have gotten inside the cave otherwise. [reported by journalist Patel T 1995, "Burnt stones and
rhino bones hint at earliest fire." New Scientist, June 17, 1995, p.5]
I also believe (and would like to hear informed comment from those here better acquainted with the evidence
than I) that while some of the very earliest claims for control of fire by humans (approx. 1.5 million years
ago) at Zhoukoudian Cave in China have now been disputed or discredited, more recent analysis of the ash
layers in the cave dated to 230, 000 to 460, 000 years ago, in which animal skulls have been found, show
burn patterns around the teeth and skulls that would indicate cooking of the brains [Rowley-Conwy, Peter
1993, "What do the Zhoukoudian finds tell us?" In: Burenhult, Goran (ed.) The First Humans: Human
Origins and History to 10, 000 B.C. New York: Harper-Collins, p.65. This is a compendium put out by the
American Museum of Natural History, and not peer-reviewed, but Rowley-Conwy is a well-known authority
in the field, I believe.]
One thing I have heard only one writer discussing fire address is what can be inferred about cooking just
from the evidence for control of fire itself. Somehow the question of fire use seems to catch the researchers'
attention, but the advent of cooking--which seems to be just as much or more interesting a question to me-does not. But if one were going to suppose, doesn't it seem logical to infer--when you consider why hominids
would have been interested in controlling fire in the first place (why were they doing it at all?)--that it would
have been for either warmth or cooking food, or both? I wonder what others think about that supposition,
given that fire does not leave many useful traces behind, at least, according to what I have heard stated in the
literature. As is often said, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."
Dutch writer Johan Goudsblom, in his 1992 book "Fire and Civilization" [Penguin Books: London; New
York] notes that animals in the wild, like birds of prey such as kites, quickly gather around burned-out
wildfires to eat the burnt victims, and other animals can be seen gathered round the wildfire-sites later at
night, apparently attracted by the warmth. The implication of this leads to the supposition, which I believe
was Goudsblom's point in bringing it up, that if other animals take advantage of fire in this way, then it
would seem unlikely that observant hominids would not also have followed suit with regard to its use for
warmth and possible processing of food fairly early on after first controlled use. (Ann Brower Stahl,
however--commenting in the follow-up section to James' Current Anthropology article--believes that fire's
use for warmth would have predated its use for cooking.)
The most relevant question, though, it seems to me, where Paleodiet is concerned, is when the use of fire for
cooking became *widespread* enough that it would have begun to constitute a serious evolutionary selective
pressure. On this point, Steven James notes that consistent evidence for fire use itself in a number of
different archeological locations is not seen until at least the late Paleolithic, which he defines as roughly (if I
am remembering correctly) 125, 000 years ago and more recently.
However, if it is true that ancient fires would not leave many traces behind archaeologically in most cases, it
may be we are faced with a paucity of evidence by the very nature of the question, which leaves us in a
dilemma. I don't know, though, what do others think?
Where hard evidence is concerned, though (as opposed to inference), there does not seem to be much
indication that *widespread* use of fire for cooking goes back more than about 40, 000-60, 000 years or so,
but I would like to hear more input from others more well-versed than I, since I have had trouble even
finding much interest, let alone data, in the fire-and-adaptation-to-cooking question in what Paleodiet
literature I have been able to unearth myself.
> Yet it would seem that the fact that grains and beans are inedible without things like cooking
> pots and mortar and pestle ought to make us look with suspicion to those foods, since that all by
> itself would tend to indicate that humans would never have eaten them in any appreciable quantity
> until around the time of agriculture. Enter the members of the raw food community who I recently
> encountered online. These people eat absolutely everything raw, on the belief that the molecular
> changes wrought by cooking foods are unnatural, addicting, and carcinogenic. I am mildly skeptical
> of this belief system, although there is some rational argument for it; humans ARE the only
> animals who cook food and most of the evidence I've seen suggests that we haven't been doing it
> for very long.

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I am still reserving judgment myself on the question of whether or to what degree cooking foods may render
them "unnatural, " addicting, or carcinogenic. (Cooking creates some carcinogens, but neutralizes others; and
most plant foods contain a certain level of "nature's pesticides" in the first place as a self-defense tactic to
discourage animals from eating them; so the question is not a cut-and-dried one. [See Ames, B 1983,
"Dietary carcinogens and anticarcinogens." Science, v.221 (Sept. 23, 1983), pp. 1256-1264])
However, one thing about the raw-foods community that I think should be strongly emphasized, which I
point out here based on my own first-hand experience as a former member of the raw-foods community
myself, is that the walk does not match up completely to the talk. You will hear lots of claims that someone
is eating 100% all-raw foods, but when you get them in private, or cross-examine them in public, most will
admit they can't or don't sustain the full regimen. This is not to say that there are not some very notable
examples of people who do, because there definitely are (and I know one or two of them on this listgroup).
But most avowed "raw-foodists" are actually eating more like 70% to 80%, perhaps 90%, raw foods. Still a
lot of raw food, of course, but it seems to me very significant that for the vast majority who try (and most
who become convinced it is the ultimate way to eat get pretty motivated about it and try hard) there seems to
be some sort of barrier preventing them from taking it all the way. (Also, it is important to note in saying this
that most raw-foodists are vegetarians as well, and the lack of animal-food intake could be affecting their
ability to otherwise successfully sustain a raw-food regime.)
I recently resigned the editorship of a small many-to-many newsletter on health and vegetarian raw foods
that I ran for 4 years, due to growing disillusionment with what I saw regarding preaching vs. practice, as
well as becoming increasingly familiar with the evolutionary Paleodiet literature. (Many-to-manys work just
like on-line listgroups as far as comment-and-response discussions, except they are distributed through
snailmail.) Many of the participants were, or claimed to be, or had tried to make a go of, eating all-raw foods.
But when their actual practices were flushed out through cross-examination, as near as I could tell, not more
than about 10-15% of them were actually successful at walking their talk over the long-term in good health.
And of those who had tried to eat all-raw foods but could not sustain it, most gave it up either because of
strong cravings they could not satisfy on the all-raw regimen, or because of health problems, or both. There
are no scientific studies or surveys of raw-foodists that I know of myself, but I wrote an article last year from
the "former insider" perspective about raw-foodists who follow the Natural Hygiene philosophy of natural
diet, which strongly emphasizes raw foods, and the problems many of them experience. (If anyone is
interested, I can snailmail a xerox of it for $2 (to cover my time and copying/mailing expense) to anyone
interested. (The article runs 12, 000 words.) Or I might see if I can't get it translated to ASCII here soon
instead to email to those who have an interest.
> But what really rocked me is that these people (and I've seen messages from more than one of them)
> eat whole cereal grains and beans raw. They most commonly will use overnight soaking methods,
> either in pots or jars or even just wrapping the stuff in moist rags. However they will also
> apparently eat them even without this, eating them completely raw without even any soaking. Their
> claim is that if you haven't been eating this way all your life it might take a week or two for
> your digestive tract to adjust, but that they otherwise have no trouble at all living this way.
As a former insider, this is true--at least for those 10-15% who succeed on the type of raw-foodist dietary
program that may include such practices (though not necessarily for the other 85-90% who don't succeed too
well). It should also be specifically noted in connection with this practice that most people who attempt a
raw-food vegetarian diet and fail are usually only able to later succeed on their dietary program by modifying
it to include some sort of concentrated starch or protein food. (Most end up including something like steamed
or cooked squash, potatoes, legumes, or grains.)
However, as Dean says, those who are really serious about continuing to eat only raw foods--but who resort
to eating grains or legumes to round out the diet to succeed--will soak or sprout them (for a day or two or
less) to be able to ingest them raw. And then there are a very few who, as Dean mentions, will also eat the
grains raw without even soaking them. (They may grind them first, of course.) Whether and how much of the
grain they are actually digesting when eaten this way is an open question. (Cooking helps neutralize the
trypsin inhibitors commonly found in legumes and grains that otherwise interfere with digestion, so it is
questionable how much raw grain eaters actually digest and assimilate of it, even if they can tolerate it fine.
[I don't know what a trypsin inhibitor is, but Ann Brower Stahl briefly discusses the situation in her 1984
paper, "Hominid dietary selection before fire, " Current Anthropology, April 1984, v.25, no.2, pp.151-168.])
But I agree with Dean's inference that Paleodiet researchers really ought to look into this and see what is
going on here physiologically with these folks.

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Regarding the many failures of those attempting a raw-food diet, I have also had conversations with a person
well-acquainted with the "instincto" segment of the raw foods community from the inside who I believe is on
this list. (Instinctos are raw-foodists who do not limit themselves to vegetarianism and freely include raw
meat in their diet.) This individual can comment here themselves if they like, but they have told me that in
their estimation the success rate for raw-food instinctos is no better than for the raw-food vegetarian crowd
(i.e., 10-15% or less, they thought, from widespread acquaintance).
In bringing all this up with a Paleodiet researcher (and again, if they are on this list, I'm sure they will speak
up for themselves) who believes humans are not yet genetically much-adapted to cooked foods, it seemed
their opinion was the raw-food failures were due to two things. First, since hominid diets have evolved over
the eons to include not only much more animal foods than our primate cousins--and these animal foods are in
general more concentrated, less fibrous, and more efficiently assimilated foods than plant foods--vegetarian
raw-foodists will have a hard time getting a concentrated enough stream of nutrients without including
concentrated vegetarian starch foods like grains or cooked tubers, etc. I.e., since every organ system comes at
a metabolic cost, and it takes a large gut to digest a diet high in fiber; and since humans have smaller guts
than their primate cousins, for which we have compensated by eating more concentrated, more nutrient-rich,
less-fibrous animal foods that allowed us to evolve a large metabolically costly brain, many people who
attempt a vegetarian diet are going to find they have to eat more food than they can realistically handlevolume wise unless they include more concentrated foods like grains, legumes, and tubers by way of cooking
them to make them edible. (And this supposition seems to agree very well with the actual results and
practices I have seen in the raw-foods community myself.)
Second, the reason the instincto raw-foodists (who include meat) may be having a hard time succeeding, is
that it seems from observations of modern hunter/gatherers eating meat that they go for the organ meats first
which they value most highly, also even the bone marrow. Muscle meats are eaten last and least valued, yet
those of us in the modern age have access to mostly only these muscle meats. So it appears that even most
raw-foodists who include animal foods have trouble because they do not eat the best portion of the animal,
and may be shorting themselves nutritionally.
My question in all this is: If hominids evolved eating nothing but raw foods, and we are not yet adapted to
the cooking practices begun relatively late in our evolution (though considerably more ancient than
agriculture), why then do so many people fail on raw-food diets, even the ones who eat plenty of meat? Do
the above reasons just given make sense to those of you who are researchers? I don't get the feeling from my
perusal of the literature that very many Paleodiet researchers have even thought to address the cooking vs.
raw-foods survival question, and whether homo is now adapted to a certain amount of cooked foods (or to
certain ones customarily cooked during evolution) or not, but I would be interested to hear comments. To
me, this consideration also bear on the question of how we might compensate these days for the fact that we
cannot obtain organ meats and bone marrow, and whether cooking of certain foods may be a necessary evil
to help make up the difference somehow.
> At first I was tempted to dismiss this as a bizarre cultish sort of thing. But if these people
> apparear to be happy eating this way. Actually, as I've said, most people who try to 100%
> raw-foods do not succeed at it over the long-term--though they will rave about it during the
> short-term and be most vocal before they start having problems--and a lot them are not very happy
> about that fact, or disguise it. However, as you also say...
> The very fact that it's POSSIBLE for them to do this should, at minimum, throw back open to
> question whether or not humans have been eating cereal grains since before the advent of
> agriculture after all. Although it's hard to imagine them making up the majority of the diet, if
> people can comfortably eat wild grains without technology then there's not much reason to think
> they wouldn't, is there?
Great question. It *is* possible to eat grains without technology, and some individuals that try it--mostly
vegetarians--are able to succeed healthwise at it. However, there is also the well-known fact that apparent
success or not, phytates in grains greatly impair mineral absorption which seems to indicate we are not yet
very well adapted to them, even if it is possible to eat them.
--Ward Nicholson Wichita, KS

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Raw foods
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 15:57:48 -0500
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My, what a lot to absorb.


I found Ward and Kirt's messages interesting and astonishingly in-depth, for which I am grateful. But I grow
a bit anxious. I wish to assiduously avoid this becoming any kind of debate center on obscure, semi-religious
side-roads in modern nutrition.
No criticism of anyone at all is implied (after all, I brought it up, and recent messages on the subject are
thoroughly informative), but let's all please be very careful just how far along this road we travel.
Speculation about use of fire for cooking and the possibility that grains and legumes were commonly
consumed prior to agriculture is perfectly valid of course, and that was really where I meant to steer
discussion.
Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Odds and Ends
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 16:04:00 -0700
A few comments from the last paleodigest:
1. Dean writes: I wish we could get Boyd Eaton to join us, as he seems to have done an awful lot of work in
this department.
I am in regular communication with Boyd, and I hope you all will read our most recent piece on ancestral
exercise patterns (Cordain L, Gotshall RW, Eaton SB. Evolutionary aspects of exercise. World Review of
Nutrition and Dietetics 1997 81:in press.). As far as I know, Boyd is not yet on line, but I am hopeful that
this will occur shortly, as I know he now has a computer.
2. David Ross writes: In light of some of the upwardly revised estimates of the percentage of protein in the
paleo-diet (50-60%), could someone comment on the possibility that early man (or contemporary huntergatherers for that matter) was a victim of acidosis problems. I believe that there is a fair amount of evidence
that the acid-ash of excess protein (roughly, any more than 50 gms/day) can not, in the long run, be
neutralized by the buffering systems that maintain fluid PH levels at beneficial levels.
Speth has written extensively on this topic. A good starting point is (Speth JD. Early hominid hunting and
scavenging: the role of meat as an energy source. J Hum Evol 1989 18:329-43) Dr. Speth suggests that 300
g/day or roughly 50% of one+s normal total daily caloric intake would be the upper limit of protein that
could be safely consumed on a regular daily basis without impairing health. Speth points out that the liver
apparently has difficulty metabolising excessive dietary amino acids and the kidneys may be unable to
adequately excrete the urea and purine by-products of excessive dietary protein intake. However, there is
scant experimental evidence in humans to critically confirm or deny this. The classic study of Stefansson+s
all meat diet indicated that when carbohydrates were excluded from the diet, the ad-libitum macro nutrient
intake was ~80% fat and 20% protein. Protein levels above 20% produced feelings of nausea and un-ease
(Stefansson V. The Fat of the Land. MacMillan, New York, 1960, p60-89). Note that this experiment was
conducted in Bellevue Hospital under metabolic ward conditions, and the results of this prolonged (1yr)
dietary trial were published in most of the major scientific journals of that era including JAMA, J Am
Dietetic Assn, and the J Biol Chem.
3. Staffan writes: As far as I can figure out we don't even know for sure that there was savanna at the places
in question and if so what kind of savanna.
Obviously, we can never know with absolute certainty the climatic conditions and the vegetation associated
with certain geographic locations 2-4 million years ago (MYA). However, recent studies of marine eolian
dust records corroborate marine oxygen isotopic records and clearly show that more arid conditions occurred
in East Africa near 2.8 MYA, and 1.7 MYA (deMenocal PB. Plio-pleistocene African climate. Science
1995;270:53-59.). These time frames coincide with the first appearance of H. habilis (2.4 -2.2 MYA) and H.
erectus/ergaster (1.9-1.7 MYA). The marine climatic data correlate well with core pollen data from east
Africa from this time as well as with fossils of herbivores known to inhabit savanna grassland. All of these
pieces of the puzzle point to a reduction of tropical forest and woodland and increases in open savanna areas
dominated by graminae species.
4. Dean writes: Earliest evidence for use of fire for cooking among humans seems to be 25, 000 years (I have
no reference for that handy, let me know if that's in dispute).

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I refer Dean to the classic paper (James SR. Hominid use of fire in the lower and middle pleistocene. Current
Anthropology 1989 30:1-26.). There is no single date at which fire was mastered by all hominids at all
locations on the earth. Obviously, dated evidence for early fire use varies upon geographic locale. Certainly,
the ability to make fire (flint stones or drills) came much later in man+s evolution in some locales and never
in others. The Efe still rely upon collecting naturally occurring lightening fires and transporting it from
hearth to hearth, and the Tasmanian aborigines at first contact did not even use fire. This method (collecting
lightening fires) of fire control was likely the procedure first used by our ancestors. Fire probably was not
used initially to cook meat - let alone plant foods, but was initially a strategy for overwintering in more
northern latitudes (keeping warm, thawing frozen scavenged meat) or perhaps utilized in hunting. James
(1989) suggests that fire was being used by hominids between 230, 000-400, 000 years ago in Europe and
that the date of 400, 000-500, 000 years would have been too early for the evidence at Zhoukoudian in
China. The first appearance of hearths (burned stones arranged in a circle or semi-circle) represents
unequivocal use of fire, and no actual hearths have been found until the appearance of the neanderthals at the
end of the middle pleistocene (~200, 000 years ago). The Lehringen wooden spear (dated to 125, 000 years
ago in Germany) recovered from between the ribs of an extinct straight tusked elephant has been reported to
be fire hardened (Movius HL. A wooden spear of third interglacial age from lower saxony . Southwestern J
Anthropol 1950 6:139-42). Actually, it is thought that burning of wooden spear tips was done to ease its
carving with stone shavers as well as to make it more hard (Oakley KP et al. A reappraisal of the clacton
spearpoint. Proc Prehistoric Soc 1977 43:13-30). Fire then was certainly part of most of our species
technological repertoire by the appearance of behaviorally modern men 35, 000-40, 000 years ago. The
manner in which it was controlled varied by geographic locale over time.
Dean further comments: Although it's hard to imagine them making up the majority of the diet, if people can
comfortably eat wild grains without technology then there's not much reason to think they wouldn't, is there?
People can put many plant items as well as non-edible items (stones, bones, feathers, cartilage etc) into their
gastrointestinal tracts by way of putting them into their mouths. The key here is the ability of the GI tract to
extract the nutrients (calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat vitamins and minerals). Bi-gastric herbivores have
evolved an efficient second gut with bacteria that can ferment the fiber found in leaves, shrubs, forbs and
grasses and thereby extract nutrients in an energetically efficient manner (that is, there is more energy in the
food than in the energy required to digest it). Humans can clearly put grasses and grass seeds into our
mouths, however we do not have a GI tract which can efficiently extract the energy and nutrients. The starch
and hence carbohydrate and protein calories in cereal grains occur inside the cell walls of the grain. Because
the cell walls of cereal grains are almost completely resistant to the mechanical and chemical action of the
human GI tract, cereal grains have been shown to pass through the entire GI tract and appear intact in the
feces (Stephen A. Whole grains - impact of consuming whole grains on physiological effects of dietary fiber
and starch. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1994 34:499-511). In order to make the nutrients in cereal grains
available for digestion, the cell walls must first be broken (by milling) to liberate their contents and then the
resultant flour must be cooked. Cooking causes the starch granules in the flour to swell and be disrupted by a
process called gelatinization which renders the starch much more accessible to digestion by pancreatic
amylase (Stephen A, 1994). It has been shown that the protein digestibility of raw rice was only 25%
whereas cooking increases it to 65% (Bradbury JH et al. Digestibility of proteins of the histological
components of cooked and raw rice. Brit J Nutr 1984 52:507-513). The main cereal grains that humans now
eat (wheat, rice, corn, barley, rye, oats, millet, sorghum) are quite different from their wild, ancestral
counterparts from which all were derived in the past 10, 000 years.
We have deliberately selected for large grains, with minimal chaff and which are easily harvestable. The
wild counterpart of these grains were smaller and difficult to harvest. Further, separation of the chaff from
the grain was time consuming and required fine baskets for the winnowing process. Once the chaff is
separated from the grain, the grains have to be milled and the resultant flour cooked. This process is time
consuming and obviously could have only come about in very recent geologic times. Further, the 8 cereal
grains now commonly eaten are endemic to very narrow geographic locations and consequently by their
geographic isolation would have been unavailable to all but a selected few populations of hominids.

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Now Dean, I haven't even touched upon the issue of antinutrients in raw cereal grains, and believe me this is
an issue. There are components in raw cereal grains which wreak absolute havoc with human health and well
being. The primary storage form of phosphorous in cereal grains is phytate and phytates bind virtually all
divalent ions. Excessive (50-60% of total calories) consumption of whole grain, unleavened breads
commonly results in rickets and hypogonadal dwarfism, and iron deficiency anemia (will provide the
references upon request). The main lectin in wheat (wheat germ agglutinin) has catastrophic effects upon the
gastrointestinal tract (Pusztai A et al. Antinutritive effects of wheat germ agglutinin and other Nacetylglucosamine-specific lectins. Brit J Nutr 1993 70:313-21). Additionally the alkylrescorcinols of cereals
influence prostanoid tone and induce a more inflammatory profile (Hengtrakul P et al. Effects of cereal
alkylresorcinols on human platelet thromboxane production. J Nutr Biochem 1991 2:20-24) as well as
depressing growth (Sedlet K et al. Growth depressing effects of 5-n-pentadecylresorcinol: a model for cereal
alkylresorcinols. Cereal Chem 1984 61:239-41. So, Dean if you choose to eat raw cereal grains, please
perform this experiment. Go out and buy some whole grain wheat seeds and swallow a handful of them.
Monitor your fecal contents over the next couple of days and report to this forum what you have observed. If
you choose to eat raw legumes (beans) you can probably smell the results of this experiment before you see
it.
Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter
Sometimes you get shown the smell before you see the light and it oftentimes occurs in the strangest of
places. What a long strange trip its been.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fire for cooking
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 20:54:14 -0500
Let me be clear that I was aware that evidence for use of fire goes back a half-million years or so. The
careful reader will note that I was specifically referring to evidence of use of fire -for cooking-. However, as
I cannot remember where precisely I got that little factoid about 25, 000 years, I'll withdraw the comment in
face of greater knowledge and will humbly seek the Stahl paper for further enlightenment.
If the protein absorbability of raw rice is normally 25%, then that means you could live for a while on the
stuff, if not very well. It would probably be a safe bet that if forced to go on such a regimen the metabolism
might be able to adjust somewhat given time. But if we can also posit that wild grains are even less rich in
calories and more full of indigestible bulk than modern artificially grown and bred stuff, then most likely our
ancestors didn't eat much grain, not as a staple anyway. Nevertheless someone had to figure out that it was
worth cultivating, so likely someone was chewing on it now and then. So referring to cereal grains as "not
digestible" by humans without cooking is probably not the most precise way of phrasing things.
As for my experimenting with eating raw grains and beans and reporting the results: Doctor Cordain, I am
inspired by your suggestion, and in the interests of science am starting immediately. I will be saving all my
post-prandially produced materials for the next two weeks in tightly sealed thermos containers. However, I
suspect I would lack sufficient objectivity in the area of gas spectrum analysis; after all, like most people, I
am quite convinced that my natural output has no particularly redolent effluvium. Knowing your own keen
interest in this subject area, I will dispatch my un-fossilized coprolite on a daily basis to the Colorado State
University for your (I am sure) assiduous and fully objective evaluation. Perhaps we can then co-publish a
paper on the results.
Yours in science,
Dean Esmay, Esq. Q.E.D. P.D.Q.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Raw foods, esp cereals
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 03:15:21 +0100
Since all contemporary human populations appear equally intelligent, I find it a bit hard to believe that the
ability to control fire is not at least as old as man himself, that is more than 150, 000 years. Whether the need
to use it was there is perhaps a more difficult question.
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Whatever the use of fire during human evolution, the concept of making grains or beans edible by way of
soaking, souring and fermenting needs further consideration. Whole meal cereals and other seeds as well as
beans have in their shells phytic acid which strongly binds to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and
magnesium to form insoluble salts, phytates. There is overwhelming evidence that whole meal cereals
through this mechanism decrease the absorption of such minerals. In this way cereals are an important
contributing cause of iron deficiency in third world countries and possibly in the western world.
As to calcium deficiency the picture is less clear. Mellanby found back in the 30s that dogs got rickets when
they were fed oats from early age. The possible absence of rickets in preagricultural skeletons, its apparent
increase during medieval urbanization and its epidemic explosion during Western European industrialisation
can hardly be explained only in terms of decreasing exposure to sunlight and decreased length of breastfeeding, nor to sub-optimal intake of foods rich in vitamin D or calcium. An possible contributing cause is a
secular trend of increasing inhibition of calcium absorption by phytate from cereals since these apparently
increased in amount during the Middle Ages, and since old methods of reducing the phytate content such as
dampening and heat treatment may have been lost during the emergence of large-scale cereal processing
from the agricultural revolution. Old fashion sourdough baking decreases the amount of phytic acid by use of
phytases, enzymes which are also found in the cereals but which often are destroyed during industrial
processing.
Non-westernized Melanesians from Kitava, Trobriand islands, that we have surveyed had four times higher
magnesium levels in hair compared to Swedes, Asian Indians and westernized Polynesians of Tokelau (the
latter three groups had similar levels) while those of zinc were two-fold higher in Kitavans. Whether the very
low phytate intake in Kitava (they do not eat cereals) is involved remains speculative.
The claimed notion of members of the raw food community that it might take a week or two for your
digestive tract to adjust to raw cereals finds to my knowledge no support in the scientific literature, and then
I'm exclusively referring to phytates.
As to other potential dangers of cereals, I have not much to say in this context, but Loren certainly has,
though he may want to wait until after publication of his extremely interesting paper on cereals to come.
Let me know if you want references.
Staffan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Coprolites
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 11:28:31 -0500
Dean writes:
> As for my experimenting with eating raw grains and beans and reporting the results: Doctor
> Cordain, I am inspired by your suggestion, and in the interests of science am starting
> immediately. I will be saving all my post-prandially produced materials for the next two weeks in
> tightly sealed thermos containers. However, I suspect I would lack sufficient objectivity in the
> area of gas spectrum analysis; after all, like most people, I am quite convinced that my natural
> output has no particularly redolent effluvium. Knowing your own keen interest in this subject
> area, I will dispatch my un-fossilized coprolite on a daily basis to the Colorado State University
> for your (I am sure) assiduous and fully objective evaluation. Perhaps we can then co-publish a
> paper on the results.
Although I have had a singular experience with this kind of work (Cordain L. et al. The effects of an aerobic
running program on bowel transit time. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1986;26:101-04), I will forego Dean's
generous offer for analysis of his un-fossilized specimens and suggest that he submit the evidence to Dr.
Kristin Sobolik at Texas A&M, who is generally considered to be the -Dean- of coprolite analysis. Although
we are having a good laugh with this topic, it is indeed a valuable source of evidence for prehistoric diets and
should be considered a serious topic. I refer our subscribers to: Sobolik KD. Direct evidence for the
importance of small animals to prehistoric diets: A review of coprolite studies. North Am Archaeologist
1993 14: 227-44. Dr Sobolik has a Web page and perhaps Dean could convince her to join this august group!

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: The definition of cooking
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

44/298 (1997)

From: Dean Esmay


Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 13:22:01 -0500
A member of the list who prefers to remain a "lurker" (i.e. one who remains relatively anonymous by not
posting messages) posted some questions, and made an interesting comment, which I thought I would
forward here:
-begin forwarded commentsOne thing I would like to ask is the definition of cooking? There seem to be many ways of breaking down
cell walls to make the nutrients available to humans. not all involving heat
Also I would like to add, talking of the digestibility of plant foods, I have seen reports of reindeer hunters
relishing the half digested contents of the reindeers stomachs as a source of vitamin C. The reindeer
presumably having grazed on lichen which people would not eat in unaltered form.
-end forwarded comments-

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Promotion of this group
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 13:55:35 -0500
Staffan Lindeberg wrote me in email recently:
> I cannot tell you how happy I am about PALEODIET, which seems to turn out into something very
> important for my own research. ... If it is not too much trouble for you I would appreciate a few
> words about how its existence is spread to the global research community as well as to invited
> individuals. If you find this of general interest you can of course post the answer to the list
> group.
As this is very much a non-paying, volunteer enterprise for me, I have limited time and resources for
spreading the word about the Symposium. My hope is that list members (such as Staffan) will either send me
email addresses of people who I might send an announcement to, or will just send invitations themselves to
people or groups who will be interested (it is not necessary that I be the person to contact everybody).
Here is the current announcement which I use for selected groups, which any list member may send to any
person or group that you believe will be interested. My only stipulation would be that this NOT receive wide
distribution on groups on the internet full of intellectually questionable elements (such as rec.food.vegetarian
or alt.support.diet), and that you keep in mind that we are generally only interested in promoting the list to
serious-minded scholars and researchers:
The Paleolithic Diet Symposium listserv is a semi-private, semi-moderated symposium for researchers with
interest in and knowledge of primitive diets and their relevance to modern life. Our primary audience is
biologists, paleontologists, anthropologists, physiologists, and health care professionals. Students or
members the lay public are not necessarily excluded, but any messages submitted to the list membership will
be reviewed before distribution to assure that the information presented, or the questions posed, reflect an
appropriate level of understanding of the science underlying the subject under discussion.
If you would like to subscribe, please fill out the following questionnaire and send it to
This is a standard questionnaire for all prospective subscribers to PALEODIET. You are not required to give
us more than your name and email address, although we would appreciate having the other information. Any
information you give on this questionnaire is solely for the list owners' information, and will NOT be sold or
used for any form of business solicitation.
Name: Preferred E-mail Address: Title: Institution: Phone Number: Research Areas: Other Areas of Interest:
Your list membership will be confirmed by the Listowner. You should receive a message confirming your
membership within a few days of sending in your subscription request. Thanks for your interest!
Owner: Dean Esmay

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Dean of paleodiet
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

45/298 (1997)

Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 00:23:15 -0800


Automatic digest processor wrote: Dr. Kristin Sobolik at Texas A&M,
> who is generally considered to be the -Dean- of coprolite analysis.
Actually, Dr. Sobolik is now at the University of Maine. Her teacher at A&M was Dr. Vaugh Bryant, who is
the head of the Anthropology department and also a full professor of bio-chemistry. His papers on coprolite
analysis in the 70's caused quite a stir and changed the way he ate as well (see People Magazine Feb. 19,
1979). Also among his students were Art Devaney PhD. (author of "Evolutionary Fitness").
Dr. Bryant was kind enough to review my book "NeanderThin" before publication and his input resulted in
several important corrections. He has been published in the popular press as well as the scholarly journals
and would make a good contributor to this list.
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: fresh coprolites
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 00:40:25 -0800
Even more striking differences can be observed between the fecal remains of dogs fed commercial dog food
and that of wolves or (in Texas) coyotes. See "A field Guide to Animal Tracks" for illustrations of wild
canine feces and compare these to the mess on your lawn. My own dog's (fed a wolf diet) feces are very
different than the other dog's in our neighborhood and this makes cleaning the lawn much easier.
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander
> Automatic digest processor Knowing your own keen interest in this subject area, I will dispatch my
> un-fossilized coprolite on a daily basis to the Colorado State University for your (I am sure)
> assiduous and fully objective evaluation. Perhaps we can then co-publish a paper on the results.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Coprolites and Weak Chins
From: Art De Vany
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 12:23:18 -0800
Actually, my training is in economics and mathematics and I do research in social and economic systems as
complex, adaptive systems (a glimpse of what I do is in last week's The New Yorker (Mar 31, 1997)). I was
a professor at Texas A & M. I have read much of Vaughan Bryant's research, but I disavow any knowledge
or experience with coprolites (did I even spell it right?).
Turning from the scatological to evolutionary psychology, I have this question to pose.
I think it is evident that the female attitude toward men with "weak chins" lies somewhere between
indifference and contemp. Unlike the many studies of male preference for female waist to hip ratio studies
(where it is shown that there is a strong preference for small ratios, but not too small), I know of no studies
on this aspect of male physiology). Am I right on this aspect of female sexual selectiveness?
If this is the case, and I have little doubt that it is, does a weak chin indicate poor nutritional status of the
male as a child and, therefore, represent information about skeletal and other deficiencies that spell low
capability?
Or is it a throwback to a period when the prominent chin of homo sapiens was beginning to be a clue to
"good" genes? If this is so, then sexual selection could readily have accelerated the transition from homo
habilis to homo sapiens.
Arthur De Vany Professor NeXTMAIL, SUN Mail & MIME welcome
http://www.socsci.uci.edu/mbs/personnel/devany/devany.html Department of Economics Institute for
Mathematical Behavioral Sciences 3151 Social Science Plaza Irvine, CA 92697-5100

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46/298 (1997)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Acidosis
From: "Jeffrey P. Krabbe"
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 01:20:02 EDT
Frieda Wallace writes:
PA
> What evidence actually exists that high-protein diets cause acidosis? In PA what groups has this
> ever actually been observed? The Inuit eat remarkable PA amounts of meat and don't seem to have
> trouble with acidosis. Do they have PA some kind of special buffering that other humans do not?
By high-protein diets we need to delineate them as either ketogenic or anti-ketogenic. On a ketogenic diet,
irrespective of the levels of the two main macronutrients (fat and protein) ketoacidosis by definition CAN
NOT occur in normal healthy human beings on this type of diet for the following reasons: 1. Ketoacidosis
envelops due to a total lack of insulin on a ketogenic diet, insulin's levels are indeed low, but the sensitivity
of tissues to insulin's anti-ketogenic nature is vastly increased, i.e. less insulin but greater sensitivity to it.
Contrast this to a type I diabetic (IDDM) in which they are insulin deficient and are also ketoacidosis-prone.
Type II diabetics are NOT ketoacidosis prone due to higher systemic insulin, but less tissue sensitivity, thus
insulin's antiketogenic effect is in place. 2. Ketoacidosis occurs due to a competition between fuels.
Ketoacidosis only occurs in IDDM and alcoholics. In IDDM ketosis occurs with hyperglycemia (high blood
glucose levels). Since the body is accustomed to using carbohydrates are a fuel (especially the brain) the
ketones are not used and accumulate in the bloodstream, bring down pH, and a coma will shortly ensue. 3.
Ketones are self-regulating. The most amazing thing about ketosis as on a low-carb diet is the ability of
ketone bodies to limit their production so as to never cross the maximal threshold. They accomplish this
mighty task by feedback regulation which includes the secretion of insulin to limit overproduction. In IDDM
with the lack of insulin this negative feedback inhibition is no longer present, and insulin is unable to reprise
it's role in limiting over production. In fact hyperketonemia, and the uncontrolled production of ketone
bodies is accepted among the other above statements as one the central reasons this will occur in IDDM.
There are other factors, but they require a working knowledge of interconversion rates between AcAc
(acetoacetate) and BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), and the normal ratios of these two substrates in the body in
normal vs. IDDM subjects.
Don't be fooled by anyone though. A ketogenic diet will lower pH some, but that only reflects the dietary
intake of a ketogenic diet, the products of metabolism, and the compensatory mechanisms at work like bicarb reabsorption, ammonia to glutamine, and the like. If you are referring to non-ketogenic diet, that I
highly doubt there would be any acidosis, and even then the protein intake would have to be substantial and
far above any reasonable and prudent intake, i.e. excessive.
JPK

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Acidosis
From: "Jeffrey P. Krabbe"
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 01:20:02 EDT
Frieda Wallace writes:
PA
> What evidence actually exists that high-protein diets cause acidosis? In PA what groups has this
> ever actually been observed? The Inuit eat remarkable PA amounts of meat and don't seem to have
> trouble with acidosis. Do they have PA some kind of special buffering that other humans do not?

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

47/298 (1997)

By high-protein diets we need to delineate them as either ketogenic or anti-ketogenic. On a ketogenic diet,
irrespective of the levels of the two main macronutrients (fat and protein) ketoacidosis by definition CAN
NOT occcur in normal healthy human beings on this type of diet for the following reasons: 1. Ketoacidosis
envelops due to a total lack of insulin on a ketogenic diet, insulin's levels are indeed low, but the sensitivity
of tissues to insulin's anti-ketogenic nature is vastly increased, i.e. less insulin but greater sensitivity to it.
Contrast this to a type I diabetic (IDDM) in which they are insulin deficient and are also ketoacidosis-prone.
Type II diabetics are NOT ketoacidosis prone due to higher systemic insulin, but less tissue sensitivity, thus
insulin's antiketogenic effect is in place. 2. Ketoacidosis occurs due to a competition between fuels.
Ketoacidosis only occurs in IDDM and alcoholics. In IDDM ketosis occurs with hyperglycemia (high blood
glucose levels). Since the body is accostomed to using carbohydrates are a fuel (especially the brain) the
ketones are not used and accumulate in the bloodstream, bring down pH, and a coma will shortly ensue. 3.
Ketones are self-regulating. The most amazing thing about ketosis as on a low-carb diet is the ability of
ketone bodies to limit their production so as to never cross the maximal threshold. They accomplish this
mighty task by feedback regulation which includes the secretion of insulin to limit overproduction. In IDDM
with the lack of insulin this negative feedback inhibition is no longer present, and insulin is unable to reprise
it's role in limiting over production. In fact hyperketonemia, and the uncontrolled production of ketone
bodies is accepted amoung the other above statements as one the central reasons this will occur in IDDM.
There are other factors, but they require a working knowledge of interconversion rates between AcAc
(acetoacetate) and BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), and the normal ratios of these two substrates in the body in
normal vs. IDDM subjects.
Don't be fooled by anyone though. A ketogenic diet will lower pH some, but that only reflects the dietary
intake of a ketogenic diet, the products of metabolism, and the compensatory mechansims at work like bicarb reabsorption, ammonia to gluatmine, and the like. If you are refering to non-ketogenic diet, that I highly
doubt there would be any acidosis, and even then the protein intake would have to be substantial and far
above any reasonable and prudent intake, i.e. excessive.
JPK

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Late Pleistocene Extinctions and Man's Carnivorous Ways
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 20:07:00 -0700
Ray Audette made an interesting comment in a previous digest, noting that a man with 6 dogs and an atlatl
would have been a formidable predator capable of mass extinction of large pleistocene mammals. Much has
been written on man's role in the wide scale extinctions of large mammals that occurred at the end of the
pleistocene:
1. Stuart AJ. Mammalian extinctions in the late pleistocene of northern eurasia and north america. Biol Rev
1991 66:453-62.
2. Martin PS. The discovery of America. The first Americans may have swept the western hemisphere and
decimated its fauna within 1000 years. Science 1973 179:969-74.
3. Diamond J. The American blitzkrieg: a mammoth undertaking. Discover 1987 June:82-88.
4. Diamond J. The golden age that never was. Discover 1988 Dec:71-79.
5. Martin PS. 40, 000 years of extinctions on the planet of doom. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,
Palaeoecology 1990 82:187-201.
6. Haynes CV. Elephant hunting in North America. Sci Am 1966 214:104-112.
7. Grayson DK. The chronology of North American late Pleistocene extinctions. J Archaeol Sci 1989
16:153-65.
8. Mosimann JE, Martin PS. Simulating overkill by paleoindians. Am Sci 1975 63:304-313.

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

48/298 (1997)

During this period, which presumably coincided with increasing technological development and increasing
human populations, South America lost 46 out of 58 genera (80%) of mammals exceeding 44 kg; Australia
15 out of 16 (94%); North America 33 out of 45 (73%). For Europe and Africa the figures are considerably
lower (7 out of 24 - 29%) and (2 out of 44 - 5%) respectively. These mass extinctions affected large
terrestrial mammals exclusively, whereas invertebrates, small to medium terrestrial vertebrates, plants and
marine vertebrates continued almost unscathed. Martin and others believe that human overkill was largely
responsible for the extinction of these large mammals and that many of these huge behemoths were
wastefully killed and only certain portions of the carcass were selectively consumed. Present day hunter
gatherers prefer fatty portions of the carcass (organs, brains, marrow, tongue, fat depots, fatty cuts of meat),
and it is likely that our ancestors did as well. Butcher marks on mammoths in a number of european sites
indicate cut marks which suggest that tongues were highly prized. Ray Audette suggested that many of the
mammals that became extinct during this period were those which stored the most adipose tissue, and hence
were selectively preyed upon. Although, we have no way of determining the body composition of extinct
animals, it is likely that high northern and southern latitude mammals probably had to store fat similar to
modern mammals living in seasonal climates to survive through the winter. Given modern man's preference
for fat, it is no less likely that our ancestors did not seek out fat and fatty animals as well. Further, because of
selective utilization of animal tissues (both pre-historically and in present day hunter-gatherers), the fat
content of the human diet could have easily exceeded estimates of 15-20% of the total caloric intake which
have been widely used as a model for the paleolithic diet. The other point worth noting here is that for most
"paleolithic meals" protein and fat would have almost always occurred together (since these two elements
always were present with the kill - except for small stores of liver and muscle glycogen, animals are virtually
devoid of carbohydrate), whereas carbohydrates from collected plant foods would have more often been
eaten separate from the protein/fat combination. The health implications of these ancestral macronutrient
combinations are critical for modern man. Recent studies show that high fat, high CHO meals tend to
increase post-prandial lipemia compared to lower CHO meals, and that elevated blood lipid levels in the
post-prandial period are a significant risk factor for CHD (Chen Y.D. et al. Effect of variations in dietary fat
and carbohydrate intake on postprandial lipemia in patients with noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus. J
Clin Endocrin Metabol 1993 76:347-51.). Taken together with Wolfe's data (Wolfe BM. Potential role of
raising dietary protein intake for reducing risk of atherosclerosis. Can J Cardiol 1995 11:127G-131G)
showing isocaloric replacement of CHO with animal based protein results in lowered total CHOL, LDL,
VLDL, TG and increased HDL, these experiments tend to confirm that our ancestral eating habits of
combining fat with high amounts of protein produces a less atherogenic profile than combining high levels of
carbohydrate with high levels of fat. Preliminary data from our laboratory utilizing game meat consumption
confirms this general concept (Tillmans C, Cordain L, Harris et al. Game meat is an effective dietary
component in lowering serum cholesterol. Proc Rocky Mtn Chapt ACSM; abstract, 1995).
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Late Pleistocene Extinctions and Man's Carnivorous Ways
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 1997 20:07:00 -0700
Ray Audette made an interesting comment in a previous digest, noting that a man with 6 dogs and an atlatl
would have been a formidable predator capable of mass extinction of large pleistocene mammals. Much has
been written on man's role in the wide scale extinctions of large mammals that occurred at the end of the
pleistocene:
1. Stuart AJ. Mammalian extinctions in the late pleistocene of northern eurasia and north america. Biol Rev
1991 66:453-62.
2. Martin PS. The discovery of America. The first Americans may have swept the western hemisphere and
decimated its fauna within 1000 years. Science 1973 179:969-74.
3. Diamond J. The American blitzkrieg: a mammoth undertaking. Discover 1987 June:82-88.
4. Diamond J. The golden age that never was. Discover 1988 Dec:71-79.

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

49/298 (1997)

5. Martin PS. 40, 000 years of extinctions on the planet of doom. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology,
Palaeoecology 1990 82:187-201.
6. Haynes CV. Elephant hunting in north America. Sci Am 1966 214:104-112.
7. Grayson DK. The chronology of Northa American late Pleistocene extinctions. J Archaeol Sci 1989
16:153-65.
8. Mosimann JE, Martin PS. Simulating overkill by paleoindians. Am Sci 1975 63:304-313.
During this period, which presumably coincided with increasing technological development and increasing
human populations, South America lost 46 out of 58 genera (80%) of mammals exceeding 44 kg; Australia
15 out of 16 (94%); North America 33 out of 45 (73%). For Europe and Africa the figures are considerably
lower (7 out of 24 - 29%) and (2 out of 44 - 5%) respectively. These mass extinctions affected large
terrestrial mammals exclusively, whereas invertebrates, small to medium terrestrial vertebrates, plants and
marine vertebrates continued almost unscathed. Martin and others believe that human overkill was largely
responsible for the extinction of these large mammals and that many of these huge behemoths were
wastefully killed and only certain portions of the carcass were selectively consumed. Present day hunter
gatherers prefer fatty portions of the carcass (organs, brains, marrow, tongue, fat depots, fatty cuts of meat),
and it is likely that our ancestors did as well. Butcher marks on mammoths in a number of european sites
indicate cut marks which suggest that tongues were highly prized. Ray Audette suggested that many of the
mammals that became extinct during this period were those which stored the most adipose tissue, and hence
were selectively preyed upon. Although, we have no way of determining the body composition of extinct
animals, it is likely that high northern and southern latitude mammals probably had to store fat similar to
modern mammals living in seasonal climates to survive through the winter. Given modern man's preference
for fat, it is no less likely that our ancestors did not seek out fat and fatty animals as well. Further, because of
selective utilization of animal tissues (both pre-historically and in present day hunter-gatherers), the fat
content of the human diet could have easily exceeded estimates of 15-20% of the total caloric intake which
have been widely used as a model for the paleolithic diet. The other point worth noting here is that for most
"paleolithic meals" protein and fat would have almost always occurred together (since these two elements
always were present with the kill - except for small stores of liver and muscle glycogen, animals are virtually
devoid of carbohydrate), whereas carbohydrates from collected plant foods would have more often been
eaten separate from the protein/fat combination. The health implications of these ancestral macronutrient
combinations are critical for modern man. Recent studies show that high fat, high CHO meals tend to
increase post-prandial lipemia compared to lower CHO meals, and that elevated blood lipid levels in the
post-prandial period are a significant risk factor for CHD (Chen Y.D. et al. Effect of variations in dietary fat
and carbohydrate intake on postprandial lipemia in patients with noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus. J
Clin Endocrin Metabol 1993 76:347-51.). Taken together with Wolfe's data (Wolfe BM. Potential role of
raising dietary protein intake for reducing risk of atherosclerosis. Can J Cardiol 1995 11:127G-131G)
showing isocaloric replacement of CHO with animal based protein results in lowered total CHOL, LDL,
VLDL, TG and increased HDL, these experiments tend to confirm that our ancestral eating habits of
combining fat with high amounts of protein produces a less atherogenic profile than combining high levels of
carbohydrate with high levels of fat. Preliminary data from our laboratory utilizing game meat consumption
confirms this general concept (Tillmans C, Cordain L, Harris et al. Game meat is an effective dietary
component in lowering serum cholesterol. Proc Rocky Mtn Chapt ACSM; abstract, 1995).
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Boxgrove site
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 07:16:46 -0500
One of our lurking researchers was kind enough to send me reference to the following article on the
Boxgrove Site excavation, written by the excavation's director Mark Roberts and published in BRITISH
ARCHAOLOGY late last year. A tantalizing tidbit:
> Hunting at this period of our hominid ancestry is a controversial subject. From the late 1960s to
> the present day, the concept of `Man the Hunter' has become less popular with academics studying
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

50/298 (1997)

> the Lower Palaeolithic, with the alternative of carcass-scavenging being proposed as the major way
> in which hominids procured their meat. The evidence from Boxgrove, however, suggests strongly
> that the hominids of the period did hunt their meat.
There's more detail in the article, which is worth a look. Fire up your web browser and point it to:
http://britac3.britac.ac.uk:80/cba/ba/ba18/ba18feat.html#roberts
The article is apparently part of a series. The next part, entitled "And then came clothing and speech, "
appears here:
http://britac3.britac.ac.uk:80/cba/ba/ba19/ba19toc.html
-=-=Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter
http://www.syndicomm.com/esmay

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Dietary medicine and herbs
From: Michael Schubert
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 1997 19:45:54 +1000
Dear Paleodiet,
I have been lurking for the last few weeks, and I'm finding this one of the most interesting and stimulating
lists I've seen. On to business. One of the things I do is teach aspects of botany and herbal medicine in the
only university-based programme in natural and complementary medicine (naturopathy) in Australia.
1. I have often speculated with my students that early humans were provided with many of the compounds
that would protect them from illness via their diet. These very same compounds (e.g. alkaloids, tannins,
glycosides) are the main/active constituents of the products that herbalists prescribe today. I cite empirical
evidence that the cultivation of foodstuffs has "watered down" the bitter and pungent chemical load,
favouring sweet and salty tastes. This has resulted in a diet in contemporary humans, which is lacking in
these compounds, and therefore lacking in the protection that these bitter and pungent compounds provide.
What do list members have to comment?
2. I also point out, that the paleodiet consisted of a food source of up to 1500 species, with 500 major
"vegetables" and that the contemporary diet is drawn from 200 species, with only 80 major "vegetables".
Whilst I am always dubious of such numbers, I cannot recall which reference I used to derive these figures. I
think the point is useful to make to my students, but wonder whether I'm using erroneous figures, or if I'm
right off the track.
Any assistance, criticism or comments would be helpful.
3. Thanks for the stimulating diversions into dietary habits. I've been trying to interest the nutrition lecturer
in this area, but I think she thinks I'm a bit strange, bringing up the paleodiet in 1997. I thought I'd heard of
every diet imaginable, having been involved in alternative medicine for almost 20 years, but I've learned a lot
from these discussions.
4. In passing, my background is in traditional and alternative medicine, with formal university degrees in
biology & ecology and sociology. My final questions relate to a teaching and research interest regarding the
application of herbs in healing. When is the first evidence for the use of plant material in healing? What sort
of practices or technologies were used in the application of plants (or animal bits, or minerals for that matter)
in healing?
Any comments would be welcomed.
Regards
Michael Schubert
_____________________________________________
Michael Schubert School of Natural & Complementary Medicine Southern Cross University P.O. Box 157,
Lismore N.S.W. 2480 AUSTRALIA Tel: (066) 20 3649 International: 61-66-203649 Fax: (066) 20 3904
International: 61-66-203904 Visit us at http://www.scu.edu.au
_____________________________________________

PALEODIET Archives
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

51/298 (1997)

Subject: The paleolithic diet


From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 01:20:33 -0500
Here is an attempt at constructing a modern equivalent to the diet humans likely evolved to eat:
Eggs: Any variety Meat: Any variety. Nuts: Any variety, excepting peanuts and other "nuts" that are not nuts
at all. Fruits: Any variety. Berries: Any variety. Vegetables: Any that do not require cooking to be
comfortably edible.
There would be almost very, very little of any of the following:
Cereal grains Beans Dairy products of any sort (outside of infancy) *Tubers (Perhaps an occasional treat?)
Eggs, meat, and nuts would be eaten ad libitum and would probably make up a majority of the intake. Meat
would be raw, dried, or cooked over an open fire and most likely rare. Fruits would be eaten sparingly. A
majority of the rest of the food would be eaten fresh and raw most of the time.
Such a diet is very easy to live on even in this modern world; moderately expensive perhaps, but not
prohibitively so for most, especially if it brings health benefits.
The question would be: is this a realistic modern reconstruction? Or are there flaws to the model? What
possible negative health consequences might be associated with such a diet?
Comment is invited.
-=-=Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter
http://www.syndicomm.com/esmay

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Down's Syndrome Plants
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 01:30:54 -0800
I cite empirical evidence that the cultivation of foodstuffs has
> "watered down" the bitter and pungent chemical load, favouring sweet and salty tastes. This has
> resulted in a diet in contemporary humans, which is lacking in these compounds, and therefore
> lacking in the protection that these bitter and pungent compounds provide.
Domestication of plants and animals involves selecting for one of the most common forms of mutation neoteny. Neoteny is the retention of juvenile traits into adulthood and results in the the plant or animal being
arrested in its' development. Thus the thorobred horse looks like a spindly colt instead of the squat
undomesticated horse as pictured in cave dwellings. Corn is an even better example as it took hundreds of
years to discover its undomesticated form growing wild in Mexico because it so little resembles our corn.
In plants, the fruit growing stage may be prolonged resulting in more carbohydrates and preventing it from
forming chemicals that protect the mature fruit and cause it to drop from the stalk. Without neoteny, wheat
would have much more tough bran and be nearly impossible to harvest as it would fall from the stalks onto
the ground (domestic wheat requires threshing to reproduce).
Some of the chemicals lacking in this immature fruit would be used by the plant to ward off pathogens and
parasites that would hinder reproduction. These chemicals include antibiotics, anti-fungals and anti-virals.
Mostly, these result in the fruit lasting longer without spoiling thus enhancing reproductive sucess.
Other chemicals are used by plants to ward off larger animals. These are also greatly reduced in neotenized
fruit. Without this effect some common types of modern foods could be hazardous (new strains of lima beans
for instance must be tested for cyanides for this reason).
Compared to the total number of plants in the global biomass, Primates eat relatively few species. Vegetable
foods edible to humans in nature (i.e. without technology) are edible to all primates. Most primates are on the
move constantly looking for these plants traveling many miles surrounded by plants in the rain forest looking
for the just right ones. Tens of millions of years of evolution have made primates resistant to the toxins these
edible plants contain. They may even be used by primates to ward off pathogens. Our primate DNA
recognizes them and responds appropriately.
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As well as these toxins, nonedible plants contain non toxic proteins that are not recognized in the database
known as our DNA. Our bodies don't know weather these are toxins, pathogens or short term anomolies.
After reaching a threshold of exposure however, the immune system may mount an attack. When this attack
harms the body itself, you are said to have an autoimmune disease.
Among paleolithic people who only eat foods edible to primates, autoimmune diseases are as rare as they are
in wild animals (practilly nil). This is true even for those who eat no vegetables at all (Inuit). Among people
who get a large part of their nutrition from plants not edible to othe primates (i.e. grains, beans, potatoes),
autoimmune diseases are rampant. It has been estimated that 95% of all Americans die of such disorders.
Ref:
Ames, B.N. "Paleolithic Diet, Evolution and Carcinogens" Science 238, 1633-34
Budiansky, S. "The Covenant of the Wild:Why Animals Chose Domestication" New York, William Morrow
& Co., 1992
Stahl, A.B. "Hominid Dietary Selection Before Fire" Current Anthropology Vol. 25, No. 2, 4/84
Stefansson, V. "Cancer Disease of Civilization" New York, Hill and Wang, 1960
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin:A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander
BTW the earliest example of a cultivated plant (several neatly planted rows - carbon dated to 25, 000 years)
was of a species of medicinal plant recently aproved for use (by referendum) in California.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Uncultivated Plant Foods & Early hunting vs scavenging
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 10:38:00 -0700
In response to Michael Schubert+s comments about the role of non-cultivated plant foods in human
evolution, I suggest the following reference:
1. Eating on the Wild Side: the pharmacologic, ecologic and social implications of using non-cultigens. Etkin
NL (Ed.) The University of Arizona Press, Tucson & London, 1994.
This book represents the definitive statement on the medicinal values of wild plant foods used by huntergatherers.
In the last digest, Dean writes:
> Hunting at this period of our hominid ancestry is a controversial subject. From the late 1960s to
> the present day, the concept of `Man the Hunter' has become less popular with academics studying
> the Lower Palaeolithic, with the alternative of carcass-scavenging being proposed as the major way
> in which hominids procured their meat. The evidence from Boxgrove, however, suggests strongly
> that the hominids of the period did hunt their meat.

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There has been a recent trend in the anthropology community towards acceptance of wide scale hunting by
early hominids (H. erectus/ H. heidelbergensis/ archaic H. sapiens) inhabiting both europe and Asia circa
(~500, 000 - 300, 000 years before present (BP)). There are two recent finds which clearly support this
notion. Thieme and co-workers recently reported in Nature (Thieme H. Lower palaeolithic hunting spears
from Germany. Nature 1997 385:807-810) the discovery of four wooden throwing spears which were dated
to 400, 000 years BP. Thieme mentions that -all spears, although of different lengths, were manufactured to
the same pattern, with the maximum thickness and weight at the front; the tails are long, and taper towards
the proximal end. In all of these respects they resemble modern javelins, and were made as projectile
weapons rather than thrusting spears or lances-. He concludes by saying, -The discovery of spears designed
for throwing means that theories of the development of hunting capacities and subsistence strategies of
Middle Pleistocene hominids must be revised, as well balanced, sophisticated hunting weapons were
common from an early period of the Middle Pleistocene onwards. Accordingly, meat from hunting may have
provided a larger dietary contribution than has previously been acknowledged-. The second piece of
information which is highly suggestive of wide scale hunting during this period is the recent discovery of
stone artifacts in central Siberia which have been dated to more than 260, 000 year BP (Waters MR. et al.
Diring Yuriakh: A lower paleolithic site in central Siberia. Science 1997 275:1281-84). Because this site is
located at approximately 55 degrees N. latitude, even during warmer, interglacial periods, the climate of this
region would have been severe. Consequently for at least half or more months of the year, plant food which
could provide sustenance for hominids would have been unavailable. Additionally, to live in this climate, I
quote Waters, - would require sophisticated use of fire, clothing and shelter for survival-. Scavenging of
game would, at best, be an irregular affair and would not provide a regular caloric source - consequently it
seems likely that hunting provided these early humans with both clothing and food. Any scavenged game
that may have been acquired during the deep winter months would likely have been frozen and quite difficult
to eat; hence fire may have been used to thaw scavenged meat. Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fat percentages in PaleoDiet
From: Kevin Tisdel
Reply-To:
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 1997 20:04:47 -0600
The idea seems to be that paleolithic diet was extremely high in fat and proteins, compared to our modern
diet of fat and carbohydrates. Since it is illogical to conclude that the people of this time could function at a
weight of 300 pounds or more, the conclusion seems to be that a high fat/ protein diet is quite a bit healthier
IN MODERN MAN than our current high fat/ carb. diet and that we could get along quite well with this diet.
My concern is that we aren't dealing with a level playing field. I understand that fat is an extremely efficient
energy souce, but the caloric requirements of paleolithic man must have been fantastic. I wonder what the
affects of a high fat/ CARBOHYDRATE diet would be on a modern human who walked perhaps 10-15
miles a day in search of food and shelter. Might the caloric expenditures be the real variable we should be
dealing with? With that amount of exercise, it would seem to me that it would take an exceptional amount of
carbohydrates to result in an unhealthy body. And what of long term side effects of a high fat/ protein diet?
Given paleolithic man was lucky to live into their twenties, is it logical to extend that diet to modern man
who lives almost four times as long? I do not question that the Paleolithic diet was appropriate for Paleolithic
man, but I am hesitant to extend that diet to modern man without further understanding of these other
variables. I am new to the list and appologize if this has been covered in other discussions.
Cordially, Kevin Tisdel

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Paleolithic diet and longevity
From: Ward Nicholson
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 09:23:30 -0600

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Kevin Tisdel writes:


> Given paleolithic man was lucky to live into their twenties, is it logical to extend that diet to
> modern man who lives almost four times as long? I do not question that the Paleolithic diet was
> appropriate for Paleolithic man, but I am hesitant to extend that diet to modern man without
> further understanding...
Maybe Loren can cite more recent references than I, but an interesting chart on Paleolithic longevity I have
seen had data indicating that late Paleolithic peoples actually lived into their early to mid-30s on average.
And even more interestingly, they were also perhaps slightly longer-lived (though not by much) than the
agricultural people who followed them and who ate less meat/fat and higher quantities of carbohydrates.
These longevity figures are for skeletons where the age at death was determined using standard
"paleopathological" techniques, for prehistoric humans who lived in the Eastern Mediterranean where a lot
of research has been done and the data is available. Main thing to note here about the short average lifespans
compared to modern times is that the major causes are thought to have been "occupational hazards, " i.e.,
accidents, trauma, etc., stresses of nomadism, and so forth. [Source: Angel, Lawrence J. (1984) "Health as a
crucial factor in the changes from hunting to developed farming in the eastern mediterranean." In:
Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture. (proceedings of a conference held in 1982) Orlando: Academic
Press. pp.51-73]
Median Lifespan (yrs) MALE FEMALE
- 30, 000 to 9, 000 B.C. 35.4 30.0 (late "Paleolithic" times)
- 9, 000 to 7, 000 B.C. 33.5 31.3 ("Mesolithic" transition period from Paleolithic to some agricultural
products)
- 7, 000 to 5, 000 B.C. 33.6 29.8 ("Early Neolithic, " i.e., agriculture first spreads widely)
- 5, 000 to 3, 000 B.C. 33.1 29.2 ("Late Neolithic, " i.e., the transition is mostly complete
- 3, 000 to 2, 000 B.C. ("Early Bronze" period) 33.6 29.4 - 2, 000 to 1, 450 B.C. ("Middle People/Bronze
Kings") 36.5 31.4 - 1, 450 to 1, 150 B.C. ("Late Bronze") 39.6 32.6 - 1, 150 to 650 B.C. ("Early Iron") 39.0
30.9 - 650 to 300 B.C. ("Classic") 44.1 36.8 - 300 B.C. to 120 A.D. ("Hellenistic") 41.9 38.0 - 120 to 600
A.D. 38.8 34.2 - Medieval Greece 37.7 31.1 - Byzantine Constantinople 46.2 37.3 - 1400 to 1800 A.D.
("Baroque") 33.9 28.5 - 1800 to 1920 A.D. ("Romantic") 40.0 38.4 - "Modern U.S. White" (1982-ish
presumably) 71.0 78.5
I am not entirely sure what to make of these figures, but all other things being equal (which they may not
have been, I don't know) longevity seems to have decreased slightly during the first several millennia after
the introduction of agricultural foods, then gradually rebounded. If true, wouldn't this indicate that
meat/protein consumption itself could not have been the factor responsible for decreased longevity? (Looks
like it would to me.) From some of the later time periods involved where civilizations were known to be on
the rise or fall, it appears that social factors have the biggest impact on longevity, particularly since longevity
never rose above about age 45 for long, often falling below that figure for centuries at a time, until the 1900s,
since which time it has almost doubled.
--Ward Nicholson Wichita, KS

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Meat or fruit or both
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 00:38:06 +0100
Remains of hominid hunters from cool and semi-arid sites outside Africa are important evidence that human
metabolism can handle large amounts of meat. They do however not seem to provide any clues as to whether
we also can handle carbohydrate-rich staple foods.
Contemporary humans may differ widely in their capacity to metabolize dietary carbohydrate. I can vaguely
see four groups represented by 1) non-western ethnic groups, 2) glucose tolerant westerners, 3) glucose
intolerant westerners and 3) diabetic westerners. There are no sharp boundaries between the three latter
groups. Considerable evidence shows that few if any middle-aged or elderly westerners have not at least one
disturbed variable related to this metabolic syndrome of insulin resistence (abdominal overweight, increased
blood pressure, low HDL-cholesterol etc). That is, virtually every adult westerner can improve one or more
of these by improving their lifestyle.
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Accordingly it may not be enough to study whether Pleistocene carbohydrate-rich foods appear detrimental
when eaten by westerners. We may have to compare some of the groups as to their carbohydrate sensitivity,
and to see what happens when they obtain a truly ideal weight. Contemporary hunter-gatherers can obviously
handle dietary carbohydrates much better than we can until they also become westernized. One important
cause seems to be their leanness. Nutrient-dense foods apparently help maintain a low body weight
irrespective of whether the are rich in carbohydrate, protein or fat. Satiety needs to be further studied.
Staffan
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Herbs
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 00:38:16 +0100
Michael Scubert wrote:
> ... compounds that would protect [humans] from illness via their diet ... are the main/active
> constituents of the products that herbalists prescribe today.
Prescribing herbs is in most cases pharmacy rather than nutritional advice. Nobody knows if they shorten or
lengthen your life. Herbal drugs are a common cause of pathologically increased liver enzymes in Sweden.
There are at least 30 nutrients which are suspected by at least 10 authorities to protect from at least one
common western disorder and which were eaten in larger than present amounts by our remote ancestors.
There are at least another 50 substances that can find some kind of scientific support as being protective.
Epidemiology shows relationships but many variables are interrelated which may explain why giving
carotene to Finish smokers increased their mortality despite beneficial relations in earlier surveys.
Biochemical studies in laboratories can never take account of all the thousands of variables involved, many
of which are not yet discovered. Intervention trials on *total* mortality, not just incidence rates of the disease
under investigation, would solve the case. But they are very expensive and not often promoted by those who
have the money, and when they cannot be performed as double-blind placebo-controlled trials you would in
the end not be sure that you had not changed some other factor than the one you were studying.
These are just a few reasons why "ancient" foods are safer than drugs and why Michaels nutrition lecturer
friend should listen to him when he tells her about paleodiet. If he would ask her about the best diet for a
chimpanzee she would probably not suggest the foods they get in the zoo but the ones that were available
during chimpanzee evolution. But I suppose the main reason she considers paleodiet strange is that nobody
gave lectures on it during her training.
Anyway I think we have reason to be optimistic. Nutrition authorities I encounter in Europe are obviously
highly influenced by the concept of a "paleolithic diet standard" (for many of them it started with the paper
Paleolithic Nutrition by Eaton and Konner in N Engl J Med in 1985), although they seldom state it in public.
So keep swinging.
Regards, Staffan
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Age span of current hunter gatherers
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

56/298 (1997)

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List


Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 11:29:00 -0600
Ward has done a great job in presenting Angel's estimates of human age spans from paleolithic times to
present. I also disagree with Kevin Tisdel's statement saying "paleolithic man was lucky to live into their
twenties". The fossil record for the paleolithic period is obviously VERY incomplete and therefore there is
no means to provide an unbiased statistical analysis of life tables for populations living 20, 000-30, 000 years
ago or more. The entire number of fossil hominids ever found for this period could fit nicely into a small
room. We have very little evidence on how these people died, nor can the age at death be accurately
determined. We certainly can distinguish between child and adulthood, but relative age at death during
adulthood can only be broadly estimated. The best surrogate for studying the age distribution of pleistocene
humans is the age distribution of living hunter gatherers. This information is also inexact as most hunter
gatherers, because of illiteracy, do not keep precise records of age. The only data I know of in which life
tables have been established for living hunter gatherers is that of Neel's work with the South American
Yanomama (JV Neel. Health and disease in unacculturated Amerindian populations. Ciba Foundation
Symposium #49; 1977, 155-177.). During the early 1960's to the mid 1970's, Neel and colleagues made a
census of 29 Yanomama villages (there was minimal western contact at this time) and developed a life table
showing percentage of the population by age groups. He compared the life table curves of the Yanomama to
that in Japan (the world leader) during the mid 1960's and to that of India in 1900. Obviously, the Japanese
were far superior to the Yanomama at every point on the curve, however the Yanomama life table curves
were superior to those of Asians living in India until age 40 and were at least equal to those of the Asians
until age 80. This data is remarkable given that the Yanomama have no modern medicine, engage in constant
inter-tribal warfare and live in an environment where tropical diseases are rampant. So, this data suggests
that modern day hunter gatherers have higher mortality rates throughout their lifespan when compared to
modern, industrialized societies, but lower rates than in poor, agrarian societies. For estimates of the activity
levels of paleolithic man, I refer Kevin to our most recent paper on this concept (Cordain L, Gotshall RW,
Eaton SB. Evolutionary aspects of exercise. World Rev of Nutrition 1997 81:in press).
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Modern foods for a paleodiet
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 18:36:45 -0400
Dean writes:
> Here is an attempt at constructing a modern equivalent to the diet humans likely evolved to eat:
> Eggs: Any variety Meat: Any variety. Nuts: Any variety, excepting peanuts and other "nuts" that
> are not nuts at all. Fruits: Any variety. Berries: Any variety. Vegetables: Any that do not
> require cooking to be comfortably edible. There would be almost none of any of the following:
> Cereal grains Beans Dairy products of any sort (outside of infancy) *Tubers
(* Perhaps an occasional treat?)

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Dean is to be commended at his attempt to reconstruct a paleolithic diet from commonly available
supermarket foods. I think Ray Audette has done quite a bit of work on this in his book, -Neanderthin-. Also,
we should not forget Boyd Eaton+s book, -The Paleolithic Prescription- which is perhaps the first effort at
re-creating ancestral diets with modern day foods. Although in his book, Boyd originally advocated cereal
grains and low fat dairy products, I have had numerous conversations with him indicating that this advice
came about because of his co-authors (Shostak & Konner) concerns, and he now would probably temper or
delete this advice. Our stoneage ancestors certainly consumed wild bird eggs, however this was only a
seasonal matter and likely provided a small percentage of their total yearly caloric consumption. Because
eggs are the genetic matter for procreation, natural selection has operated in a manner similar to the eggs (eg
seeds) of graminae (grains, grasses) by endowing eggs (the whites primarily) with antinutrients that can have
severe and adverse effects in humans and other predators when eaten raw. Raw egg white contains avidin, an
antinutrient which impairs the metabolism of the vitamin biotin, which is critical in carboxylase dependent
reactions such as chain elongation and desaturation of fatty acids. Avidin also impairs the metabolism of
other B vitamins. Additionally, eggs do no spoil in their shell (even though it is permeable to bacteria)
because egg white contains an iron binding lectin (conalbumin) which can impair iron absorption in humans
(Alderton G. et al. Identification of the bacteria-inhibiting, iron binding protein of egg white as conalbumin.
Arch Biochem 1946 11:9-13). Based upon studies of present day hunter-gatherers, our ancestors almost
certainly ate the tubers (storage roots) of many plants. These roots include raw, edible rhizomes, corms etc of
a wide variety of plants. The main tubers of agricultural man (potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, cassava etc)
are inedible without cooking because of their high anti-nutrient load and their storage form of carbohydrate.
These tubers contain huge amounts of poorly digested starch which becomes more digestible during cooking
. Additionally many, but not all antinutrients are denatured or reduced with cooking and/or processing
(soaking in water or leaching in alkaline solutions). The difference between wild edible roots and
commercially available starchy tubers is that, the starch content is generally much lower in wild roots and
there tends to be more stored sachharides and less toxic antinutrients. Examples of domesticated roots which
certainly should be a part of a -modern paleolithic diet- would include carrots, beets, parsnips, radishes,
daikon, turnips or any other non-starchy root which is edible and non-toxic in its raw state. Potatoes are
clearly inedible in their raw state and there have been more than 30 deaths reported in humans in this century
from eating raw potatoes (Slanina P. Solanine (Glycoalkaloids) in potatoes: toxicological evaluation. Fd
Chem Toxic 1990 28:759-61.). Although Dean mentions that any fruit would be accepable on his version of
the -modern, paleolithic diet-, there may be some important exceptions here. The glycemic response of
virtually all wild fruits is generally quite low because of low sugar, and starch contents, bitterness and a high
fiber content. Modern fruits have been selected over the last 2-3 thousand years or more for a larger size, an
increased sugar content and a reduced fiber content (Spiegel R. Domestication of fruit trees. In: The Origin
and Domestication of Cultivated Plants. C. Barigozzi (Ed), Therefore, many of the super market fruits we eat
can induce a hyperinsulinemic response in susceptible individuals when eaten in excess, particularly dried
fruits (raisins, dates, figs etc) and starchy fruits (bananas). Berries and melons generally have low effective
glycemic responses. Although Dean advocates meats, he fails to mention organ meats. Clearly, our ancestors
ate brains, marrow, kidneys, gonads, (sometimes liver), thymus etc. Our research group is currently
examining the complete fatty acid spectrum of a wide variety of organ meats in North American wild
animals. As for a treat, I recommend good dry white or red wine. We have preliminary evidence to show that
moderate (2 glasses) consumption of wine does not promote weight gain and may in fact increase insulin
sensitivity so as to help prevent symptoms of syndrome X (Cordain L. et al. Influence of moderate daily
wine consumption upon body weight regulation and metabolism in healthy free living males. J Am Coll Nutr
1997 16: in press.). Additionally, moderate wine consumption has been shown to reduce the mortality from
CHD and the phytochemicals in wine have antineoplastic effects and a wide variety of other health
promoting effects.
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Lifespan Numbers
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 22:23:38 -0700
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

58/298 (1997)

The only data I know


> of in which life tables have been established for living hunter gatherers is that of Neel's work
> with the South American Yanomama (JV Neel. Health and disease in unacculturated Amerindian
> populations. Ciba Foundation Symposium #49; 1977, 155-177.).
As pointed out by Marvin Harris in "Cannibals and Kings:The Origins of Culture"(New York, Random
House 1977), the Yanomama raise crops and hunting sucess is tempered by the resulting population denisity.
Still if Neolithic people can obtain results like these, can true Paleolithic people do less.
A more interesting number might be arrived at by modeling the effects of the lack of auto-immune disease
noted by Tanchou and Stefansson (As documented in V.S.'s "Cancer Disease of Civilization, New York, Hill
and Wang, 1960) in true hunter-gatherers on American mortality rates. As 95% of all Americans currently
die of auto-immune diseases, the resulting number may be a lot closer to the ideal human life span (1
milliom hours) than is currently enjoyed in this country.
I'm no mathematician (Art Devanney, are you reading this?) so I don't know the practicality of this, but such
a number would interest the popular press and sell millons of books for several authors on this list! I have
received many letters from readers claiming remissions from several types of auto-immune disorders and
have personal experence with remissions from diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis (which is why I wrote my
book).
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Physical activity
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 01:40:28 +0100
Kevin Tisdel seems to believe that paleolithic man would normally walk 10-15 miles a day in search of food
and shelter. I do not share his belief. Energy expenditure must have been higher than in sedentary westerners,
but construction workers and some other manual labourers of the first half of this century had probably a still
higher level of physical activity on an average. Nevertheless this has apparently not been dramatically
protective in terms of cardiovascular disease and diabetes among such groups [1].
As for contemporary hunter-gatherers, it is true that Australian Aborigines had a very high level of daily
physical activity [2], but those living in most other parts of the world apparently had not. On an average they
have spent 2-3 hours per day for subsistence activities [3-7]. But the variablity is large. On the one extreme,
a female Machiguenga of the Amazon dug up enough tubers in one hour to feed 25 adults for one day [7].
On the other extreme we find populations living in deserts, the Arctic or similar marginal habitats and who
have spent more than seven hours a day hunting or gathering [3]. The very high level of physical exercise
exerted by the Tarahumara Mayans of Mexico [8] can hardly be considered representative for traditional
human populations.
1. Dorn J, Trevisan M. Physical activity and cardiovascular disease: a review of the literature. Nutr Metab
Cardiovasc Dis 1992; 2: 40-6.
2. O'Dea K. Marked improvement in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in diabetic Australian aborigines
after temporary reversion to traditional lifestyle. Diabetes 1984; 33:596-603.
3. Hayden B. Subsistence and ecological adaptations of modern hunter-gatherers. In: Harding RDS, Teleki
G, ed. Omnivorous primates: gathering and hunting in human evolution. New York: Columbia University
Press, 1981: 344-421.
4. Sahlins M. Stone Age Economics. Chicago: Aldine, 1972
5. Taylor CB, Ho KJ. Studies on the Masai. Am J Clin Nutr 1971; 24:1291-3.
6. Lee RB. What hunters do for a living, or, how to make out on scarce resources. In: Lee RB, DeVore I, ed.
Man the hunter. Chicago: Aldine, 1968: 30-48.
7. Johnson A, Behrens CA. Nutritional criterioa in Machiguenga food production decisions: a linearprogramming analysis. Human Ecology 1982; 10:167-89.
8. Groom D. Cardiovascular observations on Tarahumara Indian runners--the modern Spartans. Am Heart J
1971; 81:304-14.
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Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Paleolithic diet and longevity
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 02:42:56 +0100
I suppose life expectancy at birth for Pleistocene hominids may have been around 30 years but not
necessarily that low. The main cause of a low figure would be high mortality rates among infants, children
and adolescents. Life expectancy at 30 may very well have been an additional 25 years or more. How much
more can not be estimated by use of available osteological methods [Isan, M. Y., Kennedy, K. A. R. (1989).
Reconstruction of life from the skeleton. New York, Wiley-Liss].
Age estimations are very difficult after middle age and fossil remains are often classified as belonging to a
human aged "40 years or more". An age process is not equally rapid in different humans, samples are often
small and many of the age processes are influenced by lifestyle (e.g. bone loss). Other problems are lack of
contemporary autopsy material for comparison, bone changes occuring after death, selection bias, different
disease patterns during different times and insufficient standardization of age estimation methods.
By the way, don't we have any paleoanthropologists or paleopathologists in the group? If not we ought to go
and get some.
Staffan Lindeberg

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Estrogenic compounds in the diet
From: Pat Stephens
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 1997 18:29:43 -0400
I have been reading "Our Stolen Future" by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers
with dismay. May I inquire of this list if all plant and manmade estrogenic compounds are heat stable? Are
any commonly found and eaten phytoestrogenic or chemical estrogen look-alike compounds heat labile?
Those prefering a raw food diet would find this information very valuable, indeed.
thank you,
Pat Stephens
Sat, 5 Apr 1997 19:00:03 -0400
> There are 3 messages totalling 204 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. The paleolithic diet
> 2. Down's Syndrome Plants 3. Uncultivated Plant Foods & Early hunting vs scavenging

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Honey & Beans & Omega 3 fats
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 19:37:09 -0400
Dean writes:
> Eaton, Shostak, and Konner also seem to feel (in this particular book) that honey is an important
> source of dietary carbohydrate, and use this in part to justify a recommendation that a majority
> (60%) of daily calories for modern humans should come from carbohydrate. But this seems absurd;
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> while I am quite certain that honey would be prized as a delicious treat by most any primitive
> peoples, it seems awfully unlikely that braving wild bee nests just to obtain a few ounces of
> honey would ever be a daily ritual. It also doesn't seem that there would be enough beehives with
> enough honey to make the stuff more than an occasional treat even if braving bees nests were trivial.
I understand that Dr. Janette Brand Miller is now a part of our group. She has recently written an article on
the role of honey in pre-industrial diets (Allsop KA, Brand Miller J. Honey revisited: a reappraisal of honey
in pre-industrial diets. Perhaps she can comment upon Dean's remarks.
Dean makes the comment:
> Yet this all seems odd; what form of wild beans exist and grow in such quantities that they could
> ever be a staple for anybody, and how are we to imagine most primitive peoples preparing them? Can
> they realistically be eaten without cooking? What cooking methods would be common if so? If beans
> are natural, why do they cause gas (which indicates fermentation of indigestible products in the
> gut)? If they aren't, what are we to make of accounts of the !Kung and other primitive peoples who
> -do- eat them?
Clearly, hunter gatherers have been documented eating legumes, however under most cases, the legumes are
cooked or the tender, early sprouts eaten raw rather than the mature pod. Some legumes in their raw state are
less toxic than others, however most legumes in their mature state are non-digestible and/or toxic to most
mammals when eaten in even moderate quantities. I refer interested readers to : (Liener IE. Implications of
antinutritional components in soybean foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1994 34:31-67; Gupta YP.
Antinutritional and toxic factors in food legumes: a review. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 1987 37:20128; Noah ND et al. Food poisoning from raw red kidney beans. Brit Med J 1980 2:236-7; Pusztai A. et al.
The toxicity of Phaseolus vulgaris lectins. Nitrogen balance and immunochemical studies. J Sci Food Agric
1981 32:1037-46). These references summarize the basics about legume indigestibility/toxicity, however
there are hundreds if not thousands of citations documenting the antinutritional properties of legumes.
Legumes contain a wide variety of antinutrient compounds which influence multiple tissues and systems and
normal cooking procedures do not always eliminate these (Grant et al. The effect of heating on the
haemagglutinating activity and nutritional properties of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) seeds. J Sci Food Agric
1982 33:1324-26). There are a variety of compounds in beans which cause gas. Mainly, these are the nondigested carbohydrates, raffinose, stachyose and sometimes verbascose which provide substrate for intestinal
microflora to produce flatus (Calloway DH et al. Reduction of intestinal gas forming properties of legumes
by traditional and experimental processing methods. J Food Sci 1971 36:251-55).
Dean states:
> There is also the issue of what are now popularly referred to as the "essential fatty acids, " the
> Omega-3 and Omega-6 groups of fats which are now acknowledged to be protective against a host of
> diseases. And yet the best sources of the Omega-3 family seem to come almost entirely from fish or
> refined vegetable oils, both of which seem like they would be largely unavailable in any great
> quantity to most primitive humans. This also brings up the issue of fish, by which I generically
> refer to all freshwater and saltwater fish, including shellfish, eels, etc., as well as seaweeds.
> How natural are these to the human animal? Some humans obviously have great access to them, but
> did we evolve with such ready access?
The answer to this one is fairly straight forward. Until about 40, 000 years ago, humans rarely exploited the
aquatic environment (Eaton SB. Humans lipids and evolution. Lipids 1992 27:814-20). This inference can be
made by the lack of fossil evidence for fish hooks, weirs, fishing spears etc; also by the absence of fossilized
fish bones in our ancestors camps. How then did our ancestors acquire N-3 fats unless they ate foods of
aquatic origin? There are different forms of omega 3 fats; the 18 carbon fat (linolenic acid) occurs widely in
the plant kingdom, particularly in green leafy vegetables. The 20 and 22 carbon omega 3 fats occur almost
exclusively in foods of animal origin. Data from our laboratory shows that the omega 6/omega 3 (N6/N3)
ratio for wild herbivore muscle tissue is between 3-4:1 whereas the lowest N6/N3ratio occurs in the brain of
wild herbivores and is about 1:1. Because plants contain small amounts of total fats and because their N3 fats
(linolenic acid) must be chain elongated and desaturated by the liver to form the 20 and 22 carbon fats which
are essential for cell structure and function, animal tissues provide a more readily available source of N3
fatty acids. Muscle and organ tissues of wild animals, because they provided the majority of the calories for
our ancestors were the environmental template which shaped our present day N3 and N6 requirements.
Estimates from our laboratories suggest that the evolutionary N6/N3 ratio would have been between 2.5 -4.0
which is much lower than current estimates of 10-15:1 for most western diets.
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Modern reconstruction
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 20:23:46 -0400
My purpose in my attempted construction was in the hopes that others would find faults with it, in the hopes
that we might reach something resembling consensus on what is closest to a natural diet for modern humans.
I had assumed that "meat" included organ meats, but as Loren points out it's probably best to mention them
explicitely, since at least in America so many people rarely or never eat them. (In such a large country you
can find someone somewhere eating just about anything of course; I am speaking of what is typical daily fare
for most.)
I have questions and critiques of the diets posted in both _Neander Thin_ by Ray Audette and _The
Paleolithic Prescription_ by Eaton, Shostak, and Konner. I have more criticism of _The Paleolithic
Prescription_ because Eaton et. al. seemed almost afraid to follow their own logic to its natural conclusions.
For example, they noted that hunter/gatherer diets average anywhere from 20% to about 60% protein, and
used this to recommended a diet of no more than 20% protein. They noted that dairy and cereal grains were
alien to humans in nature, but stated that these foodstuffs were "too valuable" to eliminate, without bothering
to say what was so valuable about them or even to open the question of whether that was a valid assumption.
Eaton, Shostak, and Konner also seem to feel (in this particular book) that honey is an important source of
dietary carbohydrate, and use this in part to justify a recommendation that a majority (60%) of daily calories
for modern humans should come from carbohydrate. But this seems absurd; while I am quite certain that
honey would be prized as a delicious treat by most any primitive peoples, it seems awfully unlikely that
braving wild bee nests just to obtain a few ounces of honey would ever be a daily ritual. It also doesn't seem
that there would be enough beehives with enough honey to make the stuff more than an occasional treat even
if braving bees nests were trivial.
I have always assumed that Eaton et. al. made these recommendations both out of prudent conservatism and
out of a desire not to face a strong backlash. The American nutritional establishment tends to worship at the
ground of whole grains and dairy products and to view both protein and fat with antipathy. Nevertheless this
also means that while the book is marvelously informative (and I highly recommend it to anyone interested
in this subject), on the subject of their explicit dietary recommendations (which make up only one chapter of
a lengthy and truly -excellent- book) their logic seems flawed.
As for Ray Audette's book _Neander Thin_: his diet recommendations (which I think are overall very
sensible) forbids even small amounts of alchohol or vinegar, which may or not be reasonable, depending on
whether humans in the wild ever eat over-ripe fruits. He also states rather unequivocally that potatoes and
beans are foreign to the human digestive tract, and yet we know that the African !Kung eat some forms of
beans (see _The Paleolithic Prescription_ again) and that some primitive peoples eat some forms of wild
tubers.
Loren's recent comments about wild tubers being radically different from the popular potatoes eaten by most
Westerners, however, make a great deal of sense. But this still leaves open the question of beans. It seems to
be commonly believed that primitive peoples eat beans. Eaton et. al. mention beans eaten by the !Kung San
in _The Paleolithic Prescription_, Ann Louise Gittleman states flatly that "Cavemen didn't eat grains.
Cavemen relied on meats, vegetables, BEANS, fruits, berries, and nuts." (Emphasis mine) (see Beyond
Pritikin_, Revised 1996 edition, p. 25, by Ann Louise Gittleman, M.S.) and I believe Barry Sears
recommends beans as part of a natural diet in his popular book _THE ZONE_. Yet this all seems odd; what
form of wild beans exist and grow in such quantities that they could ever be a staple for anybody, and how
are we to imagine most primitive peoples preparing them? Can they realistically be eaten without cooking?
What cooking methods would be common if so? If beans are so natural, why do they cause gas (which
indicates fermentation of indigestible products in the gut)? If they aren't, what are we to make of accounts of
the !Kung and other primitive peoples who -do- eat them?
There is also the issue of what are now popularly referred to as the "essential fatty acids, " the Omega-3 and
Omega-6 groups of fats which are now acknowledged to be protective against a host of diseases. And yet the
best sources of the Omega-3 family seem to come almost entirely from fish or refined vegetable oils, both of
which seem like they would be largely unavailable in any great quantity to most primitive humans.
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This also brings up the issue of fish, by which I generically refer to all freshwater and saltwater fish,
including shellfish, eels, etc., as well as seaweeds. How natural are these to the human animal? Some
humans obviously have great access to them, but did we evolve with such ready access?
I pose more questions than answers, in the hope of stimulating discussion of the issue among those who
know more than I. I will now be quiet and hope to hear from others.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Teeth and Longevity
From: Mavis Wood
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 15:41:11 +1200
May I, as a lurker, ask if the subject of teeth has been considered?
May one of the reasons for early death have been lack of the necessary teeth to process food and in the later
European Palaeolithic at least, skins and sinews. Worn down and uncared for teeth would also be liable to
form abscesses which, I presume could be fatal.
The teeth of people living on grain processed with rough stone querns would also be very worn it would
seem, are there any statistics on this available?
Would better tooth care since the 1920's be a factor in the present day longer life in the present day North
American population.
ME Emberson MA Hons Prehistoric Archaeology (Edin)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Interesting web links
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997 22:54:15 -0400
Those with an interest in exploring a bit about fish in the ancient human diet may wish to see the following
URL, which has a bit of information and lots of contact information for researchers working in that field:
http://atlas.otago.ac.nz:800/~foss/ICAZ/icaz.htm
Also there is a short article by Mike Richards on the use of meat in ancient British Isles diets. The suggestion
is that the Brits were depending primarily on meat for their nutritition up to around 2000 b.c. There's not a lot
of detail but it's interesting anyway:
http://britac3.britac.ac.uk:80/cba/ba/ba12/ba12feat.html#richards

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Modern Lifespans
From: Art De Vany
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 15:48:30 -0700
The Vikings used to note the decline of a warrior with the phrase "long in the tooth" an indicator of gingivitis
and the eventual onset of the inability to consume adequate amounts of protein.
Audette's hypothesis is a compelling one that, to my knowledge, has not been tested. We do know that
displaced American Indians forced to rely on Federal food supplies to their remote areas suffered greatly:
1. The supply was unreliable and starvation was more or less common.
2. The foodstuffs were simple starchy substances, like highly refined flour, and canned fruit in high sugar
content syrup.
There was a complete lack of animal protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. The mortality associated with
this diet, and the imposed restrictions on mobility and hunting, was brutal.
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Even today, the rural diet is far inferior to the urban diet in most places around the globe. If you get off the
interstates and back into remote areas, it is appalling what they eat there.
Eskimo and Pima children consume far more simple carbs than even children in the city --- who are candy
junkies.
Arthur De Vany Professor NeXTMAIL, SUN Mail & MIME welcome
http://www.socsci.uci.edu/mbs/personnel/devany/devany.html Department of Economics Institute for
Mathematical Behavioral Sciences 3151 Social Science Plaza Irvine, CA 92697-5100

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Life span
From: robert rosenstein
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 1997 21:12:56 EDT
The following thoughts were prompted by Ray Audette's posting of 12 April concerning diet and life span.
LIFE EXPECTANCY The life expectancy of a group or a nation is a statistical figure based on past
mortality records. The life expectancy figure has nothing to do with nutrition, sanitation, medicine, or
environment. Whether any of these factors have anything to do with life expectancy is arguable. There is no
doubt that certain conditions would LOWER a person's life expectancy, but on the other hand there is no
evidence - at least that I am aware of - that a particular diet (all other things being equal) will determine a
person's life span.
A study of history, especially recent history, seems to indicate that other forces are at work. The increase in
life expectancy among the peoples of ghettos and of the Third World can not be explained on the basis of
sanitation or of diet. The same can be said of the population growth experienced in early Medieval times and
at the time of the Industrial Revolution - certainly the most unsanitary of times. (I dread to think that there
are evolutionary fores working over which we have no control :-()
WHY LIFE SPAN IS IMPORTANT Life span is important for several reasons:
1. A short life span affects population growth. If life expectancy is very short, as it probably was among the
Paleoindians, for example, it could mean
a. That there could be an equilibrium between births and deaths, in a word, a stable population. b. That there
could also be an equilibrium between the group and the available food resources. c. That "family" would
probably not exist because the necessity to reproduce could not be dependent on individual initiative. I would
wonder, too, especially at that stage of our development, and in particular in cold climates, whether the
sexual function was still periodic in nature.
2. A long(er) life expectancy would naturally lead to an increase in population and thus population pressures:
a. There eventually could be an imbalance between population and food supply. This usually has led to part
of the group splitting off. b. Social and political behavior in a larger population would develop along entirely
different lines.
It can be argued that over-population of groups is what led to the eventual populating of the hemisphere.
DIET In Linguistics, the statement used to be made that all languages were sufficient unto themselves. I
wonder if the same thing couldn't be said of all "natural" diets. The diets of all the people we know, or know
about, seems to have been adequate to the daily tasks they had to perform. This, unless I'm mistaken, would
hold for peoples in all climates and in all situations - except when faced with famine conditions. It is almost
as if having something to eat is more important than what is eaten (which may be a heretical statement :-))
TWO CENTS WORTH OF OPINION The subject of life expectancy has received very little attention from
the various disciplines studying our evolution. It has received a good deal of attention in recent years because
of the population explosion. It is a sad commentary on the mentality of our times that what should be looked
upon as a wonderful development and a blessing has been twisted into a condemnation of the same peoples
who have been so thoroughly victimized for the past six or seven hundred years. After all, an increase in life
expectancy should be looked upon with joy, as it should enable people to devote more of their life-time to
the development and exploration of those skills, talents and meditations which could give a life a meaning
beyond the humdrum round of sleep and labor. It is clearly insinuated that the peoples of the Third World
should stop procreating at the present rate: a classic example of blaming the victim.
robert

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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Teeth & Lifespan
From: "Robert E. Wynman, DDS"
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 19:01:57 -0400
May one of the reasons for early death have been lack of the necessary teeth to process food and in the later
European Palaeolithic at least, skins and sinews. Worn down and uncared for teeth would also be liable to
form abscesses which, I presume could be fatal.
The teeth of people living on grain processed with rough stone querns would also be very worn it would
seem, are there any statistics on this available?
Would better tooth care since the 1920's be a factor in the present day longer life in the present day North
American population.
My OPINION only, based on study, research & practice in this area since 1965:
Teeth of our ancestors lasted as long as they were needed 'til the introduction of cooked food & the toxins
produced by that pyrolyzinf process. Rampant dental diseas apparently did not appear 'til the time sucrose
sugar was processed out of former foods & made cheaply available to the population. These conclusions
probably come mostly from the studies of Weston Price, DDS in the 20-30's & the writings of Guy Claude
Burger in the last 15 years out of France.
Hope that's helpful,
Robert E. Wynman, DDS, FAGD

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Modern Lifespans
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 1997 23:53:16 -0700
The relationship between life span and medical (and dental) progress is not a very strong one. Although great
strides have been made in combating some forms of infection, auto-immune diseases still kill the majority of
people in the world.
Other areas of technological innovation may have added more years to our life indirectly.
A natural human diet consists of meats, fruits, vegetables edible raw, nuts and berries. All of these are much
more common in the average persons diet because of the invention of the railroads and refrigeration. The
increases seen in life span seem to follow these innovations more closely than any other factors. Before these
were invented people ate more non-primate foods such as grains, beans, potatoes, milk products(such as
cheese)and sugars which are less perishable.
Thus only technology allows us to afford a "stone age diet"!
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: What happened to the list?
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 19:33:59 -0400
A number of list members have likely been wondering why there has been no activity to speak of here on the
paleodiet list for the last week. A long and detailed answer would involve far more detail than anyone really
needs to know, but here's the short of it:

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This is a "moderated" list. This means that except for certain individuals, no messages submitted to the list
will be distributed until the list owner (yours truly) clears it. This is an automated process; when a message is
submitted to the list, it appears in my mailbox and if I approve it I send a special message to the listserv robot
telling it to go ahead and distribute the message. This is not a particularly time-consuming task under normal
circumstances; either I approve of the message or I write the person who wrote it and explain my problem
with it.
Last Monday I had a serious family emergency that was both unforeseen and unavoidable and which
required me to drive over 5, 000 miles in only one week. Upon leaving for the trip I brought my laptop
computer in the hopes of keeping up with essential functions like clearing list messages. However, technical
problems and practical matters regarding the trip left me with no free time whatsoever and no practical
ability to get online even if I did have an hour or two to spare. The upshot has been that until my return at
2:00 a.m. this morning. I was unable to clear any messages submitted to me, nor even to add new members
(and we have had several academics apply for membership in the last week, who were only finally added this
evening).
Under normal circumstances I would have simply had someone else take over moderation duties until my
return but the sudden and extraordinary circumstances didn't make that practical. There will, however, be no
repeat of this problem.
List members have my apology for unusual delays over the past week and my promise not to see this
problem repeated. It is not conceivable that I will be called away for such a lengthy time period while
completely unable to get online again.
Thanks all for your patience. Our list membership has now grown to over 100 people, the majority of whom
have doctorates, and most of the remainder with master's degrees or in graduate programs in related fields.
We have not seen a great deal of traffic but I expect that to pick up in the coming weeks, as we have had
many thought-provoking discussions so far and there is much more to discuss.
For those of you who are interested, archives of all previous discussios on this list are now available on the
World Wide Web. I especially encourage all new members to review this resource, as there is much
information to absorb from the conversations we have had in the last two months. All members should see
http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/archives/paleodiet.html and probably bookmark it for future reference.
Thanks again, and welcome to our new members.
Dean Esmay, Paleodiet list owner

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Late pleistocene extintions...
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 20:10:12 -0400
The following letter was sent to me by Jorge Martinez-Moreno, an assistant professor at Universitat
Autonoma de Barcelona:
Dear Dean Esmay,
Thanks for the information of Paleodiet List.
I will explain differents ideas about the letter of Loren Cordain (04/02/1997) about Megafauna extintions...
The comment of Ray Audette (wich I don't reed) about a man with 6 dogs and an atlatl is a formidable
predator is interesting and provocative, but I think is a old idea (for example see papers of P. Martin or Clive
Vance Haynes at 60's).
The extintions of megafauna at Late Pleistocene is a very controversial hypothesis, but the recent discovery,
at specially, the new datations or arrival of human groups to new continents are a critical factor in the debate.
For example, the arrival at Sahul, than the last number of archaeological journal Antiquity, T.D. Price has
new sites with termoluminiscence datations about 100.000 BP aprox. Egally, Monte Verde (Chile), suggets a
expansion of temporal span between megafauna and hunter-gathrerers.
This exemples critized the "blitzkrieg" notion. Evidently human are a factor important in the extintion of
megafauna, and in recent context humans are the causal factor, but during the Last Glacial, perhaps are a
secondary agent or an important factor into a mammals group very dammaged in a stress ambient.

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Reflexions about megafauna extintions and hunting subsistence Is very interesting the book of GAMBLE, C
(1993). Timewalkers. Penguin. Paper of Daniel FISHER at the book : The Evolution of Human Hunting
(Nitecki-Nitecki eds.) (1988) Plenum Press is a very interesting taphonomyc approach to resolution of
mastodont mortality at North America.
I will very interested in the reference concret cited for Loren Cordain: "bucher marks on mammoths in a
number of european sites indicate cut-marks....", because I don't know that bone modifications are really
"cut-marks" and the european sites.... For example in the superb Gary HAYNES book: Mammoths,
Elephants and Mastodonts not cite cut-marks at european sites.
I hope my message is not very difficult to read for you
Sincerely
Jorge Martinez

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Honey
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 21:54:35 -0400
Dear Everyone,
Thank you for the invitation to join this discussion group. I haven't read the archives yet but I learnt
something from reading today's correspondence. I'd like to add something to the debate about honey. Here is
the abstract of our paper on honey in the British Journal of Nutrition. Is there a word limit in our
correspondence?
Synopsis: In pre-industrial times, honey was the main source of concentrated sweetness in the diets of many
peoples. There are no precise figures for per capita consumption during most periods in history because
honey was part of either a hunter/gatherer or subsistence economy. Until now, historians and food writers
have proposed that it was a scarce commodity available only to a wealthy few. We do know, however, that in
a cash economy honey was sold in large units (gallons and even barrels) and it was present in such
abundance that mead was a common alcoholic drink made from honey. A reappraisal of the evidence in the
Stone-Age, Antiquity, the Middle Ages and early Modern times suggests that ordinary people ate much
larger quantities of honey than has previously been acknowledged. Intakes at various times during history
may well have rivalled our current consumption of refined sugar. There are implications therefore for the
role of sugar in modern diets. Refined sugar may not have displaced more nutrient rich items from our
present day diets but only the nutritionally comparable food, honey.
Below is the text about modern hunter-gatherer diets.
Modern hunter-gatherers Unfortunately, quantitative studies of hunter-gatherer diets are scarce. We know
that for the Hazda of Tanzania 'meat plus honey' constitute 20% of food eaten by weight (Woodburn 1963).
The remainder of the diet is of vegetable origin and so in energy terms 'meat plus honey' will contribute
much more than 20%. The Mbuti pygmies of the Congo obtain as much as 80% of their dietary energy from
honey during the honey season (Crane 1983), but this lasts for only two months of the year (Turnbull 1963).
The Veddas or Wild Men of Sri Lanka esteem honey so highly that they regularly risk their lives to obtain it
(Crane 1983). The local bees often nest in crevices on rock faces and these men will lower themselves into
the ravine suspended by only a bamboo ladder. The Veddas sometimes fill a hollow tree trunk with honey
and then place flesh in it as a means of preserving the meat for times of scarcity. This is certainly suggestive
of plentiful supplies of honey.
In the New World, the Guayaki Indians of Paraguay have honey as the very basis of their diet and culture
(Crane 1975). Vellard reports that, 'one group of fifteen people had seven large vessels holding at least forty
litres altogether.' Unfortunately we do not know how long this was to last them nor how many people were to
partake of it.
Many Australian Aboriginal tribes regard the honey of the native bee as 'the supreme delicacy' (Low 1989).
In the rest of the world it is usually the males of a tribe who hunt for honey, but amongst some Australian
Aborigines this task falls to the women. One method they employ involves capturing a bee and attaching a
small feather to its body, so that on release it can be more easily seen and followed all the way back to the
nest. On removing the contents, Australian Aborigines eat everything - honey, wax, dead bees and brood
(which provides protein) - with relish.
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In 1972-3 Meehan lived for a year with the native Anbarra people of Northern Australia (Meehan 1982).
Over four one-month periods, chosen to be representative of the different tropical seasons, she recorded the
weights of foods consumed. The results indicate an average intake of 2 kg honey per person per year.
However, Meehan points out that the wet season that year was unusually long and this may have diminished
honey foraging activity. In addition, this group of Anbarra had supplies of store food (providing 35-58% of
dietary energy) including refined sugar, which may have reduced the incentive to go about the tricky and
time-consuming activity of tracking down bees' nests.
The bees of the New World are stingless but may bite or burn with caustic liquids anyone who threatens the
nest. Yet neither this, nor the stings of Old World bees deter a hunter-gatherer in pursuit of honey. The
amount of honey available from one region to the next will vary greatly depending on the extent to which the
environment suits bee activity. The evidence suggests that the amount eaten by 'Stone-Age' people was
limited only by how much was available in their surroundings.
The Bushmen of South Africa lay claim to no personal possessions of any type, except that is, for bees' nests
(Free 1982). Perhaps it was to reduce the likelihood of such a nest being robbed that a man first carried it, in
its hollow log, back from the forest to a place near his dwelling. Perhaps that year was favourable for his
bees, which in their excess numbers swarmed, coming finally to rest in a clay pot their owner had discarded
in the grass, thus unknowingly inventing the first man-made hive.
Best wishes Jennie
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: More on teeth and health
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 19:17:10 -0400
Submitted by one of our list members who prefers to remain anonymous:
See the Times London for an article Science Briefing by Nigel Hawkes
Dental defects * Roost boost * Tracing tots
Roots of disease http://www.the-times.co.uk/news/pages/Times/frontpage.html?1529511 for April 21 1997.
It is a report of tha work of Professor Robert Genco in Buffalo NY on gum disease and it's connection to
other potentially fatal conditions.
-also submittedANTIQUITY http://intarch.ac.uk/antiquity/index.html
VOLUME 68 NUMBER 258 MARCH 1994 Sarah L.R. Mason, Jon G. Hather & Gordon C. Hillman
Preliminary investigation of the plant macro-remains from Doln Ve^stonice II, and its implications for the
role of plant foods in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Europe You have to get the journal or photocopy (by
library interloan I expect)
Dental Microwear (evidences of past diet) Hominoids and hominids
http://comp.uark.edu/~pungar/referenc.html
I expect you have these already! Never mind the fun is in the chase! :-)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Clocks and set points
From: Art De Vany
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 13:23:35 -0700
Aging and obesity research share an outlook that is misguided.

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Aging researchers are looking for the clock that times the onset of the aging process. This reminds me of the
time that brain researchers were looking for the command neuron in the brain that ran everything. It is an
error that comes from what I call the centralized mind set; the coordination of processes that appear to be
complex is attributed to a central commander. Nothing real and adaptive, like a human being, works that way
(think of it as the Soviet model of the organism).
There are many clocks in the human organism: the glucose clock, the unwinding of peptides, the
deterioration of the telemeres, the pulses of the calcium gradients over the cell membranes, the tidal rhythms
in the lungs, the heart beat. All these clocks are self-organized and lack any central control. They work the
way they do because that is the way things are--the chemistry and the dynamics make it happen, no
mysterical force or guidance does it.
All these clocks that have been tracked exhibit chaotic dynamics; their basins of atraction are not fixed
points, or even limit cycles but strange attractors. The clock beat (or return time on the attractor) pulses with
the rhythm of natural systems which is described by power laws. Such laws, where intensity is distributed
over frequency as 1/f, are the intrinsic dynamics of all natural systems that have been studied in enough
detail to make the determination. Our mail list shows the same kind of behavior, bursts of activity and
periods of stasis without characteristic scale; we share the statistical distribution of earthquakes and stock
market price changes.
The signature of chaos and adaptive dynamic systems is a mixing of many time and event scales. This is
precisely the situation in the human organism. There is no single clock. What makes us tick is the mixing of
millions of clocks, each running on their own attractors and pulsing at power law variations. The search for
an aging clock is doomed and misconceived.
The real issue is how all these clocks are coordinated. I suspect that cyclic amp, the ubiquitous second
messenger hormone is at work, among many other coordinating mechanisms. That is how slime mold
organisms become coordinated---a glucose crisis triggers a camp release which coordinates aggregation.
From then on, the aging of the organism follows a definite sequence.
A similar argument can be made for the fat set point (the idea confuses a basin of attraction with a point,
ignores how you move out of a basin, fails to specify how the set point is set, and neglects that a set point is
not evolutionarily elegant in design), but I have used up my space.
Arthur De Vany Professor NeXTMAIL, SUN Mail & MIME welcome
http://www.socsci.uci.edu/mbs/personnel/devany/devany.html Department of Economics Institute for
Mathematical Behavioral Sciences 3151 Social Science Plaza Irvine, CA 92697-5100

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Megafaunal extinctions, Caries in Hunter-Gatherers, Honey
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 09:49:00 -0600

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69/298 (1997)

I would like to welcome Professor Jorge Martinez to our group and appreciate his comments upon the "over
kill hypothesis" and megafaunal extinctions at the end of the pleistocene. I hope that my comments in a
previous edition did not imply that man was solely responsible for the disappearance of most large mammals
in all continents except Africa at the close of the Pleistocene. Clearly, climatic changes which altered habitat
have been implicated, however the criticism of this argument is that profound changes in climate were a
recurring feature throughout the Pleistocene. Previous transitions from cold to warm (interglacial) periods,
which are thought to have been very similar to the transition from the Last Cold Stage to the Holocene
(Postglacial), were not accompanied by mass extinctions. Because the fossil record (admittedly incomplete)
contains numerous examples of stone tools, imbedded in the remains of extinct megafauna, cut marks on the
bones of megafauna, and the remains of megafauna in many human habitation sites, the evidence clearly
indicates these beasts were hunted extensively and were an integral part of the human diet. Although the idea
that humans were the sole cause of the "coup de grace" of megafauna is clearly controversial, few are in
disagreement that expanding human populations at the end of the Pleistocene and its consequent increase in
hunting pressure, combined with dryer conditions which concentrated the remaining beasts in smaller
geographic locales together spellt disaster for these large beasts. A final observation concerning the overkill
hypotheses involves "Optimal Foraging Theory" which states that organisms tend to optimize energy
expended in acquiring food vs. the energy available in the food. For hunter gatherers, collecting plant food is
less energetically rewarding than hunting or scavenging animal food. It has been shown that the picking,
winnowing, grinding and cooking of grass seeds (grains) yields about 100-1, 300 kcal/hr whereas the returns
on encounters with game animals are in the range of 2, 500-15, 000 kcal/hr (Hawkes K et al. Optimal
foraging models and the case for the !Kung. Am Anthropologist 1985;87:401-05). It is obvious that the
killing of large beasts would be more energetically efficient than the killing of small beasts, hence our
ancestors would have preferentially chosen megafauna (once they were technologically advanced enough to
kill these beasts effectively) over smaller game (Webster D. et al. Optimal hunting and pleistocene
extinction. Human Ecology 1984;12:275-89). I am unable to easily find the citation showing cut mark on the
hyoid bone of mammoths in central europe. I remember having a conversation with Boyd Eaton about this,
and he indicated that the location of the bone cut marks suggested that the tongues of these behemoths may
have been a highly preferred part. Next time, I speak with him, I'll see if I can track down the citation. I can
provide a reference which shows a 2.40 meter wooden spear made of yew which was found between the ribs
of a skeleton of the extinct Straight-Tusked Elephant (Hesperoloxodon antiquus) and estimated to be ~125,
000 years old in Germany (Movius HL. A wooden spear of third interglacial age from lower saxony.
Southwest Journal of Anthropology 1950;6:139-42.). Clearly, if our ancestors were hunting these elephants,
they were butchering them and eating them as well.
IN REGARDS TO HONEY:
I would like to warmly welcome Dr. Brand-Miller aboard and look forward to any comments she may have
on the macronutrient content of ancestral diets and how this may have influenced our present day insulin
metabolism. Also, I am curious about the Crane, 1975 citation in which she says "the Guayaki Indians of
Paraguay have honey as the very basis of their diet and culture (Crane 1975).". The term Guayaki is the
earlier name used for the Ache Indians of Eastern Paraguay who have been extensively studied by Hawkes
and colleagues (Hill K, Hawkes K et al. Seasonal variances in the diet of Ache Hunter Gatherers in Eastern
Paraguay. Human Ecology 1984;12:101-35). Hawkes reports that "meat. . . .provided the most number of
calories daily (mean=56%), and varied little across seasons. The vegetable component of the diet is
characterized by low variance in absolute numbers of calories, but high variance iin species composition".
This data would appear to show that meat formed the basis of their diet, not honey as Crane's reference may
have suggested. Jenny, perhaps you could clarify your position?
A COMMENT ABOUT DENTAL CARIES
I enjoyed Dr. Wynman's comments and his references (especially the classic work of Weston Price). Perhaps
the most comprehensively documented review of dental caries in hunter gatherers has been reported by
Turner (Turner CG. Dental anthropological indications of agriculture among the Jomon people of central
Japan. Am J Phys Anthrop 1979;51:619-35). She reports on the incidence of caries in 19 hunter gatherers
ranging from Neanderthals to present day Eskimos and of 47, 672 teeth examined, the percent which
contained caries was 1.3%. This is in contrast to the caries rates (65% or greater) which can occur in
countries wherein sucrose and starch form the bulk of the diet.
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D. Professor, Colorado State Univ.

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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: PALEODIET Digest - 15 Apr 1997 to 24 Apr 1997
From: Dick
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 09:06:33 +0000
Re:
> I will very interested in the reference concret cited for Loren Cordain: "bucher marks on mammoths
> in a number of european sites indicate cut-marks....", because I don't know that bone
> modifications are really "cut-marks" and the european sites.... For example in the superb Gary
> HAYNES book: Mammoths, Elephants and Mastodonts not cite cut-marks at european sites. I hope
> my message is not very difficult to read for you Sincerely Jorge Martinez
There is a school of thought which maintains that cut marks on human bones are evidence of cannibalism,
especiaally when found in archaeo settings. However the cut marks are frequently on the _inner_ concave
surfaces of these bones and are incompatible with the idea of a sawing process such as you might use when
slicing meat or trying to separate it from bone. The pattern rather suggests ritual markings for religious
purposes. The tendency to want to believe in cannibalism is interesting one and was pointed up by Arens in
"The Man-eating Myth - Anthropophagy and Anthropology" OUP 1979.
Arens perhaps overstated the case against cannibalism but the controversy is not irrelevant in the light of
current debate about transfer of "prions" from animals to humans. This is supposed to be the mechanism in
the BSE-Creutzfeld Jacob disease transfer. The original idea of transmission of type of this disease by eating
was due to Gajdusek who studies alleged cannibalistic transmission of Kuru in New Guinea. However one
would not explain an epidemic of say measles in Manhatten by assuming that the natives were eating one
another, although many diseases could be transmitted in this way.
Food for thought?
Dick Bird School of Behavioural and Environmental Studies University of Northumbria NE1 8ST UK

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: More from Barcelona
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 16:55:40 -0400
The following message was sent to me by Professor Jorge Martinez of Barcelona :
Dear all (I am sorry for the cross-postings!),
I will inform you that the II MEETING ON HALLUCINOGENOUS SUBSTANCES:
ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE AND TERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS will take place in
Barcelona (Spain), 27-28 june 1997. If you are interested in to receive more information you can contact
with:
Josep M. Fericgla
Meeting place: Institut Municipal d'Investigacio Medica Dr.Aiguader 80, baixos (Vila Olimpica) 08003 BARCELONA
Some of the speakers: Jonathan Ott (ethnomicologist), Dr.Albert Hoffmann (chemist), Dr.Joan Laporte
(clinic pharmacologist, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona), Dr. Jordi Cami (Clinic pharmacologist, Institut
Municipal d'Investigacio Medica), Dr. Jordi Riba (pharmacologist, Institut de Prospectiva Antropologica),
Dr.Manuel J. Barbanoj (pharmacologist, Institut de Recerca de St. Pau), Dr. Josep M. Fericgla
(Anthropologist, Universidad de Salamanca), Giorgio Samorini (ethnomicologist), Dr. Antonio Escohotado
(sociologist, UNED), Dr. Jose M. Poveda (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), Joan Obiols (Universidad de
Barcelona)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Starch
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

71/298 (1997)

Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 10:25:06 +1000
Dear Everyone,
I have been having a little trouble replying to the list, so I'm hoping this one goes through OK.
Dean Esmay indicated a week or so ago, that there are good reasons to suggest that starch is a relatively
recent addition to human diets.
It intrigues me then, why humans have such extraordinary ability to secrete aplha-amylase, the starch
digesting enzyme, present in both saliva and pancreatic secretions. We have so much, that some biochemists
call it alph-amylase overkill. Any suggestions?
Jennie
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Starch digestion
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 15:28:00 -0600
In yesterday's digest, Jenny writes,
"Dean Esmay indicated a week or so ago, that there are good reasons to suggest that starch is a relatively
recent addition to human diets.
It intrigues me then, why humans have such extraordinary ability to secrete aplha-amylase, the starch
digesting enzyme, present in both saliva and pancreatic secretions. We have so much, that some biochemists
call it alph-amylase overkill. Any suggestions?
Jennie"
The highest levels of alpha amylase occur in human pancreas followed by the parotid glands. The amylase
isozyme levels in parotid glands are of an order of magnitude less than those in pancreas (Sobiech KA et al.
Determination of amylase by measurement of enzmatic acitivity anb y enzyme immunoassay and
radioimmunoassay. Arch Immunol Therap Exp 1983; 31:845-8). Because starch boluses do not remain in the
mouth for more than a few seconds, parotid derived alpha amylase has little influence upon immediate starch
digestion. Additionally, if the starch is wheat based, there are endogenous alpha amylase inhibitors in wheat
(also in legumes) which effectively inhibit salivary amylase (O'Donnell MD et al. Purification and properties
of an alpha amylase inhibitor from wheat. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1976;422:159-69.). Further, wheat
alpha amylase inhibitors also influence pancreatic amylase secretion (Buonocore V. et al. Wheat protein
inhibitors of alpha amylase. Phytochemistry 1977 16:811-820) and have been shown to result in pancreatic
hypertrophy in animal models (Macri A. et al. Adaptation of the domestic chicken, Gallus Domesticus, to
continuous feeding of albumin amylase inhibitors form wheat flour as gastro-resistant microgranules. Poultry
Science 1977; 56:434-441). Legume starch contains trypsin inhibitors which inactivate native pancreatic
trypsin so as to abnormally increase pancreatic cholecystokinin levels and also cause pancreatic enlargement
in animal models. (Liener IE. Implications of antinutritional components in soybean foods. Crit Rev Food
Sci Nutr 1994;34:31-67.). The point here is that humans obviously have adequate salivary and pancreatic
amylase levels to digest moderate amounts of certain kinds of starch, however, antinutrients in our main
starch sources (grains and beans), when consumed in excessive quantities may negatively impact endocrine
function.
Loren

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Starch
From: Jordi Juan-Tresserras
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

72/298 (1997)

Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 23:34:22 +0200


Dear all,
I also enjoyed Prof.Jennie's comments. The question about alpha-amylase and starch consumption is a very
interesting subject. I hope that someone can contribute to inform us about this relationship.
One of my basic research is focused in the study of starch granules preserved in the human dental calculus of
prehistoric populations from the Iberian Peninsula. These starch granules are a type of resistant starch (we
have also documented these remains in grinding stones, potsherds, ...). At this moment, the starchy foods
documented in the prehistoric sites from the Iberian Peninsula are prepared with acorns, pulses and cereals.
I am very interested in knowing, if it is possible, if anyone have observed some differences and
characteristics of dental caries caused by carbohydrates from acorns (with high and/or low levels of tannins)
and/or cereal grains and pulses. Last day, we were discussing about this subject with Concha de la Rua
(University of the Basque Country, Bilbao) and she inform me about the possible relationship between acorn
consumption and cervical caries. Anyone know some information about it?
Cordially,
*************************************************************************
Jordi Juan i Tresserras Unitat d'Arqueobotanica SERP/Dept.Prehistoria, H. Antiga i Arqueologia
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA Baldiri i Reixac, s/n Torre B pis 11 E-08028-Barcelona (Espanya,
Union Europea) e-mail:
Tel.909.32 85 82 International: tel. +34.09.32 85 82 Fax.(93) 449 85 10 fax. +34.3.449 85 10
"Cada epoca de la historia modifica el fogon, y cada pueblo come segun su alma, antes tal vez que segun su
estomago" - Emilia Pardo Bazan
**************************************************************************

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: PALEODIET Digest - 25 Apr 1997 to 26 Apr 1997
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 10:22:41 +1000
Dear Loren,,
Thanks for your well-documented facts about amylase inhibitors. My understanding is that these are all very
heat labile and denatured by cooking. If we eat raw starch we get a bad pain in the belly because raw starch
per se is resistant to digestion.
Best wishes Jennie
In message Paleolithic Diet Symposium List writes:
> There is one message totalling 54 lines in this issue.
> Topics of the day:
> 1. Starch digestion
> End of Topics (which are also called e-mail "Subject Lines")
>
------------=-=-=-=-=-=-=- IMPORTANT NOTICE -=-=-=-=-=-=-------------> ** Make sure you have a subject line that reflects your topic **
> ** Do not have a subject that says Re: PALEODIET Digest - ... **
> ** Selectively quote the previous message, do not repost it **
>
---------------------------------------------------------------------> Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 15:28:00 -0600
> From: Loren Cordain Subject: Re: Starch digestion
> In yesterday's digest, Jenny writes, "Dean Esmay indicated a week or so ago, that there are good
> reasons to suggest that starch is a relatively recent addition to human diets. It intrigues me
> then, why humans have such extraordinary ability to secrete aplha-amylase, the starch digesting
> enzyme, present in both saliva and pancreatic secretions. We have so much, that some biochemists
> call it alph-amylase overkill. Any suggestions?
> Jennie"
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73/298 (1997)

>
> The highest levels of alpha amylase occur in human pancreas followed by the parotid glands. The
> amylase isozyme levels in parotid glands are of an order of magnitude less than those in pancreas
> (Sobiech KA et al. Determination of amylase by measurement of enzmatic acitivity anb y enzyme
> immunoassay and radioimmunoassay. Arch Imm. Therap Exp 1983; 31:845-8). Because starch boluses
> do not remain in the mouth for more than a few seconds, parotid derived alpha amylase has little
> influence upon immediate starch digestion. Additionally, if the starch is wheat based, there are
> endogenous alpha amylase inhibitors in wheat (also in legumes) which effectively inhibit salivary
> amylase (O'Donnell MD et al. Purification and properties of an alpha amylase inhibitor from wheat.
> Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1976;422:159-69.). Further, wheat alpha amylase inhibitors also
> influence pancreatic amylase secretion (Buonocore V. et al. Wheat protein inhibitors of alpha
> amylase. Phytochemistry 1977 16:811-820) and have been shown to result in pancreatic hypertrophy
> in animal models (Macri A. et al. Adaptation of the domestic chicken, Gallus Domesticus, to
> continuous feeding of albumin amylase inhibitors form wheat flour as gastro-resistant
> microgranules. Poultry Science 1977; 56:434-441). Legume starch contains trypsin inhibitors which
> inactivate native pancreatic trypsin so as to abnormally increase pancreatic cholecystokinin
> levels and also cause pancreatic enlargement in animal models. (Liener IE. Implications of
> antinutritional components in soybean foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1994;34:31-67.). The point
> here is that humans obviously have adequate salivary and pancreatic amylase levels to digest
> moderate amounts of certain kinds of starch, however, antinutrients in our main starch sources
> (grains and beans), when consumed in excessive quantities may negatively impact endocrine
> function.
> Loren
-----------------------------> End of PALEODIET Digest - 25 Apr 1997 to 26 Apr 1997
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: PALEODIET Digest - 24 Apr 1997 to 25 Apr 1997
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 09:50:50 +1000
Dear Everyone,
Loren asked me to confirm Crane's statement that 'honey was the very basis of their diet' (Ache or Guayaki
Indians of Eastern Paraguay). Eva Crane is arguably the world's expert on all aspects of honey. I don't have
her 1975 book on hand to check her sources right now but I'll try to do this shortly. I don't think she intended
to mean that all they ate was honey but perhaps it made up a significant fraction of their daily energy intake.
In the past meat was often eaten with honey for flavour and even preserved in it.
My hypothesis is that carbohydrate was in short supply during glacial periods and that humans adapted to the
the scarcity by becoming insulin resistant. Insulin resistance spares glucose for the brain and foetus which
use glucose exclusively as a source of fuel. Genetically determined insulin resistance was therefore a
selective advantage. In this way, populations with a high prevalence of insulin resistance emerged. Today
this characteristic is no longer an advantage and is, in fact, a disadvantage because it is increases one's risk of
developing non-insulin-dependent diabetes. This hypothesis was published in Diabetologia 1994;37:1280-86.
I think honey and all things sweet would have been highly sought after for this reason. What do you think?
Best wishes Jennie
PS In passing, Eva Crane is Elsie Widdowson's sister. McCance and Widdowson's The Composition of
Foods is the author of one of the best compilations on the composition of foods.
Best wishes Jennie
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

74/298 (1997)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Extinctions
From: by way of Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 12:35:44 -0400
Dear Dean Esmay
I don't like polemice, but I'll explain my position about the Pleistocene Extintion. I haven't the solution of the
problem. In archeology, I think, "smoke guns" are very rarce. We work with a record very problematic
(admittedly incomplete in Loren Cordain terms) and megafauna extintion are only an example of the degree
of complexity that the archaeological discussion. Others examples of the discussion are the
scavenging/hunting at Plio-Pleistocene sites in East-Africa. This kind of discusion, for me, is demostrative
the an important teorethical change: we need an approach multicausal. The explanation of phenomens are
complex and posibily the combination of differents agents are more apropiate than monocausal explication.
I agree with Loren Cordain when says that previous changes from cold to warm were not accompanied by
mass extintions. That's rigth, with exceptions...for example, last ocurrence of hipopotamus in Europe are
situated in the Eem (Riss-Wurm). That's signifies the disparition of hipopotamus is consecuence of human
activity? I don't know...Along the Pleistocene, the reduction and finally the disparition at Europe of hyena,
leopard, cave bear and others carnivore are consecuence of human pressure?...Perhaps. Extintion are
historical complex phenomenon and posibily each phenomenon are their historical process. For example,
human impact at Madagascar island is sure, and the disparition of megafauna for consecuence of human
activity is very important. But Madagascar are "terra incognita" just the first milenium...
Now, in Europe are a controversial debate about the extintion of faunal island, for example the pigmy
hypopotamus of Cyprus. The people has worked at the island are differents opinions,
Don t worry for the citation about cut-marks in hyoides is only curiosity, but cut-marks and bone
modification in general are scarce at elephant bone (a good example is Bonnichsen and Sorg (eds.): Bone
Modifications).
Leringen spear are an example of sofisticated tecnological degree of the human arcaics very interesting.
Recently a Schoningen (Germany) H. Thieme describes 3 spears with 400.000 years old (Nature 385).
Posibily, pre-Sapiens are efficients hunters, but not only for they are tecnollogy efficients. Is necesary linked
with others atributes (social organization for example).
I disagree with the mecanical aplication of the Optimal Foraging Theory. Perhaps, energically are more
interesting mastodont hunting, but I don't sure this activity are easy and sure. Hunting are an habitual activity
for people arrived to America with an advanced technology. But that's no imply this people lives only with
mamut "entrecot"!. The overkill is an posibiliy but not are the only posibility.
In the last numbers of Journal of Human Evolution 1995 Tillier described Neandertals dental caries.
Jorge
Jorge Martinez Dpt. Antropologia Social i Prehistoria Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Cannibalism
From: by way of Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 12:36:18 -0400
Excume, but I don't read Bird text.
Canniabalism are "aberrant" human behavior for us, and we prefer think others posibilities. Archeologically
we can know when an human bone is modified. The last years the bibliography are very important, for
example Bodo (African Middle Pleistocene) T. White described operational marks at the cranium. At TD-4
Atapuerca (Lower Pleistocene) the human remains have cut-marks and impact scarcs.
At 1985, Villa worked an interesting case at Fontbregoua (Neolithic french cave). The humans remains have
impact notch and cut-marks, and they are diposed with deer, roe deer, boar, etc.... I accept this pattern is
religious if you accept the same ritual for the deer, boar, ect...

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Arens books is very interesting, but recently are more information about cannibalism, and posibles
"functional context" associated. Not is the same Maya cannibalism (posibily they are a political and
cohercitive power in statal context) and the history of Fontbregoua people.
Yes, I'm a school of thougth wich maintains that bone modifications on human bones are evidence of human
manipulation.....Explanation are other history.....
Thought for food?
Jorge

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Starch and a Short gut
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 22:49:58 -0700
As the human large intestine is so short relative to other Primates, adaptations must occure to allow the
starches found in edible raw fruits and vegetables to be converted into simple sugars to be absorbed by the
small intestine. This deficiency of large intestine may also be expressed by our un-primate like cravings (as
noted by Goodall et al) of things both sweet and starchy.
That the sources of starches in agricultural diets inhibits the action of our naturally occuring starch digesting
enzymes only exasperates these cravings by cuting off the feed-back loop at the small intestine and only
allowing starches to be absorbed more slowly and less efficiently after bacterial action in the large intestine.
Most people who eat a paleolithic diet report that these cravings are greatly reduced in just a few days.
see:"The Expensive Tissue Hypothesis: The Brain and Digestive System in Human and Primate Evolution"
Current Anthropology vol. 36, #2 (April 1995) 199-221
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Paleolithic diet list
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 14:40:14 -0400
I've been thinking it's really about time someone started a listserv devoted to everyday people who want to
adapt paleolithic nutrition principles into their own lives. Several people told me they'd be interested in
helping to run such a list, and I know now how to set one up. Unfortunately I can't remember who all was
interested in that, so I'd like to invite anyone who is interested in setting up and running such a list (a list for
non-academics, more for everyday people) to send me private mail and we'll discuss how to get that done.
Just shoot me some private email if interested.
-=-=Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter
http://www.syndicomm.com/esmay

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Alpha amylase inhibitors & cooking
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 08:47:00 -0600
In the last paleodigest, Jenny writes:
"Dear Loren,,

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76/298 (1997)

Thanks for your well-documented facts about amylase inhibitors. My understanding is that these are all very
heat labile and denatured by cooking. If we eat raw starch we get a bad pain in the belly because raw starch
per se is resistant to digestion.
Best wishes Jennie".
Both alpha amylase inhibitors (in cereals and legumes) and trypsin inhibitors (primarily in legumes) are not
fully denatured by normal cooking processes. It is reported, "Protein alpha amylase inhibitors may represent
as much as 1% of wheat flour and, because of their thermostability, they persist through bread baking being
found in large amounts in the center of loaves." (Buonocore V. et al. Wheat protein inhibitors of alpha
amylase. Phytochemistry 1977;16:811-20). Further in his treatise on antinutrients, Liener states, "However
because of the necessity of achieving a balance between the amount of heat necessary to destroy the trypsin
inhibitors and that which may result in damage to the nutritional or functional properties of the protein, most
commercially available edible grade soybean products retain 5 to 20% of the trypsin inhibitor activity
originally present in the raw soybeans from which they were prepared." (Liener IE. Implications of
antinutritional components in soybean foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1994;34:31-67.).
Cordially,
Loren

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Dental caries and acorns
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 09:31:00 -0600
Jordi Juan-Tresserras writes:
"I am very interested in knowing, if it is possible, if anyone have observed some differences and
characteristics of dental caries caused by carbohydrates from acorns (with high and/or low levels of tannins)
and/or cereal grains and pulses. Last day, we were discussing about this subject with Concha de la Rua
(University of the Basque Country, Bilbao) and she inform me about the possible relationship between acorn
consumption and cervical caries. Anyone know some information about it?
Cordially, "
In central California, before it was colonized by European settlers, the native Indian population utilized
acorns as a staple part of their diet for many thousands of years. Turner (Turner CG. Dental anthropological
indications of agriculture among the Jomon people of central Japan. Am J Phys Anthrop 1979;51:619-36)
reports in a sample of 289 teeth a caries rate of 2.4 % in acorn eating central California Indians which is
slightly higher than the 1.6 % for the aggregate of hunter-gatherers. It is possible that the higher levels of
tannins in this food source may increase the rate of enamel erosion, however these data indicate not much
difference.
Best Wishes,
Loren

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: The Non-Thrifty Genotype
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 09:45:12 -0400
I just finished reading THE NON-THRIFTY GENOTYPE, by John S. Allen and Susan M. Cheer, published
in CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY, Volume 37, Number 5, December 1996, and would like to repeat
Staffan Lindeberg's kudos for this excellent paper and the recommendation that other list members look for it
if possible. It's quite worthwhile reading.
Thanks to John Allen for taking the time to send me a copy.

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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Starch and dental caries
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 10:35:34 +1000
To those interested,
Raw cereal starch is very slowly digested by human intestinal enzymes and also by the bacteria that cause
dental caries. We human beings over the years in our quest for more and more palatable food, have
coincidentally increased the rate of starch digestion in cereals by grinding (into flour) and cooking and more
recently by processes such as extrusion cooking (all the funny little shapes you find in snack foods and
breakfast cereals mean extrusion cooking has been used).
Recent research indicates that these quickly digested starches are more likely to cause dental caries than
slowly digested starches. In fact they are just as effective as the sugars in reducing the dental plaque pH.
One reference is:
Lingstrom P, Holm J, Birkhed D, Bjorck I. Effects of variously processed starch on pH of human dental
plaque. Scan J Dent Res, 1989, 97 : 392-400.
Best wishes Jennie
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Detoxifying Plant Anti-Nutritional Factors
From: Luc De Bry
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 11:41:58 -0700
Good morning paleodiet digest participants,
Working on Plant-Food-Consumer interactions, I am very happy to have come across this listserver, and
thoroughly enjoyed reading the first paleodiet digests on my screen. A big thank to the organizers for this
well done job.
Commenting (very briefly, and with a few short-cuts) on information relevant to starch and carbohydrates
from Jennie Brand Miller and from Loren Cordain that were in the last two or three digests :
If leaves and some fruits, most notably banana, do contain some starch, the main starch source in humans'
diet comes from tubers and seeds, all of them belonging to the Group of the Angiosperms. Tubers and seeds
are progenies of mother plants. They cannot run away when comes a predator, a plant-eater. Hence, the
mother plant protects them, on the one hand with odour-silence to pass unoticed, and on the other hand, with
powerful anti-nutritional factors. Following T. Swain (1977, Annual review of Plant Physiology, 28 : 479501; according to ISI, one of the ten most cited papers of the plant science literature), plant anti-nutritional
factors may have evolved in response to overfeeding by dinosaurs, hence contributing to their demise over
some 35 long million years.
A few moulds, insects and grain-eating birds (successful dinosaurs) have adapted to the challenge of plant
anti-nutritional factors, and mutated some stomach genes to overcome plant chemical defences. For instance,
their trypsin is insentive to plant-anti-trypsin. Other animals, humans included cannot eat raw grains and
beans and tubers : anti-trypsins, anti-amylases, lectins, cyanogens, alkaloids, etc, would kill them.
So, when Jennie wrote
> Thanks for your well-documented facts about amylase inhibitors. My understanding is that these are
> all very heat labile and denatured by cooking.
It's correct : they are heat labile, but not always "very" heat labile. (If we go back to pre-historical baking
technology, we would need up to half a day to bake a bread.) There are now some papers going into the
depth of the physical-chemistry of this denaturation, even measuring the kinetics of the detoxification
phenomenon, which is of tremendous importance both to the food and feed industries as well as to the food
safety for the Consumers.
> If we eat raw starch we get a bad pain in the belly because raw starch per se is resistant to
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> digestion.
Here, I believe that Jennie meant "raw flour". Indeed, raw wheat flours can kill. Not because of starch, but
because of wheat toxic proteins, e.g. anti-amylases, dispersed in the endosperm between starch granules. And
indigestible-insufficiently-baked gluten balls in our stomachs do cause pains. Concerning uncooked or more
precisely ungelatinized starch itself, a good source of kilocalories, if it cannot be attacked by amylases and
hydrolysed down to dextrins, it can be hydrolysed (slowly) by glucoamylases (releasing glucose units).
Now, moving from the comments to a question :
All animals that I know, whether domestic or wild, whether fishes, rabbits or gorillas, once they tasted a
piece of bread or of chocolate, they just love to eat more when given an opportunity. The major difference
between them and humans, is that only humans can apply Fire Technology and the Maillard Reaction
"invented" by our Mother(s) Eve, for detoxifying plant anti-nutritional factors.
Could the abscence of fears from the fire be related to some human-specific genetic defect(s)???
Who knows?
Any comment?
Have a good day, and regards,
Luc
__ A paleo-thought : / \ / O______ __/\/\/\/\_ / ^^^^ / \ / **** / \_ / / <-_____----_____ _\
>
>
>/\
>/\/\
A Stegosaurus evolved from about 144 million years ago to 135 million years ago. A Tyrannosaurus rex
from 83 million years ago to about 65 million years ago. Thus, although often displayed together, a T. rex
never ate a steak of Stegosaurus. And as Angiosperms started to evolve some 120 million years ago, no
Stegosaurus could taste one of them and smell flower perfumes.
-- Luc De Bry, Ph.D.; Head of Research Department; DANONE BISCUITS NORTH De BeukelaerPareinlaan 1; B-2200 Herentals - Belgium Tel. 32 (0)14 241432; Fax 32 (0)14 241025; Email : URL Site
http://www.danonegroup.com

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Hunger and Cannibalism
From: Luc De Bry
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 12:29:40 -0700
Good morning again,
On April 26-28, the Automatic digest processor reported about cannibalism and hunger
Jorge by way of Dean Esmay wrote a line among others:
> Canniabalism are "aberrant" human behavior for us, and we prefer think others posibilities.
and completed with
> Thought for food?
May I briefly comment, from a different background, and illustrate this with a rather modern case :
Well, "aberrant" may be as understood in today's over-fed Western Societies. I was born and raised in
Central Africa, and escaped (thank to my Parents) to horrors and savageries of both war and starvation, i.e.
hunger plus famine. Sadly enough, other friends, many from childhood time, did not have that "luck",
including in the present wars and starvations prevailing once again in Central Africa.
Here is a relevant and "1997" news about cannibalism and hunger, as "experienced" in another far remote
corner of our world, by some other "humans", that may be instructive in terms of "thought for food?"
The source of that article is WORLDWIDE REUTERS, dd 04/28/97, and is available today at URL site
http://www.agriculture.com/worldwide/AgricultureFarming/04_28_1997.reute-story-bckoreahunger.html
Title : North Koreans fear cannibalism amid hunger
BEIJING, April 28 (Reuter) - Hunger in North Korea is forcing peasants to sell clothes for food, to sneak
into China to steal animal feed and even to delay burials to prevent cannibalism, visitors to the border said on
Monday.

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However, many North Koreans are so terrified of official retribution they dare not cross into China over the
border that is marked in part of northern Jilin province by a shallow river that can be waded easily.
``The situation in North Korea is very bad, '' one recent visitor to the Jilin border town of Yanji quoted an
ethnic Korean salesgirl as saying.
``There is only corn to eat and very little of that, '' said the woman, who recently visited her sister who lives
across the border in the Stalinist hermit state. ``People have to sell their clothes to get the money to buy
food.''
The north of the country has been hardest hit by floods that wiped out crops for two consecutive years.
Pyongyang has appealed for food aid but has not allowed aid officials to the region and last week prevented
workers of World Vision International, a Christian charity that has worked in North Korea since 1995, from
touring the region.
Chinese in Yanji who have frequent contacts with the North said the situation appeared to be deteriorating.
One recent sign was the decision by some North Korea peasants to delay the burial of their dead for fear the
bodies would be dug up and eaten by other hungry farmers, a recent visitor quoted Yanji residents as saying.
Farmers now kept their dead in their homes until the corpse began to putrefy before burying it to prevent
cannibalism, several Chinese residents said.
For those desperate enough to sneak across the border and through North Korea's security net, punishment
can be brutal and swift, Chinese and ethnic Koreans told recent visitors.
Few make the journey because of the security and restrictions on obtaining visas, Yanji residents said.
Those who do are quickly spotted by a network of North Korean spies based in China who round up the
escapees as illegal immigrants and force them back across the border, they said.
Punishment is swift.
``The North Korean police put a metal wire through the nose of some people who escape, '' the visitor quoted
one Yanji resident as saying. ``It's like a brand that marks them out.''
Even children are not exempt.
``We can hear the screams of children when they put the metal wire through their nose because they do it as
soon as they cross into North Korea and the border is very close, '' the Yanji resident was quoted as saying.
``They don't dare to carry out this punishment in China but as soon as they are back in North Korea they can
do what they want, '' he was quoted as saying.
Many of those who flee into China do little more than slip into local cattlesheds to steal animal feed to eat
and then sneak back into the North, Yanji residents said. Residents said they turned a blind eye out of
sympathy.
Dean Hirsch, president of World Vision International, said last week that recent tours of two rural counties
near the capital, Pyongyang, convinced him that North Korea may be only 90 days away from starvation.
Repeated international appeals for food aid -- the latest being a U.N. World Food Programme appeal for
$95.5 million -- have drawn only a lukewarm response amid fears the food aid will go to Pyongyang's
military.
Copyright 1997 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or
delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
@g Worldwide | @griculture Online | Canada @griculture Online | Farmers Weekly Interactive | Interfax
News Agency
End of article.
Hunger and sadness look universal.
When we were kids, we had a joke: - "Do you know why there are no more cannibals?" - "Well, yesterday, I
ate the last one..."
Regards,
Luc -- Luc De Bry, Ph.D.; Head of Research Department; DANONE BISCUITS NORTH De BeukelaerPareinlaan 1; B-2200 Herentals - Belgium Tel. 32 (0)14 241432; Fax 32 (0)14 241025; Email : URL Site
http://www.danonegroup.com

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: 4. Starch
From: Bob Avery
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

80/298 (1997)

Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 20:03:05 EDT


Jennie,
> Thanks for your well-documented facts about amylase inhibitors. My understanding is that these are
> all very heat labile and denatured by cooking. If we eat raw starch we get a bad pain in the belly
> because raw starch per se is resistant to digestion.
I eat lots of raw starch (rice, other grains, yams) with NO pains in the belly.
Bob Avery

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Cereal starches & dental caries & A question
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 10:50:00 -0600
A good paper showing the epidemiological relationship between cereal grain consumption and caries
incidence is: (Sreebny LM. Cereal availability and dental caries. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol
1983;11:148-55). The author, Leo Sreebny, did most of the original epidemiological work relating sucrose
consumption to dental caries.
QUESTION:
In our group over the last month or so, we have bandied about the idea of the ancestral macronutrient
compositions (i.e. %fat, %protein, % CHO) and how they influence health. Clearly, in the normal western
diet (~45-50% CHO, 35-40% fat and 10-15% protein) if dietary saturated fats are reduced, then total and
LDL cholesterol are also reduced. Keys (Keys A et al. Serum cholesterol response to changes in the diet. IV.
Particular saturated fatty acids in the diet. Metabolism 1965;14:776-87) has published an equation which has
been used extensively to predict changes in serum cholesterol from dietary lipids and cholesterol. Others
(Mensink et al) more recently, have confirmed Keys' Equation. In perhaps the most well controlled, modern,
dietary study of Greenland Eskimos, Bang and Dyerberg (Bang HO, Dyerberg J. Lipid metabolism and
ischemic heart disease in greenland eskimos. In: Advances in Nutrition Research, HH Draper (Ed), Vol 3,
N.Y., Plenum Press, 1980, 1-22.), it has been shown that ischemic heart disease is very uncommon in these
people (3.5 % vs 45-50% mortality rate in western countries). The dietary macronutrient content of these
partially westernized eskimos was (38% CHO, 39%fat and 23% protein) whereas the values for the control
group of Danish people was (47% CHO, 42% fat, and 11%protein). Mean total cholesterol levels in the
eskimos (5.03 mmol/liter) was significantly lower than in the Danes (6.18 mmol/liter) whereas the TG (0.57
vs 1.23 mmol/liter) and VLDL (0.43 vs 1.29 mmol/liter) were much lower in the eskimos and HDL levels
were significantly higher (4.00 vs 3.34 mmol/liter). Based upon the Keys et al. equation, the actual difference
between the Eskimos' total cholesterol levels should have been 0.67 mmol/liter, whereas in acutality it was
1.15 mmol/liter. This data suggests that the Keys equation may be invalid under circumstances wherein high
quantities of animal products replace traditionally cereal dominated diets. Possible reasons for this
discrepancy include: (1) higher protein levels in the face of lowered CHO may induce different lipoprotein
transport mechanisms (Wolfe BM. Potential role of raising dietary protein intake for reducing risk of
atherosclerosis. Can J Cardiol 1995;11:127G-31G) or different polyunsaturated fat (high N3 fats and high
levels of preformed long chain fats of both N3 and N6 families) between the two diets (Nelson GJ et al. Low
fat diets do not lower plasma cholesterol levels in healthy men compared to high fat dits with similar fatty
acid composition at constant caloric intake. Lipids 1995 30:969-76). The bottom line here is that present day
hunter gatherers maintain quite low serum lipid levels despite high consumptions of animal based foods.
Comments?
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Book Review
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

81/298 (1997)

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List


Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 11:10:23 -0700
"NeanderThin" is going to be reviewed in the May '97 issue of Healthy and Natural Journal. I've not seen it
yet so I don't even know if it's favorable.
Good or bad, I hope my readers will respond with a letter to the editor. If one of your letters get published,
it's better than an ad (which I can't afford anyway).
Thanks for all your support.
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin:A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fishing
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 11:29:01 -0400
African Exodus Chris Stringer & Robin McKie. 1996 London Jonathan Cape p4-5 (Zaire) In the neglected
western branch of the African Rift Valley ....sediments are being exposed which were laid down 90 000
years ago, just as Homo Sapiens was making its mark across Africa.
At the town of Katanda this erosion has produce an archaeological treasure trove;thousands of artefacts,
mostly stone tools, plus a few bone implements........Among the wonders they have uncovered are
sophisticated bone Harpoons and knives. Previously it was thought that the Cro-Magnons were the first
humans to develop such delicate carving skills-50 000 years later.......There were other surprises for
researchers, however. Apart from the finely carved implements, they found fish bones, including some from
two metre long catfish. It seems that the Katanda people were efficiently and repeatedly catching catfish
during their spawning season, indicating that systematic fishing is quite an ancient human skill and not some
relatively recently acquired expertise, as many archaeologists had previously thought. (The archaeologists
were John Yellen of the National Science foundation, Washington and Allison Brooks of George
Washington University)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Diet composition
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 07:05:54 +1000
Dear Bob, Comments for Bob Avery
> I eat lots of raw starch (rice, other grains, yams) with NO pains in the belly.
Perhaps your gut has adapted to the presence of large amounts of raw starch by either increasing amylase
secretion in the small intestine or increasing the numbers and types of bugs in the large intestine. This
happens in lactose intolerant individuals who continue to drink milk.
(I'm sorry I don't have time to look up the reference that says this but if you want it I'll dig around for it.)
The type of resistant starch in raw cereals is easier to digest than that in raw potatoes. Most people complain
of symptoms when they eat raw potatoes or alot of raw green bananas. John Cummings et al at the Dunn
Nutrition Unit have divided up resistant starch into three types based on their crystallinity.
We need to remember that the food plants we eat today are a long, long way from the original wild types. We
have consistently bred them for improved characteristics like size and palatability and perhaps their ease of
digestion.
It's interesting that Australian Aboriginals used lots of processing techniques to rid plants of toxins but they
ate a very high protein diet just the same based on marine and land animals.
Comments for Loren
'The bottom line here is that present day hunter gatherers maintain quite low serum lipid levels despite high
consumptions of animal based foods'.
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The Keys equation does not consider the effect of amount and type of CHOs on insulin secretion.
Hyperinsulinaemia is turning out to be one of the biggest independent risk factors for CHD. High protein
diets and low glycaemic index diets both lower insulinaemia.
Best wishes Jennie
>
-----------------------------> Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 08:44:00 PDT
> From: "Ginsberg, Doug" Subject: Re: Alpha amylase inhibitors & Detoxifying plant foods
> Does anyone know if traditional food preparation techniques such as soaking, sprouting, and
> fermenting are effective responses to some of these plant toxicity issues; and were any of them
> used by paleolithic hunter-gatherers?
> Doug Ginsberg
>
>
-----------------------------> Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 10:50:00 -0600
> From: Loren Cordain Subject: Re: Cereal starches & dental caries & A question
> A good paper showing the epidemiological relationship between cereal grain consumption and caries
> incidence is: (Sreebny LM. Cereal availability and dental caries. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol
> 1983;11:148-55). The author, Leo Sreebny, did most of the original epidemiological work relating
> sucrose consumption to dental caries.
> QUESTION:
> In our group over the last month or so, we have bandied about the idea of the ancestral
> macronutrient compositions (i.e. %fat, %protein, % CHO) and how they influence health. Clearly, in
> the normal western diet (~45-50% CHO, 35-40% fat and 10-15% protein) if dietary saturated fats are
> reduced, then total and LDL cholesterol are also reduced. Keys (Keys A et al. Serum cholesterol
> response to changes in the diet. IV. Particular saturated fatty acids in the diet. Metabolism
> 1965;14:776-87) has published an equation which has been used extensively to predict changes in
> serum cholesterol from dietary lipids and cholesterol. Others (Mensink et al) more recently, have
> confirmed Keys' Equation. In perhaps the most well controlled, modern, dietary study of Greenland
> Eskimos, Bang and Dyerberg (Bang HO, Dyerberg J. Lipid metabolism and ischemic heart disease in
> greenland eskimos. In: Advances in Nutrition Research, HH Draper (Ed), Vol 3, N.Y., Plenum Press,
> 1980, 1-22.), it has been shown that ischemic heart disease is very uncommon in these people (3.5
> % vs 45-50% mortality rate in western countries). The dietary macronutrient content of these
> partially westernized eskimos was (38% CHO, 39%fat and 23% protein) whereas the values for the
> control group of Danish people was (47% CHO, 42% fat, and 11%protein). Mean total cholesterol
> levels in the eskimos (5.03 mmol/liter) was significantly lower than in the Danes (6.18
> mmol/liter) whereas the TG (0.57 vs 1.23 mmol/liter) and VLDL (0.43 vs 1.29 mmol/liter) were
> much lower in the eskimos and HDL levels were significantly higher (4.00 vs 3.34 mmol/liter).
> Based upon the Keys et al. equation, the actual difference between the Eskimos' total cholesterol
> levels should have been 0.67 mmol/liter, whereas in acutality it was 1.15 mmol/liter. This data
> suggests that the Keys equation may be invalid under circumstances wherein high quantities of
> animal products replace traditionally cereal dominated diets. Possible reasons for this
> discrepancy include: (1) higher protein levels in the face of lowered CHO may induce different
> lipoprotein transport mechanisms (Wolfe BM. Potential role of raising dietary protein intake for
> reducing risk of atherosclerosis. Can J Cardiol 1995;11:127G-31G) or different polyunsaturated fat
> (high N3 fats and high levels of preformed long chain fats of both N3 and N6 families) between the
> two diets (Nelson GJ et al. Low fat diets do not lower plasma cholesterol levels in healthy men
> compared to high fat dits with similar fatty acid composition at constant caloric intake. Lipids
> 1995 30:969-76). The bottom line here is that present day hunter gatherers maintain quite low
> serum lipid levels despite high consumptions of animal based foods. Comments?
> Cordially,
>
> Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
>
-----------------------------> End of PALEODIET Digest - 29 Apr 1997 to 30 Apr 1997
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

83/298 (1997)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Starch and dental caries
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 01:00:03 +0100
In due time I hope that we will have some scholars of dental paleopathology in the group. In the meantime I,
who know very little on the subject, refer to Lukacs JR. Dental paleopathology: Methods for reconstructing
dietary patterns. In: Isan MY, Kennedy KAR. Reconstruction of life from the skeleton. New York, WileyLiss 1989 who states that caries rates were low in prehistoric hunter-gatherers, intermediate in early farmers
and highest in full-blown agriculturalists. A later paper that I came across also supports a role of cereal starch
in caries: Littleton, J. Frohlich, B. Fish-eaters and farmers: dental pathology in the Arabian Gulf. Am J Phys
Anthropol 1993; 92: 427-47. Abstract: Twelve skeletal samples, previously published, from the Arabian Gulf
have been used to trace differences in diet and subsistence patterns through an analysis of dental pathology.
The skeletons date from 3, 000 BC to AD 1, 500 and cover a variety of geographical locations: off-shore
islands, Eastern Arabia, and Oman. The dental conditions analyzed are attrition, caries, calculus, abscessing,
and antemortem tooth loss (AMTL). Results indicate four basic patterns of dental disease which, while not
mutually exclusive, correspond to four basic subsistence patterns. Marine dependency, represented by the
Ras el-Hamra population, is indicated by severe attrition, low caries rates, wear-caused abscessing, and a
lack of AMTL. The second group of dental diseases--moderate attrition and calculus, low rates of caries,
wear-caused abscessing, and low-moderate rates of AMTL--affects populations subsisting on a mixture of
pastoralism or fishing and agriculture (Failaka, Umm an-Nar, Bronze Age Maysar, Bronze Age Shimal, and
Iron Age Galilah). Mixed farming populations (Iron Age Maysar and Islamic Bahrain) experienced lowmoderate attrition, high rates of caries and calculus, abscessing due to caries, and severe AMTL. The final
group of dental diseases affects populations practicing intensive gardening (Bronze and Iron Age Bahrain,
and Sites 3 and 5, Ras al-Khaimah). These groups experienced slight attrition, high rates of caries, low rates
of calculus deposition, and severe AMTL.
Sorry if I overemphasized what may already have been clear to you.
Staffan
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Dietary Macronutrient Content and Hyperinsulinemia
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 09:47:00 -0600
In a previous digest, Jenny wrote: "The Keys equation does not consider the effect of amount and type of
CHOs on insulin secretion. Hyperinsulinaemia is turning out to be one of the biggest independent risk factors
for CHD. High protein diets and low glycaemic index diets both lower insulinaemia.
Best wishes Jennie"

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

84/298 (1997)

This was exactly my point. Ancestral, pre-agricultural diets were quite high in animal protein and the
carbohydrate that was consumed was generally of a low glycemic index. These populations also selcetively
consumed the fatty portions of the killed animal (brain, marrow, depot fat, perinephral fat, mesenteric fat,
tongue, organs etc). However, available evidence from living hunter gatherers show that these surrogates of
our stone age ancestors maintain low risk factors for CHD (blood lipid profiles, blood pressure, insulin
sensitivity, body composition etc). All of this on a diet which contains 50-65% or more of its total calories
derived from animal foods. Clearly, the Key's equation breaks down when either the macronutrient content
(extremely high protein and low CHO) or the fatty acid composition of the diet (or both) varies beyond the
range of conditions in which Keys originally derived his regression. Although there is much circumstantial
evidence to indicate that the Key's equation is erroneous under these conditions, there is no empirical data
that I am aware of which has confirmed this concept.
Best wishes,
Loren

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Detoxifying plant foods
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 01:25:52 +0100
Apologies for repeating myself, but Doug Ginsberg wrote:
> Does anyone know if traditional food preparation techniques such as soaking, sprouting, and
> fermenting are effective responses to some of these plant toxicity issues...
Whole meal cereals and other seeds have in their shells phytic acid which is not toxic but strongly binds to
minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to form insoluble salts, phytates. There is overwhelming
evidence that whole meal cereals through this mechanism decrease the absorption of such minerals to a point
where cereals are no longer an optimal human food. Phytates are most certainly an important contributing
cause of iron deficiency in third world countries and possibly in the western world. As to calcium deficiency
the picture is less clear.
Mellanby found back in the 30s that puppies got rickets when they were fed oats. The possible absence of
rickets in preagricultural skeletons, its apparent increase during medieval urbanization and its epidemic
explosion during industrialism can hardly be explained only in terms of decreasing exposure to sunlight and
descreased length of breast-feeding. An additional possible cause is a secular trend of increasing inhibition of
calcium absorption by phytate from cereals since these apparently increased in amount during the Middle
Ages, and since old methods of reducing the phytate content such as dampening and heat treatment may have
been lost during the emergence of large-scale cereal processing. Old fashion sourdough baking as well as
soaking and fermenting decrease the amount of phytatic acid by use of phytases, enzymes which are also
found in the cereals but which often are destroyed during industrial processing.
> ...and were any of them used by paleolithic hunter-gatherers?
I don't think there is any evidence of that. I suppose they would need pottery which they apparently did not
use.
Staffan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Beyond saturated fat
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 03:20:49 +0100
Keys mainly considered low intake of saturates in lowering LDL cholesterol. This is obviously not enough
which Loren's Eskimo example shows.

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To add further to the evidence: Among subsistence horticulturalists of Kitava, Papua New Guinea
[http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml], saturated fat intake was similar as in Sweden (1617% of daily energy intake, en%) but serum total cholesterol was lower, especially in the males (4.8 vs 5.8
mmol/L) [1]. Likewise, total cholesterol in healthy subjects in rural Sri Lanka was only 4.7 mmol/L despite
that saturated fat from coconut provided 19 en% [2]. And total cholesterol in middle-aged traditional
Polynesians from Tokelau was only 5.0 mmol/L in males and 5.5 in females, despite an estimated 45 en%
saturated fat, also mainly from coconut [3, 4]. In urbanised males and females who had migrated from
Tokelau to New Zealand and decreased their intake of saturated fat to 21 en%, TC was 5.6 and 5.8 mmol/L,
respectively, further indicating that other factors than saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are of importance,
such as the above. The same argument may be applied to the much higher TC in urbanized than rural Masai,
despite a higher intake of saturated fat from milk among the rural group [5, 6].
In this group Loren and Jennie suggest that LDL may decrease by high protein and/or low glycaemic index
diets through improved insulin sensitivity. I believe this is important and underestimated. But isn't it possible
that any satiating (e.g. nutrient dense, voluminous, water rich etc.) diet by way of reduced caloric intake and
reduced (abdominal) obesity could lower your LDL independently of these factors? If so it could in a sense
be more important to avoid empty calories than to find the best proportions of CHO, fat and protein.
Regards
Staffan
1. Lindeberg S, Nilsson-Ehle P, Ternt A, Vessby B, Scherstn B. Cardiovascular risk factors in a
Melanesian population apparently free from stroke and ischaemic heart disease - the Kitava study. J Intern
Med 1994; 236: 331-40.
2. Atukorala TM, Jayawardene MI. Lipid patterns and dietary habits of healthy subjects living in urban,
suburban and rural areas. Ceylon Med J 1991; 36:9-16.
3. Stanhope JM, Sampson VM, Prior IA. The Tokelau Island Migrant Study: serum lipid concentration in
two environments. J Chronic Dis 1981; 34:45-55.
4. Prior IA, Davidson F, Salmond CE, Czochanska Z. Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesian atolls: a
natural experiment: the Pukapuka and Tokelau island studies. Am J Clin Nutr 1981; 34:1552-61.
5. Day J, Carruthers M, Bailey A, Robinson D. Anthropometric, physiological and biochemical differences
between urban and rural Maasai. Atherosclerosis 1976; 23:357-61.
6. Ho KJ, Biss K, Mikkelson B, Lewis LA, Taylor CB. The Masai of East Africa: some unique biological
characteristics. Arch Pathol 1971; 91:387-410.
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: High protein diets
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 10:24:25 +1000
I was glad to see Staffan's comments about dental caries in agriculturists. A large majority of dietitians think
sugar is still the only cause of dental caries and recommend high starch diet on these grounds.
A question about high protien diets:
Have any of you any experience of putting people on high protein diets with little CHO?
I have read that most subjects (who were probably insulin sensitive Caucasians) find this sort of diet
nauseating and that experiments are usually terminated early.
One experiment succeeded because the investigators added very large amounts of salt to the high protein
diet. They did this becuase they noticed very high sodium excretion of unsalted high protein diets.
(Ref: Phinney SD, Bistrian BR, Wolfe RR, Blackburn GL (1983) The human metabolic response to chronic
ketosis without caloric restriction: physical and biochemical adaptation. Metabolism 32: 757-768.)
I find this fascinating because it might explain the historical and current preoccupation with adding salt to
food.
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86/298 (1997)

I wonder whether the ability to 'tolerate' high protein diets is determined by the degree of genetically
determined insulin resistance.
Best wishes Jennie
havIn message Paleolithic Diet Symposium List writes:
> There are 2 messages totalling 94 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Starch and dental
> caries 2. Dietary Macronutrient Content and Hyperinsulinemia End of Topics (which are also called
> e-mail "Subject Lines")
------------=-=-=-=-=-=-=- IMPORTANT NOTICE -=-=-=-=-=-=-------------> ** Make sure you have a subject line that reflects your topic **
> ** Do not have a subject that says Re: PALEODIET Digest - ... **
> ** Selectively quote the previous message, do not repost it **
>
---------------------------------------------------------------------> Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 01:00:03 +0100
> From: Staffan Lindeberg Subject: Starch and dental caries
> In due time I hope that we will have some scholars of dental paleopathology in the group. In the
> meantime I, who know very little on the subject, refer to Lukacs JR. Dental paleopathology:
> Methods for reconstructing dietary patterns. In: Is=E7an MY, Kennedy KAR. Reconstruction of life
> from the skeleton. New York, Wiley-Liss 1989 who states that caries rates were low in prehistoric
> hunter-gatherers, intermediate in early farmers and highest in full-blown agriculturalists. A
> later paper that I came across also supports a role of cereal starch in caries: Littleton, J.
> Frohlich, B. Fish-eaters and farmers: dental pathology in the Arabian Gulf. Am J Phys Anthropol
> 1993; 92: 427-47.
> Abstract: Twelve skeletal samples, previously published, from the Arabian Gulf have been used to
> trace differences in diet and subsistence patterns through an analysis of dental pathology. The
> skeletons date from 3, 000 BC to AD 1, 500 and cover a variety of geographical locations: off-shore
> islands, Eastern Arabia, and Oman. The dental conditions analyzed are attrition, caries, calculus,
> abscessing, and antemortem tooth loss (AMTL). Results indicate four basic patterns of dental
> disease which, while not mutually exclusive, correspond to four basic subsistence patterns. Marine
> dependency, represented by the Ras el-Hamra population, is indicated by severe attrition, low
> caries rates, wear-caused abscessing, and a lack of AMTL. The second group of dental
> diseases--moderate attrition and calculus, low rates of caries, wear-caused abscessing, and
> low-moderate rates of AMTL--affects populations subsisting on a mixture of pastoralism or fishing
> and agriculture (Failaka, Umm an-Nar, Bronze Age Maysar, Bronze Age Shimal, and Iron Age Galilah).
> Mixed farming populations (Iron Age Maysar and Islamic Bahrain) experienced low-moderate
> attrition, high rates of caries and calculus, abscessing due to caries, and severe AMTL. The final
> group of dental diseases affects populations practicing intensive gardening (Bronze and Iron Age
> Bahrain, and Sites 3 and 5, Ras al-Khaimah). These groups experienced slight attrition, high rates
> of caries, low rates of calculus deposition, and severe AMTL. Sorry if I overemphasized what may
> already have been clear to you.
> Staffan
>
------------------------------------------------------------------> Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund
> University, Mailing address: Dr Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care
> Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416 18395
> http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
>
------------------------------------------------------------------>
-----------------------------> Date: Mon, 5 May 1997 09:47:00 -0600
> From: Loren Cordain Subject: Re: Dietary Macronutrient Content and Hyperinsulinemia
> In a previous digest, Jenny wrote: "The Keys equation does not consider the effect of amount and
> type of CHOs on insulin secretion. Hyperinsulinaemia is turning out to be one of the biggest
> independent risk factors for CHD. High protein diets and low glycaemic index diets both lower
> insulinaemia.
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> Best wishes Jennie"


> This was exactly my point. Ancestral, pre-agricultural diets were quite high in animal protein and
> the carbohydrate that was consumed was generally of a low glycemic index. These populations also
> selcetively consumed the fatty portions of the killed animal (brain, marrow, depot fat,
> perinephral fat, mesenteric fat, tongue, organs etc). However, available evidence from living
> hunter gatherers show that these surrogates of our stone age ancestors maintain low risk factors
> for CHD (blood lipid profiles, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, body composition etc). All of
> this on a diet which contains 50-65% or more of its total calories derived from animal foods.
> Clearly, the Key's equation breaks down when either the macronutrient content (extremely high
> protein and low CHO) or the fatty acid composition of the diet (or both) varies beyond the range
> of conditions in which Keys originally derived his regression. Although there is much
> circumstantial evidence to indicate that the Key's equation is erroneous under these conditions,
> there is no empirical data that I am aware of which has confirmed this concept.
> Best wishes,
> Loren
>
-----------------------------> End of PALEODIET Digest - 1 May 1997 to 5 May 1997
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Fishing
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 19:09:40 +0100
Dean's report from 90 000 year old fishers makes sense. Why on earth would they not be fishing since they
were just as intelligent as we are and less preoccupied with millions of other obligations (like exploring
healthy diets). Perhaps their fishing tools were made from materials which are less prone to become
fossilized than other artifacts? Any comment from Foss Leach?
> African Exodus Chris Stringer & Robin McKie. 1996 London Jonathan Cape p4-5 (Zaire) In the
> neglected western branch of the African Rift Valley ....sediments are being exposed which were
> laid down 90 000 years ago, ...they found fish bones, including some from two metre long catfish.
> It seems that the Katanda people were efficiently and repeatedly catching catfish during their
> spawning season, indicating that systematic fishing is quite an ancient human skill...
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: High-protein diets
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 20:41:40 -0400
> Have any of you any experience of putting people on high protein diets with little CHO? I have
> read that most subjects (who were probably insulin sensitive Caucasians) find this sort of diet
> nauseating and that experiments are usually terminated early.

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I hope we can find a way to draw out Michael Eades, who has been a member of our list for quite some time
but has been quiet so far. He's a physician with considerable experience treating his patients with highprotein, strictly carbohydrate-limited diets, with quite positive results.
Unfortunately, finding supporting research on this matter is very difficult. This sort of diet has a very bad
reputation, at least in the United States, but there is very little supporting research to back up this extremely
negative view. There is also very little peer-reviewed medical research which compellingly supports a
positive view either. This is because there is a lack of much research at all, and much of what has been done
is many decades old now.
For example, it is frequently claimed that high-protein, strictly carbohydrate-limited diets cause ketoacidosis
and muscle deterioration. There is no research which can be taken seriously that backs up these common
claims; about the only examples that are ever mentioned are studies of very low carbohydrate ketogenic
diets, but all such studies also involved severe calorie limitation--I have yet to see one which involved more
than 800 k/calories of total daily intake, and some involve as little as 400 k/cals per day. Similarly, while
very low carbohydrate diets sometimes cause nausea, no one has ever bothered to document how common
this really is, or how severe it usually is. It certainly does not affect all subjects this way but no one's
bothered to document more than that it does do this to some subjects, without even bothering to analyze
whether those who do get hit with nausea find it debilitating or only mildly annoying.
On the other hand, while a small handful of popular writers, including some physicians (e.g. Michael &
Mary Dan Eades, Robert Atkins, Richard Bernstein) have claimed significant health benefits from this sort of
diet, again there is very little in the way of clinical, peer-reviewed research to back up their claims. In fact,
while physicians like Eades and Atkins claim to have treated literally thousands of patients with this kind of
diet, improving all sorts of serious health problems, none have bothered to date to compile serious statistical
information and submit for peer review.
I can point out research which suggests that diets high in carbohydrate and/or low in fat raise risks for
diseases like cancer or heart disease (upon request). I can point to research which shows improvements in
athletic performance from very low carbohydrate diets. I can point to individuals I know (including myself)
whose health improved remarkably after using strictly carb-limited, high-protein diets, including the results
of my own survey of nearly 100 such people (most of whom are of European extraction but have weight
problems, by the way). But compelling data is limited--which is most frustrating for many of us.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Plant breeding
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 19:09:50 +0100
Jennie wrote:
> We need to remember that the food plants we eat today are a long, long way from the original wild
> types. We have consistently bred them for improved characteristics like size and palatability and
> perhaps their ease of digestion.
What are the specific differences in nutrient density (amount of e.g. mineral per energy unit) between a wild
edible tuber and a cultivated (and hence bred) one? I posted exactly that question at the news group
sci.bio.food-science (which seems dominated by professionals) but I only got more questions. If nobody in
this group knows, could someone be so kind to take the time and effort to find an expert who has a good
answer?
Staffan Lindeberg

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: More on fishing
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 20:53:34 -0400

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

89/298 (1997)

> Perhaps their fishing tools were made from materials which are less prone to become fossilized
> than other artifacts?
The cat fish can apparently be caught by spear. At Wadi Kubbaniya c 16.000-15 000 BC (18000 BP) The
Nile flowed at higher levels than today. at this site catfish and other fish bones are found along with
waterfowl It is thought that the catfish swam into shallows in the flooding and were caught in the receding
waters, so I expect they could be caught by hand or net, too
18 000 BP was the high of the glaciation in Western Europe.
The reference which goes with this is <Loaves and Fishes: The prehistory of Wadi Kubanniya. > Wendorf
F, Schild R and A Close. Dallas: Southern Methodist Univ.1980 The same techniques would be useful for
atlantic salmon which were caught in the ice free salmon rivers of SW Europe in the same period.
None of this stuff is any of my own research, by the way. Certain list members seem to prefer a little
anonymity and so I'm happy to oblige by reposting for them.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Detoxifying plant foods
From: Andrew Millard
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 08:42:39 +0100
Staffan Lindeberg wrote:
> Doug Ginsberg wrote: [regarding cooking/detoxifying methods]
> ...and were any of them used by paleolithic hunter-gatherers? I don't think there is any evidence
> of that. I suppose they would need pottery which they apparently did not use.
We do have hunter-gathers using pottery in the Jomon culture of Japan for several thousand years, but not in
Palaeolithic cultures (any culture which had pottery would probably not be labelled Palaeolithic!). The
Jomon is usually considered to be similar to the Mesolithic of Europe.
On the other hand we do have farming cultures, notably the Pre-pottery Neolithic of the Near East, where
there is clearly massive reliance on cereal crops but no pottery in which to cook them. They clearly needed to
cook their crops, but we have little idea of how they did it.
Andrew Millard
========================================================================= Dr.
Andrew Millard Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, Tel: +44 191 374 4757 South Road,
Durham. DH1 3LE. United Kingdom. Fax: +44 191 374 3619 http://www.dur.ac.uk/~drk0arm/
=========================================================================

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: High protein diets, fish and tubers
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 11:39:00 -0600
In the last digest, Jenny wrote:
"A question about high protien diets:
Have any of you any experience of putting people on high protein diets with little CHO?
I have read that most subjects (who were probably insulin sensitive Caucasians) find this sort of diet
nauseating and that experiments are usually terminated early.
One experiment succeeded because the investigators added very large amounts of salt to the high protein
diet. They did this becuase they noticed very high sodium excretion of unsalted high protein diets.
(Ref: Phinney SD, Bistrian BR, Wolfe RR, Blackburn GL (1983) The human metabolic response to chronic
ketosis without caloric restriction: physical and biochemical adaptation. Metabolism 32: 757-768.)
I find this fascinating because it might explain the historical and current preoccupation with adding salt to
food.

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90/298 (1997)

I wonder whether the ability to 'tolerate' high protein diets is determined bythe degree of genetically
determined insulin resistance.
Best wishes Jennie"
When Stefansson undertook his classic dietary experiment (metabolic ward controlled) in Bellvue hospital in
1922 in which he consumed an all meat diet for an entire year (Lieb CW. The effects of an exclusive, longcontinued meat diet. JAMA 1926;87:25-26), he reported nausea and illness after the 2nd day of eating large
quantities of "chopped fatless muscle" (Stefansson V. The Fat of the Land. Macmillan Company, New York,
1960, p60-89). Inclusion of fatty meats, brains and bacon remedied his nausea and he was able to continue
the experiment under metabolic ward conditions in which all food that was consumed was measured and its
nutrient and caloric content measured. Additionally his metabolic rate was continually monitored in a
metabolic chamber. The results of this case study were widely reported in the scientific and medical
literature of the late 1920's and early 30's (I can provide all of the references if you are interested). It turned
out that his ad libitum average caloric intake was 2, 650 calories/day of which 2, 100 calories consisted of fat
and 550 calories consisted of protein or about 79% fat & 21% protein. It is difficult to speculate upon
Stefansson's degree of insulin resistance, however because he was of Northern European extraction and
somewhat overweight while on a normal mixed diet, it is probable that he was not as insulin resistant as
recently acculturated peoples such as the Inuit, polynesians, Australian aborigines or Pima Indians. Speth has
written extensively about excess dietary protein and it seems likely that unless sufficient carbohydrate or fat
are available, the calories present in wild, lean game animals can only be eaten in limited quantities.(Speth
JD. Early hominid hunting and scavenging: the role of meat as an energy source. J Hum Evol 1989;18:32943; Speth et al. Energy source, protein metabolism, and Hunter-Gatherer subsistence strategies. J Anthropol
Archaeology 1983;2:1-31).
Staffan writes:
Dean's report from 90 000 year old fishers makes sense. Why on earth would they not be fishing since they
were just as intelligent as we are and less preoccupied with millions of other obligations (like exploring
healthy diets). Perhaps their fishing tools were made from materials which are less prone to become
fossilized than other artifacts? Any comment from Foss Leach?
The fossil record which is obviously incomplete generally doesnt show any evidence of exploitation of the
aquatic environment until about 35, 000 years ago. Clearly, part of the problem is that the technologies
which may have been used to capture fish: nets, lines, weirs and bone hooks likely disintegrated. However,
there should have been a record of fossilized portions (heads, tails, fins etc) of uneaten fish parts along with
other animal foods consumed in the caves and camps of our ancestors. Except for the recent report from
Africa 90, 000 years ago, there are virtually no reports showing evidence for large scale fish consumption.
The date of the African data has been challenged because of the difficulty in dating fossils in this general
time period (C14 dating only can go back about 40, 000yrs). Since humans reached Australia by 50, 000-60,
000 yrs ago, it can be inferred that they had mastered at least somewhat sophisticated boating/rafting
procedures - it is difficult to believe that they did not exploit the creatures in the medium in which they
sailed. Also, the sites of most of the coastal dwelling people (most likely to have consumed fish) are now
under water and generally unavailable for archaeological exploration. One final comment - optimal foraging
theory would suggest that the aquatic environment would generally not be exploited until more easily
obtained resources (i.e. large easily killed pleistocene beasts) were depleted.
Staffan wrote:
What are the specific differences in nutrient density (amount of e.g. mineral per energy unit) between a wild
edible tuber and a cultivated (and hence bred) one? I posted exactly that question at the news group
sci.bio.food-science (which seems dominated by professionals) but I only got more questions. If nobody in
this group knows, could someone be so kind to take the time and effort to find an expert who has a good
answer?
I know of no specific studies examining nutrient densities between wild and cultivated tubers, however in
Boyd Eaton's most recent article (Eaton SB et al. An evolutionary perspective enhances understanding of
human nutritional requirements. J Nutr 1996;126:1732-40) he provides a table of average nutrient densities
of 224 vegetable foods that hunter gatherers may have eaten. There are perhaps 30 or more references which
have been provided including some of Jenny Brand-Miller's data on Aboriginal foods. Perhaps somewhere in
one of these you may find a specific comparison of wild and cultivated tubers.
Cordially,
Loren

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91/298 (1997)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: High-protein diets
From: Art De Vany
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 15:44:46 -0700
I think the stories about kidney or liver damage from high protein diets either are apocryphal or are based on
out-dated and challenged research. If so, this would coincide with what Dean said about nausea and
ketoacidosis and high protein diets.
I would like to see some of the references Dean mentioned regarding cancer and heart disease and athletic
performance.
As to peer-reviewed research, a lot of the research done in this area is of short duration and uses poor sample
design and questionable statistics. Research is always in a state of flux. That is one reason I find evolutionary
and anthropological evidence to be a good second test to apply to the laboratory research. When there is
agreement over these test modalities, you may have something. If, in addition, one can describe the
mechanisms and characterize how they operate in different subgroups of the population (insulin resistance,
and so on), then you do have something.
I can add one more data point to the sample of high protein/low carbohydrate eaters. It works for me. I eat
enormous amounts of food, probably 4000 plus calories, but the calories come only from meat, vegetables,
and fruit. I am physically active, as I imagine our ancestors were in the hunt, not in the frenetic daily routine
often prescribed to manage weight. The intermittent intensity maintains muscle mass so that I stay lean on
this diet and carry the lean body mass that might have been typical of a paleolithic ancestor.
I would be very interested in adding a discussion of activity patterns to this valuable discussion group's
topics and interests. Diet cannot be understood in the absence of and understanding of the activity patterns of
the organism.
Art De Vany

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: High Protein Diets
From: robert rosenstein
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 7 May 1997 18:16:53 -0500
In the paragraph about Stephasson, it was noted:
"It turned out that his ad libitum average caloric intake was 2, 650 calories/day of which 2, 100 calories
consisted of fat and 550 calories consisted of protein or about 79% fat & 21% protein. "
New York is not the Arctic and the amount of energy expended daily in the city - even with exercise - could
not account for the dissapation of all those calories. Do you know whether he gained a lot of weight during
this time?
robert

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: PALEODIET BOOK REVIEW
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 11:07:13 -0700
This is the review of NeanderThin in the May '97 issue of Healthy & Natural Journal. I hope my readers will
respond with a letter to the editor at the e-mail address below Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin: A
Caveman's Guide to Nutrition"

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"Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes by the age of 34, Ray Audette relates in NeanderThin he
began reading about the probable causes and concluded they, along with allergies, colitis, multiple sclerosis,
Alzheimer's, lupus, many cancers and cardiovascular diseases, as well as obesity were associated with
civilization. Cut out our overpopulated, over-poluted, over-weight civilization, he reasoned, and you'll do
away with these devastating diseases. He began eating only the foods that would be edible if he were armed
with only a sharp stick and a rock. Well, almost. Audette is really more of a supermarket hunter-gatherer. His
diet eliminates technology-dependent foods such as grains, beans, potatoes, dairy products and sugars. But
he includes store-bought meats (lots of it), fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries, all preferably eaten raw,
though again he cooks quite a bit. He's especially keen on pemmican - equal parts of dried raw meat and suet
(beef fat). He assures us that the extra animal fat will be offset by not using vegetable oils, trans-fatty acids
and dairy fats. Caveman diets are nothing new -- pun intended. Every generation has had a few exponents,
some more persuasive than others. Audette, who hail from Texas -- where else?-- sounds sincere and his
little book has some insights -- for example, he argues that we should try living closer to nature and eating
less processed foods. I might be convinced by someone who heads for the wilderness and lives only on wild
animals and plants. But to consume animals and plants which have undergone tremendous genetic changes
over the generations that they have been domesticated, and which are pumped full of chemicals, pesticides,
hormones, synthetic feeds and increasingly bio-engineered, then to call that a caveman diet is a delusion. The
basic premise is also false: the "diseases of civilization" are associated primarily with Western civilization:
Asians, for example, who eat less meat are less prone to these diseases. Animal fat is not the nutrition
equivalent of fats derived from plants. Audette's arguments that humans are innately meat eaters is
contradicted by human dentition and the human digestive system, which are not those of carnivores. His
argument that the principle cause of animal extinction is the plow not the slaughterhouse (because farmland
denies wildlife habitat is ludicrous: what do domestic animals eat (it takes 7 pounds of grain to produce one
pound of beef) and where do they roam? His choice of Neanderthals as a model is unfortunate. Neanderthals
were probably not direct ancestors of ours, but a specialized adaptation to Ice Age Europe who died out - an
evolutionary dead cul de sac. Their average lifespan was 30, meaning they would not be prone to diseases
such as Alzheimer's and many cancers; yet they still suffered from arthritis, rickets and scurvy. They were
survived in Europe by Cro-Magnon who ate a more balanced diet of plants and meats."
Review by Alain Dessaint Posted with permission of Healthy & Natural Journal

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Healthy & Natural Journal
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 15:08:57 -0700
The e-mail address for H&N Journal is
I hope you will inform them of the factual errors in their review of my book.
Ray Audette

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Ancestral exercise patterns;meso/neolithic cereal consumption; Stefansson's weight
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 17:10:00 -0600
In the last digest, Art wrote:
I would be very interested in adding a discussion of activity patterns to this valuable discussion group's
topics and interests. Diet cannot be understood in the absence of and understanding of the activity patterns of
the organism.
Art De Vany

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93/298 (1997)

Our group has writtten a paper which should appear in print shortly involving estimation of ancestral activity
patterns. I refer you to (Cordain L, Gothshall RW, Eaton SB. Evolutionary aspects of exercise. World
Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 1997;81:xx-xx). I can provide you with preprints if you directly e-mail
me. Also, I made a presentation on this topic at a National convention last month in which my co-presenter,
Dr. Jakicic presented data from his group. Enclosed is the abstract of his findings which supports Dr. De
Vany's concept of short term high intensity exercise bouts:
Jakicic JM. Wing RR. Butler BA. Robertson RJ. Prescribing exercise in multiple short bouts versus one
continuous bout: effects on adherence, cardiorespiratory fitness, and weight loss. International Journal of
Obesity & Related Metabolic Disorders 1995;19:893-901.
Abstract OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether prescribing exercise in several short-bouts versus one longbout per day would enhance exercise adherence, cardiorespiratory fitness, and weight loss in overweight
adult females in a behavioral weight control program. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that short-bouts
of exercise may enhance exercise adherence. Short-bouts of exercise may also enhance weight loss and
produce similar changes in cardiorespiratory fitness when compared to long-bouts of exercise. Thus, shortbouts of exercise may be preferred when prescribing exercise to obese adults.
Dr's Lindeberg and Millard wrote:
Andrew Millard wrote:
> We do have hunter-gathers using pottery in the Jomon culture of Japan for several thousand years,
> but not in Palaeolithic cultures (any culture which had pottery would probably not be labelled
> Palaeolithic!). The Jomon is usually considered to be similar to the Mesolithic of Europe. On the
> other hand we do have farming cultures, notably the Pre-pottery Neolithic of the Near East, where
> there is clearly massive reliance on cereal crops but no pottery in which to cook them. They
> clearly needed to cook their crops, but we have little idea of how they did it.
Could it be that they wrapped them in leaves and covered and baked them in the ground with heated stones
like for instance the Trobriand Islanders and many others traditionally did? Would this leave any traces?
Staffan Lindeberg
There are two references in the literature which suggest that early cereal consumption may have been done
by consumption of gruels & maybe even beers which perhaps were made in vessels of animal hides,
stomachs or intestines.
1. Katz SH et al. Bread and beer. The early use of cereals in the human diet. Expedition 1986;28(2):23-34.
2. Braidwood RJ. Did man once live by beer alone? Am Anthropologist 1953;55:515-526.
- Perhaps Dean could comment on the title of the last citation?
STEFANSSON'S WEIGHT:
In the paragraph about Stefansson, it was noted:
"It turned out that his ad libitum average caloric intake was 2, 650 calories/day of which 2, 100 calories
consisted of fat and 550 calories consisted of protein or about 79% fat & 21% protein. "
New York is not the Arctic and the amount of energy expended daily in the city - even with exercise - could
not account for the dissapation of all those calories. Do you know whether he gained a lot of weight during
this time?
robert
The answer to this one is a direct quote from Stefansson: "A phase of our experiment has a relation to
slimming, slenderizing, reducing: the various treatments of obesity. I was about 10 pounds overweight at the
beginning of the meat diet, by life insurance standards, and lost all of it." (Stefansson V. The Fat of the Land.
Macmillian, New York, 1960, p.84.). I believe his official body weight pre-post the one year of the all meat
diet was reported in (Lieb CW. The effect on human beings of a twelve month's exclusive meat diet. J Am
Med Assoc 1929;92:20-.).

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: High protein diets, saltiness
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 8 May 1997 23:29:37 +0100

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Case history: 59 year old man who was referred to me one month after he had been diagnosed with type 2
(non-insulin dependent) diabetes (NIDDM). Before we met he had got the advice to minimise fat intake
which he truly did to around 10 per cent of daily energy (E%) (Swedish average is 37) largely by eating
polymeric or elementary diets to which he had easy access. By use of a nutrition software that he and a
mutual friend of ours had developed he systematically explored the effects of varying proportions of CHO
and protein on weight, blood glucose (he has like most of our diabetics his own glucometer) and urinary
glucose while keeping fat intake at 10-12 E%. Before I even mentioned the ongoing discussions of high
protein intake in prudent diets he reported that the combination that helped him the best to lose weight was
45/45/10 of Prot/CHO/Fat (note that he never changed his fat intake). When CHO was increased to 70% his
blood sugar immediately went up. During the following 2 months his HbA1C (glycated hemoglobin which
reflects average blood glucose in the last 6-8 weeks) was almost normalised from 8.1% to 6.0 in 2 months.
Weight went from 115 to 102 kg, serum triglycerides from 2.1 to 0.7 mmol/L, serum cholesterol from 6.5 to
5.6 mmol/L and fasting serum insulin from 16 to 3 mU/L. We rarely succeed that well with our NIDDM
patients even if we give them antidiabetic medication (which by the way has not been shown to prevent early
death or coronary heart disease).
As for the saltiness of meat I refer to my personal experience which is that a low salt diet is easier to comply
with if it includes much meat. In April 1987 I started my life-long experiment on a no-salt everyday food
mainly based on meat, fish, tubers, fruit and nuts. During the first 8 months I made no exception and my 24
hour urinary sodium excretion was 14 mmol (most Westerners excrete 100-250). When after a couple of
months I was accustomed I experienced that meat is quite salty compared to vegetable foods, i.e. the
naturally occuring salt in meat is high as is also evident from food composition tables. There is no difference
in sodium content between wild and domesticated animals. Today heavily salted meat is virtually inedible to
me and my family.
Staffan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Detoxifying plant foods
From: Andrew Millard
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 08:53:54 +0100
> Staffan Lindeberg wrote
> Andrew Millard wrote:
> On the other hand we do have farming cultures, notably the Pre-pottery Neolithic of the Near East,
> where there is clearly massive reliance on cereal crops but no pottery in which to cook them. They
> clearly needed to cook their crops, but we have little idea of how they did it. Could it be that
> they wrapped them in leaves and covered and baked them in the ground with heated stones like for
> instance the Trobriand Islanders and many others traditionally did? Would this leave any traces?
It is possible but we are talking about the earliest towns with large numbers of people living together, and
intensively farming the surrounding area, and given that leaves are likely to be a one-use cooking vessel their
environmental impact would have been very great. This might tie in with what is known from 'Ain Ghazal
(Jordan) where from the middle Pre-pottery Neolithic B (PPNB c. 7200-6500 C14 years BP) through the late
PPNB (6500-6000 C14 BP) to PPNC (6000-5500 C14 BP) we see a decrease in the size of posts used in
construction. The houses also had c.50 sq. m of lime plaster floor each. The excavator's interpretation was
that it would have consumed 10 mature trees per floor to make the plaster, and given the keeping of
domesticated goats, trees would not have regenerated, hence there would have been deforestation. The
occupation reached its greatest density in the late PPNB, in the PPNC we see types of house implying
changes in the structure of society, and in the following Yarmoukian period occupation density was much
less. (Information from a seminar given here by Gary Rollefson last December.) But perhaps leaf use also
contributed to the deforestation?
Andrew Millard
========================================================================= Dr.
Andrew Millard Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, Tel: +44 191 374 4757 South Road,
Durham. DH1 3LE. United Kingdom. Fax: +44 191 374 3619 http://www.dur.ac.uk/~drk0arm/
=========================================================================
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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Ecosystem map reconstructions
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 10:36:48 -0400
List members may find the following a useful reference:
http://www.esd.ornl.gov/ern/qen/adams1.html
Abstract:
A set of preliminary, broad-scale ecosystem map reconstructions is presented for the world at the Last
Glacial Maximum (18, 000 14C years ago) and the early Holocene (8, 000 14C years ago), the mid Holocene
(5, 000 14C years ago) and for comparison 'present-potential' maps that may be regarded as approximating
the late Holocene vegetation distribution as it would - or might - have been without agricultural modification.
The maps were produced through consultation with an extensive network of experts and a range of literature
and map sources, with the final decision in each case made by the editors. Accompanying each regional map
is a general background text detailing the principal sources of evidence and the major uncertainties within
this.
These maps are not intended as the 'last word' on the distribution of ecosystem types at these times - they are
merely a rough attempt at appraisal of current knowledge and opinion. Nevertheless, the maps and the
accompanying literature review should provide a valuable and readily accessible source of information on
current opinion in the Quaternary community. It is also hoped that they will act as a forum for discussion on
the distribution of palaeovegetation amongst those who are working in each region.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: High Protein Diets
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 15:54:30 -0400
As someone who talks frequently with people who use high-protein, very low carbohydrate diets for health
reasons, I can say that people reporting energy and/or nausea problems quite often seem to be avoiding or
trying to cut back on fat intake, with the notion that avoiding fat will somehow help them lose weight better
or that fat will harm them somehow. This usually results in significant discomfort. The Inuit have a name for
this condition; they call it "rabbit sickness, " which is brought about from eating too much lean meat without
enough fat (in a nearly carbohydrate-free diet), which can be a problem especially during times of famine
when the game meat has become starved and has very little fat left on its body. The condition supposedly can
be fatal though I don't know if there have been any firsthand reports of this. It's always fixed by introducing
larger quantities of fat into the diet.
As for weight: Stefansson reported (see "Adventures in Diet Part 1, December 1929 Harper's Monthly) that
he had been ten pounds overweight at the start of the experiment and that these were eliminated by the end of
the experiment. During the experiment he was no more physically active than the average businessman in
New York.
There is a widespread belief that high-fat diets result in rapid weight gain but I've seen very little evidence
that the difference is all that compelling. Excess fat in the diet will convert more efficiently to body fat than
excess carbohydrate, but not very much. For example, see this abstract from the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition 1995;62:19-29:
-=-

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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine whether and by what mechanism excess dietary fat
leads to greater fat accumulation than does excess dietary carbohydrate. We overfed isoenergetic amounts
(50% above energy requirements of fat and carbohydrate for 14 days each) to nine lean and seven obese
men. A whole-room calorimeter was used to measure energy expenditure and nutrient oxidation of days 0, 1,
7, and 14 of each over feeding period. From energy and nutrient balances we extimated the amount and
composition of energy stored. Carbohydrate overfeeding produced progressive increases in carbohydrate
oxidation and total energy expenditure resulting in 75-85% of excess energy being stored. Alternative, fat
overfeeding had minimal effects on fat oxidation and total energy expenditure, leading to storage of 90-95%
of excess energy. Excess dietary fat leads to greater fat accumulation than does excess dietary carcohydrate,
and the difference was greatest early in the overfeeding period. Significant tidbits:
> Fat Mass and Fat Free Mass increased significantly with carbohydrate overfeeding and fat overfeeding.
There were no significant differences between diets and/or groups in body weight or body-composition
changes.
> Fat accumulation was initially lower and carbohydrate accumulation higher with carbohydrate than with
fat overfeeding. However, with the progressive decline in fat oxidation, fat storage increased so that on day
14 there was no difference between diets in fat or carbohydrate storage.
> Greater than 75% of the excess energy consumed by our subjects was stored in the body, not expended,
regardless of the composition of the excess. However, our results demonstrate that excess carbohydrate
affects energy and nutrient balances differently than does excess fat. We found that for equivalent amounts
of excess energy, fat leads to more body fat accumulation than does carbohydrate.
> Regardless of the composition of the overfeeding diet, obese subjects oxidized proportionally more
carbohydrate and less fat than did lean subjects
-=While the experiment showed that excessive fat in overfeeding situations leads to faster accumulation of
body fat, it also demonstrated that the difference is statistically significant but not particularly compelling. It
also showed that the difference between the two sources' storage potential narrowed as time went on; it
would have been nice to know if that trend would have continued had the experiment gone on longer. And as
the experiment was so short-term, we can't know what the long-term effects of carbohydrate-overfeeding
would have been on insulin levels over a period of months or years, which might eventually lead to greater
appetite and/or general fat accumulation than a higher fat diet would.
It can be observed empirically that some obese individuals lose weight at a steady and comfortable pace over
a period of months on very high fat, high protein, very low carbohydrate diets. So far scientific interest in
exploring this phenomenon has been sadly low.
As for Art's question:
> I would like to see some of the references Dean mentioned regarding cancer and heart disease and
> athletic performance.
I'll get back to you on that early next week, I'm a little swamped this weekend!
-=-=Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter
http://www.syndicomm.com/esmay

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: More on Fishing
From: Ron Hoggan
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 12:26:36 -0600
I'm sorry to be so long in responding to this post, but my server was down for several days.
Tue, 6 May 1997 20:53:34 -0400 Dean Esmay said:
> Perhaps their fishing tools were made from materials which are less prone to become fossilized
> than other artifacts? The cat fish can apparently be caught by spear. At Wadi Kubbaniya c
> 16.000-15 000 BC (18000 BP) The Nile flowed at higher levels than today. at this site catfish and
> other fish bones are found along with waterfowl It is thought that the catfish swam into shallows
> in the flooding and were caught in the receding waters, so I expect they could be caught by hand
> or net, too
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As a kid, my brother was much better at fishing than I was, so I figured out a way to compete. The water
level rose and fell in the bow river. So I chose a spot where the water would form pools, and be isolated
when water levels were low, but would allow fish to enter when the levels were high. I also chose a place
that was shaded by trees, as the fish seemed to prefer that.
I dug a pool deeper, and lined the perimeter with rocks that were large enough that the gaps between them
would allow the minnows and smaller fish out, but hold in fish of a size I was interested in. During the
summer, I regularly caught several fish each day, until my brother followed me so he could have access to
my secret fishing hole.
While my brother considered himself cheated, I felt that I had proven myself to be the superior fisherman. :-)
I believe that my "net" was indistinguishable to most passers-by. No trace would have been left of it after a
few months.
As an adult, I was talking with a good friend. He told me that as a child (he was from a poor immigrant
family) he had developed a similar system for catching fish, in the same river, but a few miles upstream.
I don't think that paleolithic humans would have had much difficulty catching fish in a similar manner. And
my friend's similar "inspiration" suggests to me that it was not a unique insight on my part.
Best Wishes, Ron http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/hoggan/

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: More on Fishing
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 01:29:22 +0100
So, if only one person in each group of Paleolithic humans were as intelligent as Ron Hoggan was as a boy,
:-), he/she would show his/her mates how to catch fish without leaving any traces for archaeologists.
Another possible source of bias is close to one of those Loren Cordain mentioned (see below): Could it be
that those ancestors that have been found exploited a habitat which for some reason were more likely to
become fossilized, or just happened to do so? The odds are heavily against any person or artifact becoming
fossilized AND coming up to the ground in this century AND being found before being destroyed in the
open air. However, I would expect fishing ancestors living near waters to be more likely to fall in the river
and thus be preserved, and if this is true we could actually overestimate the proportion of fishers.
As for optimal foraging theory, which according to Loren would suggest that the aquatic environment would
generally not be exploited until more easily obtained resources (i.e. large easily killed pleistocene beasts)
were depleted, I have a question: Does such theory consider our obvious urge for thrill and excitement (or
whatever made Ron go fishing although he probably didn't need it) in a habitat where only 2-3 hours per day
are needed for subsistence activities (as for contemporary hunter-gatherers)? And what would optimal
foraging theory have to say about my cat who mostly would want her mouse victims to give her much more
of a match before she eats them?
> Date: Sat, 10 May 1997 12:26:36 -0600
> From: Ron Hoggan Subject: More on Fishing
> Perhaps their fishing tools were made from materials which are less
>
> prone to become fossilized than other artifacts? The cat fish can apparently be caught by spear.
> At Wadi Kubbaniya c 16.000-15 000 BC (18000 BP) The Nile flowed at higher levels than today. at
> this site catfish and other fish bones are found along with waterfowl It is thought that the
> catfish swam into shallows in the flooding and were caught in the receding waters, so I expect
> they could be caught by hand or net, too
> As a kid, my brother was much better at fishing than I was, so I figured out a way to compete. The
> water level rose and fell in the bow river. So I chose a spot where the water would form pools,
> and be isolated when water levels were low, but would allow fish to enter when the levels were
> high. I also chose a place that was shaded by trees, as the fish seemed to prefer that. I dug a
> pool deeper, and lined the perimeter with rocks that were large enough that the gaps between them
> would allow the minnows and smaller fish out, but hold in fish of a size I was interested in.
> During the summer, I regularly caught several fish each day, until my brother followed me so he
> could have access to my secret fishing hole.
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> While my brother considered himself cheated, I felt that I had proven myself to be the superior
> fisherman. :-) I believe that my "net" was indistinguishable to most passers-by. No trace would
> have been left of it after a few months.
> As an adult, I was talking with a good friend. He told me that as a child (he was from a poor
> immigrant family) he had developed a similar system for catching fish, in the same river, but a
> few miles upstream. I don't think that paleolithic humans would have had much difficulty catching
> fish in a similar manner. And my friend's similar "inspiration" suggests to me that it was not a
> unique insight on my part.
Loren's posting: "The fossil record which is obviously incomplete generally doesnt show any evidence of
exploitation of the aquatic environment until about 35, 000 years ago. Clearly, part of the problem is that the
technologies which may have been used to capture fish: nets, lines, weirs and bone hooks likely
disintegrated. However, there should have been a record of fossilized portions (heads, tails, fins etc) of
uneaten fish parts along with other animal foods consumed in the caves and camps of our ancestors. Except
for the recent report from Africa 90, 000 years ago, there are virtually no reports showing evidence for large
scale fish consumption. The date of the African data has been challenged because of the difficulty in dating
fossils in this general time period (C14 dating only can go back about 40, 000yrs). Since humans reached
Australia by 50, 000-60, 000 yrs ago, it can be inferred that they had mastered at least somewhat
sophisticated boating/rafting procedures - it is difficult to believe that they did not exploit the creatures in the
medium in which they sailed. Also, the sites of most of the coastal dwelling people (most likely to have
consumed fish) are now under water and generally unavailable for archaeological exploration. One final
comment - optimal foraging theory would suggest that the aquatic environment would generally not be
exploited until more easily obtained resources (i.e. large easily killed pleistocene beasts) were depleted."

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: New List Announcement
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sun, 11 May 1997 12:33:16 -0400
This non-academic list for the general public may be of interest to some of our subscribers:
PALEOFOOD
This is a SUPPORT list for those interested in a Paleolithic Style Diet such as described in
"NEANDERTHIN" by Ray Audette or as prescribed as an experimental treatment for various diseases.
The principle aim of this list is to provide a discussion forum for people who feel their well being is better
served by a diet that excludes certain foods in the spirit of the Hunter-Gatherer.
Primary purpose of the list is to be a practical forum of support and information for those following a Preagriculture Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle in today's Modern World.
The List is open to everyone but list content will be mostly concerned with the lifestyle as described by Ray
Audette in NeanderThin or similar works.
It is not possible to be a Vegetarian. If you are not comfortable with red meat consumption, then this list is
not for you.
Knowledge of "low carb" diets will be beneficial (carbohydrate restricted and/or ketogenic diets) especially
if weight loss is a goal and/or for the control and management of a specific disease.
The "mood" and "tone" will be that of informational to the curious and supportively helpful to those seeking
solutions for their personal challenges.
Our goal is to make a pre-agriculture Paleolithic diet do-able in today's world by sharing ideas, knowledge
and experience.
----> The Paleolithic Diet Page What the Hunter/Gatherers Ate Information at:
http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/ Come Join us

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: High fat vs high CHO diets
From: Jennie Brand Miller
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Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 10:49:42 +1000
Last week Dean Esmay wrote: 'There is a widespread belief that high-fat diets result in rapid weight gain but
I've seen very little evidence that the difference is all that compelling. Excess fat in the diet will convert more
efficiently to body fat than excess carbohydrate, but not very much. For example, see this abstract from the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1995;62:19-29'
Yes, under controlled feeding conditions like this, there is virtually no difference between a high fat and a
high CHO diet. But the key word here is 'controlled'. Under free-living conditions it's difficult to consume a
high CHO diet in excess. For example in the above study, the extra 1000 calories as CHO versus fat would
mean consuming an extra loaf of bread a day versus a packet of peanuts. You tell me which is easier!
One of the best studies looking at BMI and the composition of the diet involved 10, 000 people in Scotland
(International J. Obesity 1994, 18: 820-828). They found the best predictor of BMI was the ratio of fat to
CHO (especially sugar) ie the BMI increased as the ratio increased. The more fat and the less sugar, the fatter
people were. It explained almost 50% of the variation in the BMI.
I think it's very interesting neither starch, or fibre, or intrinsic sugars explained as much of the variation in
BMI. (By the way they excluded the dieters from the study). Whatever way you look at it, a high CHO diet
will weigh twice as much as a high fat diet, so it's more difficult to overeat it.
Best wishes Jennie
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Cooking of cereals
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 10:59:18 +1000
Last week Staffan lindeberg wondered how they might cook cereals without pottery.
The Australian Aboriginal people might be a good example here. They had no pottery.
First they roasted the cereals (or other seeds such as acacias) in the ashes of a fire. The women would then
separate the seeds from the dirt and ashes using a highly skilled shaking action in a coolamon (a curved
wooden dish). They would then grind the seeds on a grinding stone mixing in a little water. They woould eat
the paste with their fingers or alternatively cook the paste on a hot stone to form a kind of damper.
Best wishes Jennie
PS Thanks for all your comments about high protein diets. All very interesting. But more research needed!
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Fishing and optimal foraging theory
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 11:44:00 -0600

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Staffan suggested last time that optimal foraging theory may not adequately explain modern man's desire to
go fishing. I am in complete agreement with this - last Saturday, I took my two boys out for 4 hours of lazy
fishing and didnt even get a bite. In support of my experience, Hawkes in her classic study of Ache optimal
foraging behavior (Hawkes K et al. Why hunters gather: optimal foraging and the Ache of eastern Paraguay.
Am Ethnologist 1982;9:379-398) showed that the caloric return (calories derived from the food per handling
hour) from fishing ranked 9th out the top 12 foods regularly acquired by the Ache. Hawkes notes, "why dont
Ache fish more often?. . . . .five women spent 2.25 hr each fishing a small lagoon and stream. Their returns
were neglible: less than 2 kg of fish. This seemed to be viewed more as play than foraging. . . . . 38 adults
spent 5 hr each fishing the lagoon and took about 25 kg fish. The addition of these two incidents to the
figures results in a total of 288 forager-hours for 216 kg of fish, which is 1.3 hr/kg or about 733 Cal per
forager hour. These figures suggest that the Ache fish infrequently because they do better hunting." So, it
seems that in living hunter gatherers in inland tropical situations, they have the same problems as my sons
and I had - fishing generally has a low caloric return rate. Clearly, there are exceptions to this - witness the
salmon runs utilized by Inuit and other indigenous populations living at northern latitudes and the shellfish
mounds in coastal areas - however these resources only tended to be exploited towards the end of the
pleistocene, and as previously stated, there is little evidence of regular exploitation of the aquatic
environment for most of the time hominids have existed.
Best wishes,
Loren

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: On the subject of fat
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 13:30:42 -0400
Regarding fat: I keep hoping we can talk Mary Enig into sharing some of her wisdom on this subject with us.
But in the meantime, here are some preliminary references to check out regarding the negative and/or
questionable impact of low-fat diets:
-=Jeppeson, J., et. al. Effects of low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets on risk factors for ischemic heart disease in
postmenopausal women. Shows that low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets (15% protein, 60% carbohydrate, 25%
fat) increase risk of heart disease in post-menopausal women over a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet (15%
protein, 40% carbohydrate, 45% fat). (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997;65:1027-33.)
Franceschi S et. al. Intake of macronutrients and risk of breast cancer. Lancet; 347(9012):1351-6 1996. In the
largest and most comprehensive study on diet and breast cancer to date, studying over 5, 000 women
between 1991 and 1994 showed that women with the lowest intake of dietary fat had a significantly higher
incidence of breast cancer than the women with the highest intake of dietary fat. It also found that women
with the highest intake of starch had a significantly higher incidence of breast cancer than the women with
the lowest intake of startch. The study found no evidence that saturated fat had any effect one way or the
other on breast cancer, but that unsaturated fat had a significantly protective effect against breast cancer.
"Our results do not support the recommendation of an isoenergetic high carbohydrate, low fat diet for
improving peripheral insulin action in adults with glucose intolerance ... the increase in insulin action that we
observed previously with vigorous exercise training was negated when combined with a diet high in
carbohydrates and fiber. ... The subjects in this study are at increased risk for developing NIDDM"
(American Journcal of Clinical Nutrition 1995;62:426-33)
Jorge Salmern et. al. Dietary Fiber, Glycemic Load, and Risk of Non-insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus
in Women. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1997;277:472-477. Abstract has an emphasis on
cereal fibre as a preventative against diabetes, but if you order the complete study and read carefully the
study also fully demonstrates that diets high in carbohydrate are likely to cause diabetes in women, even
independent of fibre intake, although cereal fibre intake seems to have a protective effect.

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Leibel RL. Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet
composition. Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet
composition. Even with extreme changes in the percentage of energy from fat (0% - 70%) there was no
detectable evidence of significant variation in energy need as a function of percentage fat intake. (American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1992;55;350-5)
In a study of 171 women on a two year low fat diet, maximum weight loss of 3.2 kg was reported at 6
months. By year 2 some of the weight was regained. The standard deviation was more than twice the average
weight loss. This shows that quite a few actually gained weight on the low fat diet, not counting the 13 that
dropped out of the program. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1991;54:821-8.)
In the presence of dietary carbohydrate, the preferred fuel is glucose and the capacity to mobilize fat is
limited. Factors that increase blood glucose during dieting may stimulate insulin release and all the metabolic
sequelae of circulating insulin. Fatty acid synthesis is activated and lipolysis is profoundly inhibited by
insulin even at very low concentrations of the hormone. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
1992;56:217S-23S)
Conventional wisdom holds that low fat diets improve insulin sensitivity. Unfortunately, this is true only
after an ultra-low carbohydrate diet. No changes in glucose tolerance and substrate oxidation were measured
after a high-carbohydrate low fat diet. In addition, these studies confirm a growing body of evidence that
increasing dietary carbohydrate increases plasma triglycerides and decreases plasma high-density-lipoprotein
(HDL), increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. (METABOLISM 1993:42:365-70)
The average U.S. daily fat consumption is 2.52 ounces, with 10% of males obese; the average Australian
daily fat consumption is much less, but 14% are obese. (LONGEVITY, May 1992)
Ascherio A et. al. Dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease in men: cohort follow up study in the United
States. British Medical Journal, 1996 Jul 13, 313:7049, 84-90. Study strongly suggests no link between fat
intake and heart disease in men and supports the contention that linolenic acid (a form of fat) is actually
preventative against heart disease.
Liu GC; Coulston AM; Reaven GM. Effect of high-carbohydrate-low-fat diets on plasma glucose, insulin
and lipid responses in hypertriglyceridemic humans. Metabolism, 1983 Aug, 32:8, 750-3. In which it was
shown that in humans with existing trouble with high triglycerides, low-fat high-carbohydrate diets
significantly increased metabolic risk factors for coronary artery disease.
Coulston AM; Liu GC; Reaven GM. Plasma glucose, insulin and lipid responses to high-carbohydrate lowfat diets in normal humans. Metabolism, 1983 Jan, 32:1, 52-6. In which it is shown that low-fat, high
carbohydrate diets in normal human males caused changes in insulin, TG, and HDL-cholesterol
concentrations which have been associated with an increase in incidence of coronary artery disease.
Heller, RF & Heller, RF. Hyperinsulinemic obesity and carbohydrate addiction: the missing link is the
carbohydrate frequency factor. Medical Hypotheses, 42: 5, 1994 May, 307-12. In which it is suggested that
high carbohydrate diets, especially diets in which carbohydrate intake is frequent throughout the day, has a
strong correlation with obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of medical problems.
Olefsky JM; Crapo P; Reaven GM. Postprandial plasma triglyceride and cholesterol responses to a low-fat
meal. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1976 May, 29:5, 535-9. Suggests that low-fat, highcarbohydrate meals lead to increases in plasma triglyceride levels.
Ginsberg H et. al. Induction of hypertriglyceridemia by a low-fat diet. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 1976 Apr,
42:4, 729-35. Shows low-fat high-carbohydrate diets can induce hypertriglyceridemia.
Franceschini G. et. al. Omega-3 fatty acids selectively raise high-density lipoprotein 2 levels in healthy
volunteers. Metabolism, 1991 Dec, 40:12, 1283-6. Demonstrates that high intake of fats from the Omega-3
group increase HDL cholesterol levels, which is considered protective against heart disease. Obviously it
would be difficult to eat an Omega-3 rich diet while following a traditional fat-reduced diet (especially if one
were following one of the popular American diets that has one eating 20-30 grams of fat per day.) See also
Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1991:10(6);593-601.
Laugharne JD; Mellor JE; Peet M. Fatty acids and schizophrenia. Lipids, 1996 Mar, 31 Suppl:, S163-5.
Correlation between schizophrenia and deficiencies in fats from both the n-6 and n-3 series. Supplementation
with extra fats in these groups significantly improved symptoms of schizophrenia in most patients. Analysis
of patients' diet did not suggest unusual deficiency of fats although diets higher natural intake of n-3 fatty
acids showed less severe symptomatology. The possibility that diets generally low in fat might worsen
schizophrenia or even bring on the condition among those already predisposed toward the condition is hard
to ignore.
-=-=-

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Compellingly, despite more than a decade of American diet gurus recommending low-fat diets for weight
loss, there remains no reliable study which clearly shows that low-fat diets result in long-term weight loss
among the chronically obese. Indeed, according to the USDA, Americans' fat consumption has consistently
gone down over the last 20 or so years while the American national rates of obesity have gone up at precisely
the same time. Correlation is not causation and yet it hard to jive this fact with claims that high-fat diet is the
primary cause of obesity. Some explanations have been offered to continue to support the low-fat paradigm
as a workable weight-loss diet, but none are very compelling. For example, it has been noted that Americans
also increased their daily caloric intake ate during this same period of decreased fat intake, which supposedly
explains the differences. And yet the claim of most low-fat diet advocates been that lowering fat intake
causes people to naturally eat less food. One hypothesis is that Americans have just somehow, for no
apparent reason, become more piggish and less restrained in their eating habits, although there is no rational
explanation for why this would be, especially in a period wherein Americans have become more and more
conscious of health issues and striven harder and harder to eat "healthier" (lower fat, lower cholesterol) diets
and to exercise more often. The alternate hypothesis, that lowering fat intake and raising carbohydrate intake
results in higher insulin levels which results in higher hunger and more difficulty reaching satiaty has not
been well-studied.
How all of this relates to the concept of paleolithic nutrition is hard to say, but it's quite clear from where I
stand that the health benefits of low-fat diets is becoming increasingly questionable, especially when such
diets are combined with high intake of carbohydrate and low intake of protein. It seems clear that humans did
-not- evolve to eat high-carbohydrate diets, most especially diets rich in bioavailable carbohydrate. The best
figures I've seen on the mean average intake of macronutrients (Eaton BS, Konner M, Shostak M. Stone
Agers in the Fast Lane. American Journal of Medicine 1988;84:739-749) show the average worldwide for
hunter/gatherers to be 33% protein, 46% carbohydrate, and 21% fat, with most of the carbohydrate from
high-fibre sources relatively low on the glycemic index (and thus low in bioavailability). The only
meaningful exception seems to be honey, and just how common honey intake has historically been around
the world seems unclear to me. (Jennie Brand Miller has had some neat thoughts on that so far but I'm still
unclear from her comments what we can realistically think honey contributed to the diet of most preagricultural peoples.)
There is also the issue that what current hunter/gatherers eat may be different from what our paleolithic
ancestors ate. If megafauna such as the mammoths was much higher in fat, or if historical humans ate highfat organs such as brains, tongues, etc. preferentially to the lean muscle meat of wild game, fat intake may
have been higher than what is available to most modern hunter/gatherers.
As an individual data point I can say that I know a great number of chronically obese individuals whose
weight and health was massively improved by drastic lowering of carbohydrate intake and strong increase of
intake of both fat and protein. I happen to be one of those individuals; a low-fat, high-fibre, highcarbohydrate diet gave me very low HDL cholesterol, somewhat elevated trigylcerides, and a resting heart
rate of about 92 bpm, despite 60-90 minutes of daily exercise (resistance training + aerobics), calorie control,
and strictly holding fat intake to very low levels (20-30 grams per day). Moving to a high-protein, high-fat
diet, even with less exercise and an ad libitum eating pattern (no more calorie restriction), massively
improved my HDL/LDL ratios, dropped my triglycerides, dropped my resting heart rate by about 15 bpm,
and generally improved my health, not to mention helping me to lose 25 pounds of unwanted body fat
painlessly.
This experience, along with knowing others with similar experiences, has naturally led me to be very
skeptical of the general wisdom that dietary fat is a danger to health or a primary cause of obesity. But this
also makes me more likely to be biased on the matter, so of course anything I have to say on this subject
should be taken with a grain of salt.
-=-=Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter
http://www.syndicomm.com/esmay

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Early Technology for Detoxifying Plant-Foods
From: Luc De Bry
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 15:34:58 -0700
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

103/298 (1997)

Good morning paleo-digest Readers,


Reading the Paleo-Digest of May 8-9th., my attention was attracted to what Dr. and Staffan Lindeberg wrote
about pottery, baking and cooking for detoxifying plant-foods.
AM:
> On the other hand we do have farming cultures, notably the Pre-pottery Neolithic of the Near East,
> where there is clearly massive reliance on cereal crops but no pottery in which to cook them. They
> clearly needed to cook their crops, but we have little idea of how they did it.
SL:
> Could it be that they wrapped them in leaves and covered and baked them in the ground with heated
> stones like for instance the Trobriand Islanders and many others traditionally did? Would this
> leave any traces?
AM:
> It is possible but we are talking about the earliest towns with large numbers of people living
> together, and intensively farming the surrounding area, and given that leaves are likely to be a
> one-use cooking vessel their environmental impact would have been very great. This might tie in
> with what is known from 'Ain Ghazal (Jordan) where from the middle Pre-pottery Neolithic B
> (PPNB c. 7200-6500 C14 years BP) through the late PPNB (6500-6000 C14 BP) to PPNC (6000> 5500 C14 BP) we see a decrease in the size of posts used in construction.
Not being a specialist in the History of Cooking Technologies, I am missing something here. I do not
understand this "pre-pottery" expression. How could a population rely on cereals crops without basic
cooking/detoxifying technology?
As far as I am aware, most if not all (always a few exceptions to confirm the rule) tubers and seeds (i.e.
grains and beans) must be detoxified before we can eat them safely. This implies the use of some "fire
technology" to inactivate a wide variety of anti-nutritional factors. For instance, today, that means cooking
for soybeans, baking for wheat grains, malting for barley grains, roasting for cocoa beans, etc. Yesterday, in
the abscence of this variety of technologies, it seems that grains and beans were all detoxified by grinding
them, by throwing them into water, and by cooking the mixture, the water-suspension. For instance, that is
how American Indians detoxified cocoa beans to get their original and safe "chocoatl" beverage, at the time
of C. Colombus. It's onbly in the 19th. Century that the roasting technology and chocolates were invented.
About dates : Man learnt to control and to use the fire some 700, 000 years ago. Millstones were used in
High-Egypt some 17, 000 years BC. The first cultures of cereals happened in the fertile crescent some 10,
000 years B.C. The technology to detoxify grains and beans must have existed BEFORE agriculture. Indeed,
without an ability to detoxify these poisonous foods, i.e. to cook them, there would have been no point at
developing agriculture. Thus, it seems, at least to me, but I may be wrong, that the synergy of fire technology
and cooking technology (in some kind of pot or jar, or something similar) must have been an essential prerequisite to the development of agriculture. Malting and brewing barley would have been just impossible
without adequate containers for liquid fermentation, and beer-drinking. And why would someone cultivate
barley if he cannot detoxify it?
So, shouldn't some kind of "pre-pottery" have been developed, or used-as-found, earlier than some 7, 500 BC
as mentionned in the exchange between Stefan and Andrew? Have some of you information, or references,
about the early technologies that must have been available for detoxifying plant-foods (tubers, grains and
beans), before the development of agriculture, i.e. before some 12, 000 years ago?
With anticipated thanks for you help, and kind regards to all,
Luc
-- Luc De Bry, Ph.D.; Head of Research Department; DANONE BISCUITS NORTH De BeukelaerPareinlaan 1; B-2200 Herentals - Belgium Tel. 32 (0)14 241432; Fax 32 (0)14 241025; Email : URL Site
http:/:www;danonegroup.com

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Ancient bread
From: Andrew Millard
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 09:03:12 +0100

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

104/298 (1997)

This question appeared recently on BritArch mailing list, but there was no response. Does anyone here know
anything?
Andrew Millard
On Fri, 2 May 1997 10:46:00 +0100, Althea Davies {PG} wrote:
> I recently bought some sprouted wheat bread which claims on the packaging that this is how bread
> was made thousands of years ago. The ingredients consist only of sprouted wheat grains, germinated
> in spring water. Does anyone know if this claim is true and, even better, how it is made? I hope
> this query isn't too tangential.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Early Technology for Detoxifying Plant-Foods
From: Andrew Millard
Reply-To:
Andrew Millard
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 09:25:40 +0100
Luc De Bry wrote:
> Not being a specialist in the History of Cooking Technologies, I am missing something here. I do
> not understand this "pre-pottery" expression. How could a population rely on cereals crops without
> basic cooking/detoxifying technology?
This is precisely the problem I wqas referring to: we have all the features of the Neolithic, i.e. domesticated
crops and animals, permanent settlements and even towns with 2 storey buildings, but we have no pottery.
So it is called the pre-pottery Neolithic meaning the Neolithic before pottery was invented. This period lasts
for 1500 years in some parts of Syria and Palestine. However we also know of a number of other aceramic
societies - The Neolithic and Iron Age of Ireland and the Iron Age and Early Medieval periods in Wales
appear to have been without pottery.
> About dates : Man learnt to control and to use the fire some 700, 000 years ago. Millstones were
> used in High-Egypt some 17, 000 years BC. The first cultures of cereals happened in the fertile
> crescent some 10, 000 years B.C.
Actually cultivation begins about 8000 BC / 10000 *BP*.
> The technology to detoxify grains and beans must have existed BEFORE agriculture.
Certainly. For example, we have the Natufian culture in Syria/Palestine immediately preceding the Neolithic,
with a dependence on collection of wild cereals, including grindstones
> Malting and brewing barley would have been just impossible without adequate containers for liquid
> fermentation, and beer-drinking. And why would someone cultivate barley if he cannot detoxify it?
It would be possible to ferment it in skins/stomachs as someone pointed out yesterday - and the narcotic
effect of alcohol might be sufficent reason to grow barley in small quantities. But cooking in such containers
would be more difficult.
But of course as Jennie Brand Miller wrote:
> The Australian Aboriginal people might be a good example here. They had no pottery. First they
> roasted the cereals (or other seeds such as acacias) in the ashes of a fire. The women would then
> separate the seeds from the dirt and ashes using a highly skilled shaking action in a coolamon (a
> curved wooden dish). They would then grind the seeds on a grinding stone mixing in a little water.
> They woould eat the paste with their fingers or alternatively cook the paste on a hot stone to
> form a kind of damper.
This is a possibility, but it sounds very labour intensive for an agricultural society where the main food
source may be cereals. Does anyone know of any ethnographic accounts of aceramic agricultural societies?
Andrew Millard
========================================================================= Dr.
Andrew Millard Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, Tel: +44 191 374 4757 South Road,
Durham. DH1 3LE. United Kingdom. Fax: +44 191 374 3619 http://www.dur.ac.uk/~drk0arm/
=========================================================================

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: High fat/high protein diets and ancestral feeding patterns
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

105/298 (1997)

From: Loren Cordain


Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 10:19:00 -0600
The subject of high fat/high protein diets to elicit weight loss and improve blood lipid profiles is clearly
controversial in the nutritional community. Dean has done a wonderful job in the last listing to highlight the
salient literature which supports the concept. Clearly, Reaven and the group at Stanford have strong data to
show that low fat, high carb diets tend to worsen many aspects of blood lipid profiles in both normals and in
NIDDM patients. However, to date neither they nor any other researchers that I am aware of have evaluated
extremely low carb diets or extremely high protein diets; nor have there been any experiments in which the
macronutrients (protein, fat, CHO) have been separated at each meal. The separation of macronutrients
would have been a frequent feeding pattern for pre-agricultural modern H. sapiens and perhaps the most
frequent feeding pattern for pre-modern hominids in which there is little evidence for storage of goods or
food (1). Consequently, when an animal was killed, it was entirely consumed within a 24 hr period, similar
to modern day hunter gatherers (2). Except for some stored hepatic and muscle glycogen, there is virtually no
carbohydrate in food derived from animal sources; therefore, protein and fat meals tended to be consumed
together. Carbohydrate sources came primarily from uncultivated fruits, vegetables, tubers, nuts and seeds
and tended to be consumed while they were gathered (2); consequently carbohydrates generally were
consumed separate from protein and fat. The concept of a regular sit down meal with a wide variety of foods,
both animal and plant based would have been a rare occurrance for most pre-modern hominids and many
contemporary hunter gatherers. Recent data has shown that the ubiquitious high fat, high carb meal of
western societies worsens elements of the post- prandial lipid profile more so than simple high fat meals (3,
4). Consequently, it may be that separation of macronutrients similar to our evolutionary experience may be
an effective dietary procedure to prevent some of the health shortcomings of the traditional high fat, high
carb meal of the western world. There was a series of popular diet books in the 1930's in the USA which
advocated exactly this eating pattern (5, 6). Clearly, the separation of fat from carbohydrate has many
evolutionary clues pointing in its direction for improving health, but to date there have been no clinical trials
evaluating this concept.
REFERENCES
1. Ingold T. The significance of storage in hunting societies. Man 1983;18:553-71.
2. Hawkes K et al. Why hunters gather: optimal foraging and the Ache of eastern Paraguay. Am Ethnologist
1982;9:379-98.
3. Chen IYD et al. Effect of variations in dietary fat and carbohydrate intake on postprandial lipemia in
patients with noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol 1993;76:347-51.
4. Chen IYD et al. Effect of acute variations in dietary fat and carbohydrate intake on retinyl ester content of
intestinally derived lipoproteins. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol 1992;74:28-32.
5. Hay WH. Weight control. London Harrap, 1936.
6. Hay WH. A New Health Era. Mount Pocono, PA, Pocono Haven, 1936.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Hunter gatherers -which?
From: Mavis Wood
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 10:30:42 +1200
Dear Symposium Members
There is a difficulty for me when reading the Paleodiet symposium . I wonder often whether the contributors
are referring to the diet of early hominids, in the African savannah, or, the diet of the people of the glacial
refugia in Europe circa 18 0000 when there must have been a low population and consequently a bottleneck
in the genetic inheritance of those people who have any European ancestry at all. Which may involve
American with mainly African ancestors. Thirdly I often get the impression that we are talking about
Paleoindians of the Americas. These are of course mostly derived from Asia and must have their genetic
inheritance from ice free areas of Eurasia during the maximum glacial period. the same would hold for the
inhabitants of the Pacific, Australia and New Guinea excepted.
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I have interested in the diet of the Upper Palaeolithic in South West France and Iberia since I think I have
heard that the geneticists say that most Western Europeans are descended from them. I wonder how it has
affected our inheritance in digestive functions and perhaps in resistance to parasites? I think the
Scandinavians were excluded from this population Has any one on this list any up to date information about
this(ie 1997 information)? How about the Basques, are they like the Etruscans, later?
I would like it, if I might suggest it, just to keep things tidy in my archaeological mind, if list members would
specify which hunter gatherers they are citing when talking about ancient diets and the actual material
evidence for those diets.
Incidentally I am reading a book called <Time Walkers : The prehistory of global colonization
> by Clive Gamble which brings up to date information on the debate on hominid ancestries. and is
available in paperback from Penguin (though I don't know about the USA) it is also in hardback from Alan
Sutton Stroud. UK ISBN 0-7509-0321-X
gratefully
ME Wood MA Hons Edinburgh (Prehistoric Archaeology).

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Early grains
From: Ward Nicholson
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 10:54:19 -0500
Luc De Bry wrote:
> About dates : Man learnt to control and to use the fire some 700, 000 years ago. Millstones were
> used in High-Egypt some 17, 000 years BC. The first cultures of cereals happened in the fertile
> crescent some 10, 000 years B.C.
And Andy Millard replied:
> Actually cultivation begins about 8000 BC / 10000 *BP*. The technology to detoxify grains and
> beans must have existed BEFORE agriculture. Certainly. For example, we have the Natufian culture
> in Syria/Palestine immediately preceding the Neolithic, with a dependence on collection of wild
> cereals, including grindstones
Just to clarify the dates further here. The question of control over fire is actually quite controversial, with
various estimates for earliest control ranging from 230, 000 years to 1.5 million years ago. Which figure you
take as definitive depends on which circumstantial evidence one is willing to accept as reliable, and how
critically you qualify what kind of behavior the circumstantial evidence actually signifies. Many recent
authorities do not seem to give reliable credit to any dates for control over fire much longer than about 400,
000 years ago, although that might well turn out in hindsight to be overly conserative. But nobody really
knows for sure right now. [See: James, SR (1989) "Hominid use of fire in the lower and middle Pleistocene.
A review of the evidence." Current Anthropology, 30:1-26, for the most extensive in-depth critique of known
fire-sites to that time. James will only credit 230, 000 years ago; however, there have been discoveries since
his paper that would push the date back some to around 400, 000 years, probably to the satisfaction of most
critics.]
Regarding grains: "Cultivation" is the key word regarding dating. *Wild* grains were in fact beginning to be
gathered by 17, 000 B.C. by people in the Levant (Middle East) and being ground into flour with mortar-andpestle at this time, though cultivation did not begin until considerably later as Andy states. The Natufians
were the successors to the very earliest grain-gatherers, and were themselves also gathering wild grains
intensively (also using grindstones) around 13, 000 B.C. prior to the introduction of agricultural cultivation.
[See the Smithsonian's "Timelines of the Ancient World, " 1993, ed. by Chris Scarre, New York: DorlingKinderley, pp. 56, 61, for a brief account.]
For those who have a special interest in this time period, The American Museum of Natural History has out a
beautifully produced full-color book with equal emphasis on photographs of archeological artifacts and sites,
as well as very absorbing articles understandable to the layperson, written by authorities in the field who
have authored peer-reviewed papers elsewhere. It covers the entire transition period from late Paleolithic to
Neolithic and the introduction of grains/farming. This book used to be $40 US, but has been on close-out in
recent months for $20 in our local Barnes & Noble bookstore chain. [See: "People of the Stone Age: HunterGatherers and Early Farmers" (1993) ed. by Goran Burenhult, New York: Harper-Collins.]
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

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--Ward Nicholson Wichita, KS

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: ancestral feeding patterns / food separation
From: Ward Nicholson
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 13:21:14 -0500
Loren Cordain writes:
> The separation of macronutrients would have been a frequent feeding pattern for pre-agricultural
> modern H. sapiens and perhaps the most frequent feeding pattern for pre-modern hominids in which
> there is little evidence for storage of goods or food (1). Consequently, when an animal was
> killed, it was entirely consumed within a 24 hr period, similar to modern day hunter gatherers (2
> ). Except for some stored hepatic and muscle glycogen, there is virtually no carbohydrate in food
> derived from animal sources; therefore, protein and fat meals tended to be consumed together.
Just a socio-historical note here of possible interest on the idea of food-separation:
As a one-time follower (since reformed :-)) of the so-called "Natural Hygiene" school of raw-food
vegetarianism (I attempt to follow a Paleodiet approach now based on the evolutionary evidence), I can say
that many of its practitioners to this day follow a very similar practice which they somewhat mis-name "food
combining" (since it actually focuses more on food separation than combining). Theirs is the only current
group I personally know of with actual experience intentionally doing this type of thing.
However, in their philosophy, so-called "food combining" (actually "separation of macronutrients, " as Loren
calls it) is practiced due to a belief that foods will digest and assimilate better if eaten separately, rather than
a concern for effect on lipid profiles. Many adherents report better gastrointestinal function and reduction in
gas and/or digestive distress. Anecdotal of course, but interesting nonetheless.
The theory was that different macronutrients required different types of digestive enzymes for processing,
which would conflict with or partially neutralize the effectiveness of each other when digesting different
macronutrient food types mixed together at a meal. However, the Natural Hygienists never could point to
any documented evidence to support the practice other than ideas from musty physiology textbooks on
digestion that were decades old, and some, though not all, modern practitioners are beginning to abandon the
practice. It would be interesting, though, if the practice were to be found beneficial for the differing reasons
Loren cites.
Also, in direct opposition to what would have occurred during evolution, their belief has been that fats and
proteins should *not* be eaten together (for some kind of poorly-digested-that-way reason I don't recall). Of
course, this view doesn't square well with the evolutionary situation, where fats and proteins would have
been eaten together often since they occur naturally in foods like nuts and flesh. Another idea, among others,
in their food-combining philosophy were that fruits should be eaten alone and generally not combined with
protein foods. (This does happen to gibe with Loren's observation that carbs would not tend to have been
eaten together with proteins in Paleolithic times.)
Anyway, these observations are just to offer some additional food for thought and add to Loren's initial
observation out that the idea of food separation has been around for quite awhile (actually, it still is) in other
forms.
> There was a series of popular diet books in the 1930's in the USA which advocated exactly this
> eating pattern (5, 6). 5. Hay WH. Weight control. London Harrap, 1936. 6. Hay WH. A New Health
> Era. Mount Pocono, PA, Pocono Haven, 1936.
I checked the standard N.H. text on food-combining (the rather musty-by-now "Food Combining Made Easy,
" by Herbert Shelton from 1951, Natural Hygiene Press: Tampa, FL), but they do not mention Hay, so this
makes the historical notes even more interesting. (Instead they mention Howell's "Textbook of Physiology"
and McLeod's "Physiology in Modern Medicine" as sources, both probably out-of-print, and neither one of
which are footnoted so that they could be traced easily.)
--Ward Nicholson

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Ancient bread
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

108/298 (1997)

From: Al Davis
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 19:58:02 -0400
> Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 09:03:12 +0100
> From: Andrew Millard Subject: Ancient bread
> This question appeared recently on BritArch mailing list, but there was no response. Does anyone
> here know anything? I recently bought some sprouted wheat bread which claims on the packaging
> that this is how bread was made thousands of years ago. The ingredients consist only of sprouted
> wheat grains, germinated in spring water. Does anyone know if this claim is true and, even better,
> how it is made? I hope this query isn't too tangential.
This sounds like what is usually sold as Essene Bread in the U.S. I have read descriptions of how is was
supposed to have been made by the ancient Essenes who lived in the deserts of the Middle East during and
before the time of Christ.
As I recall, the wheat berries were soaked in water until they swelled and then were kept moist until they
sprouted. When the sprouts were about the length of the berry, they would be crushed and ground for bread.
Sprouting releases enzymes which convert the starch in the berry to sugar and so the mash would be quite
sweet and would readily support the growth of naturally ocurring yeast which abounds everywhere. This
would cause the loaves to rise, somewhat. When they were ready, the loaves were placed on rocks in the
desert sun to bake. I don't recall if they mixed oil with the dough or not. I suspect they would have done so,
as sprouted wheat mash is very gummy and hard to handle, otherwise, and would have stuck to the rock and
become dry and hard as a brick without oil.(This is an educated guess, as I've not tried it, although I have
used sprouted wheat in baking and experimented with making malt (sprouted barley).
Maybe not too tangential. It could be accomplished with only rocks, and animal fat under very primitive
conditions, assuming suitable grass seeds were available. Hope this is helpful.
Al Davis

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Hunter gatherers -which?
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 01:13:51 +0100
Dear Mavis,
You wonder what diet we mainly refer to as the Paleolithic one. As for myself, 1) I want to know about the
diet(s) to which all humans as a group are genetically adapted. That would be the one(s) that (hominids and)
Homo, especially anatomically modern humans, had access to during evolution. Which would mean foods
available on the African savannah (and other habitats?) up to around 100, 000 years BP. When I do not
specify, this is the diet(s) I refer to. 2) I also want to consider the (obviously rather small) differences
between specific ethnic groups like for instance Caucasians and others as to the resistance to western dietary
habits and/or the possibility of one diet being optimal for some pre-agricultural populations but not for others
(which I principally doubt). A beautiful paper on resistance to western diet is (Allen JS, Cheer SM. The NonThrifty Genotype. Current Anthropology 1996; 37: 831-42). John Allen, one of the authors, subscribes to this
list.
Best wishes
Staffan
> Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 10:30:42 +1200
> From: Mavis Wood Subject: Hunter gatherers -which?
> Dear Symposium Members
> There is a difficulty for me when reading the Paleodiet symposium . I wonder often whether the
> contributors are referring to the diet of early hominids, in the African savannah, or, the diet
> of the people of the glacial refugia in Europe circa 18 0000 when there must have been a low
> population and consequently a bottleneck in the genetic inheritance of those people who have any
> European ancestry at all. Which may involve American with mainly African ancestors. Thirdly I
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

109/298 (1997)

> often get the impression that we are talking about Paleoindians of the Americas. These are of
> course mostly derived from Asia and must have their genetic inheritance from ice free areas of
> Eurasia during the maximum glacial period.
> The same would hold for the inhabitants of the Pacific, Australia and New Guinea excepted. I have
> interested in the diet of the Upper Palaeolithic in South West France and Iberia since I think I
> have heard that the geneticists say that most Western Europeans are descended from them. I wonder
> how it has affected our inheritance in digestive functions and perhaps in resistance to parasites?
> I think the Scandinavians were excluded from this population Has any one on this list any up to
> date information about this(ie 1997 information)? How about the Basques, are they like the
> Etruscans, later?
> I would like it, if I might suggest it, just to keep things tidy in my archaeological mind, if
> list members would specify which hunter gatherers they are citing when talking about ancient diets
> and the actual material evidence for those diets.
> Incidentally I am reading a book called <Time Walkers : The prehistory of global colonization by
> Clive Gamble which brings up to date information on the debate on hominid ancestries. and is
> available in paperback from Penguin (though I don't know about the USA) it is also in hardback
> from Alan Sutton Stroud. UK ISBN 0-7509-0321-X gratefully ME Wood MA Hons Edinburgh
(Prehistoric Archaeology).
> -----------------------------> Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 09:03:12 +0100
> From: Andrew Millard Subject: Ancient bread
> This question appeared recently on BritArch mailing list, but there was no
> response. Does anyone here know anything?
> Andrew Millard
> On Fri, 2 May 1997 10:46:00 +0100, Althea Davies {PG}
> wrote:
> I recently bought some sprouted wheat bread which claims on the packaging that this is how bread
> was made thousands of years ago. The ingredients consist only of sprouted wheat grains, germinated
> in spring water. Does anyone know if this claim is true and, even better, how it is made? I hope
> this query isn't too tangential.
> -----------------------------> Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 09:25:40 +0100
> From: Andrew Millard Subject: Early Technology for Detoxifying Plant-Foods
> Luc De Bry wrote:
> Not being a specialist in the History of Cooking Technologies, I am missing something here. I do
> not understand this "pre-pottery" expression. How could a population rely on cereals crops without
> basic cooking/detoxifying technology?
> This is precisely the problem I wqas referring to: we have all the features of the Neolithic, i.e.
> domesticated crops and animals, permanent settlements and even towns with 2 storey buildings, but
> we have no pottery. So it is called the pre-pottery Neolithic meaning the Neolithic before pottery
> was invented. This period lasts for 1500 years in some parts of Syria and Palestine. However we
> also know of a number of other aceramic societies - The Neolithic and Iron Age of Ireland and the
> Iron Age and Early Medieval periods in Wales appear to have been without pottery.
> About dates : Man learnt to control and to use the fire some 700, 000 years ago. Millstones were
> used in High-Egypt some 17, 000 years BC. The first cultures of cereals happened in the fertile
> crescent some 10, 000 years B.C. Actually cultivation begins about 8000 BC / 10000 *BP*. The
> technology to detoxify grains and beans must have existed BEFORE agriculture. Certainly. For
> example, we have the Natufian culture in Syria/Palestine immediately preceding the Neolithic, with
> a dependence on collection of wild cereals, including grindstones
> Malting and brewing barley would have been just impossible without adequate containers for liquid
> fermentation, and beer-drinking. And why would someone cultivate barley if he cannot detoxify it?
> It would be possible to ferment it in skins/stomachs as someone pointed out yesterday - and the
> narcotic effect of alcohol might be sufficent reason to grow barley in small quantities. But
> cooking in such containers would be more difficult.
> But of course as Jennie Brand Miller wrote:
> The Australian Aboriginal people might be a good example here. They had no pottery. First they
> roasted the cereals (or other seeds such as acacias) in the ashes of a fire. The women would then
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> separate the seeds from the dirt and ashes using a highly skilled shaking action in a coolamon (a
> curved wooden dish). They would then grind the seeds on a grinding stone mixing in a little water.
> They woould eat the paste with their fingers or alternatively cook the paste on a hot stone to
> form a kind of damper. This is a possibility, but it sounds very labour intensive for an
> agricultural society where the main food source may be cereals. Does anyone know of any
> ethnographic accounts of aceramic agricultural societies?
> Andrew Millard
> ==========================================================================
> Dr. Andrew Millard
> Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, Tel: +44 191 374 4757
> South Road, Durham. DH1 3LE. United Kingdom. Fax: +44 191 374 3619
> http://www.dur.ac.uk/~drk0arm/
> ==========================================================================
> -----------------------------> Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 10:19:00 -0600
> From: Loren Cordain Subject: High fat/high protein diets and ancestral feeding patterns
> The subject of high fat/high protein diets to elicit weight loss and improve blood lipid profiles
> is clearly controversial in the nutritional community. Dean has done a wonderful job in the last
> listing to highlight the salient literature which supports the concept. Clearly, Reaven and the
> group at Stanford have strong data to show that low fat, high carb diets tend to worsen many
> aspects of blood lipid profiles in both normals and in NIDDM patients. However, to date neither
> they nor any other researchers that I am aware of have evaluated extremely low carb diets or
> extremely high protein diets; nor have there been any experiments in which the macronutrients
> (protein, fat, CHO) have been separated at each meal.
> The separation of macronutrients would have been a frequent feeding pattern for pre-agricultural
> modern H. sapiens and perhaps the most frequent feeding pattern for pre-modern hominids in which
> there is little evidence for storage of goods or food (1). Consequently, when an animal was
> killed, it was entirely consumed within a 24 hr period, similar to modern day hunter gatherers (2
> ). Except for some stored hepatic and muscle glycogen, there is virtually no carbohydrate in food
> derived from animal sources; therefore, protein and fat meals tended to be consumed together.
> Carbohydrate sources came primarily from uncultivated fruits, vegetables, tubers, nuts and seeds
> and tended to be consumed while they were gathered (2); consequently carbohydrates generally were
> consumed separate from protein and fat. The concept of a regular sit down meal with a wide variety
> of foods, both animal and plant based would have been a rare occurrance for most pre-modern
> hominids and many contemporary hunter gatherers.
> Recent data has shown that the ubiquitious high fat, high carb meal of western societies worsens
> elements of the post- prandial lipid profile more so than simple high fat meals (3, 4).
> Consequently, it may be that separation of macronutrients similar to our evolutionary experience
> may be an effective dietary procedure to prevent some of the health shortcomings of the
> traditional high fat, high carb meal of the western world. There was a series of popular diet
> books in the 1930's in the USA which advocated exactly this eating pattern (5, 6). Clearly, the
> separation of fat from carbohydrate has many evolutionary clues pointing in its direction for
> improving health, but to date there have been no clinical trials evaluating this concept.
> REFERENCES
> 1. Ingold T. The significance of storage in hunting societies. Man
> 1983;18:553-71.
> 2. Hawkes K et al. Why hunters gather: optimal foraging and the Ache
> of eastern Paraguay. Am Ethnologist 1982;9:379-98.
> 3. Chen IYD et al. Effect of variations in dietary fat and
> carbohydrate intake on postprandial lipemia in patients with noninsulin
> dependent diabetes mellitus. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol 1993;76:347-51.
> 4. Chen IYD et al. Effect of acute variations in dietary fat and
> carbohydrate intake on retinyl ester content of intestinally derived
> lipoproteins. J Clin Endocrinol Metabol 1992;74:28-32.
> 5. Hay WH. Weight control. London Harrap, 1936.
> 6. Hay WH. A New Health Era. Mount Pocono, PA, Pocono Haven, 1936.
> -----------------------------Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

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> End of PALEODIET Digest - 12 May 1997 to 13 May 1997


> ****************************************************
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Noodling
From: Becky Johnson
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 08:26:45 -0500
Large catfish can be caught by hand by a technique called "noodling". The noodler wades in the river along
the bank, feeling for holes in the bank. When one is found, the noodler may block the entrance with his/her
knee to prevent escape of the fish. Then the noodler reaches into the hole and grabs the catfish by the gills
and hauls it out. Of course part of the challenge is not to get jabbed by the fish's spines. Like rattlesnake
hunts, results of noodling competitions are occasionally published in newspapers in the southern U.S.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Early Technology for Detoxifying Plant-Foods
From: Sarah Mason
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 09:49:19 +0000
Andrew Millard suggests skins/stomachs mnay have been used for fermenting grains, but suggests that:
> cooking in such containers would be more difficult. He also questions Jennie Brand Miller's
> suggestion of cooking 'dampers' as being a possibility, but it sounds very labour intensive for an
> agricultural society where the main food source may be cereals. Does anyone know of any
> ethnographic accounts of aceramic agricultural societies?
Not 'agricultural' societies, but some of the cooking technologies utilised by Native Californians may be
instructive - many seeds of both wild grasses and other plants were gathered and processed and cooked to
make 'pinole'. Chesnut [Chesnut, V.K. 1974. Plants Used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California.
First published (1902) in Contributions from the U.S. National Herbarium Vol. VII. Ukiah, California:
Mendocino County Historical Society.] for example describes (p. 312) this for the European introduction
Avena fatua (a form of wild oat) - the seeds gathered then parched in a shallow basket with live coals, before
grinding in a mortar. The flour was then eaten, usually dry. However, pinole could be mixed with water and
cooked by the process of stone-boiling, in tightly-woven baskets - stones heated in a fire added to the basket
and stirred to prevent burning. This method was used especially to cook acorn flour - containers such as
skins/stomachs or wooden bowls/hollowed-out logs, even clay-lined holes in the ground, etc could readily
substitute here. Acorn flour mixed with water was also cooked as a 'bread' by wrapping in leaves and
cooking in an earth oven (fire pit lined with rocks which heat up, fire removed and food added, pit covered
and left to cook for several hours/overnight, etc). So, there are plenty of potential non-pottery cooking
technologies - and the acorn soup or mush cooked by stone-boiling was a major staple, so presumably the
benefits outweighed any problems of labour-intensiveness. It is also possible to use some materials, such as
birch-bark containers, for cooking directly on a fire - the container will not burn as long as it contains water.
Sarah Mason Human Environment Section email: Institute of Archaeology, UCL Tel: +44 (0)171 387 7050 x
4757 31-34 Gordon Square Fax: +44 (0)171 383 2572 London, WC1H 0PY, UK

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Early Technology for Detoxifying Plant-Foods
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From: ann
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 09:51:15 +0000
That pottery is not a prerequisite for plant food preparation is demonstrated currently in Ethiopia, for
instance. As I have observed, pottery in a home in the Highlands may be confined to a single water jar
(indeed often even this has been replaced by a plastic jerry can). Ground grains (teff preferably, but also
sorghum, wheat, pulses etc) are mixed with water and fermented in a container (basketry, stone, gourd,
wood, skin.... will do), the resultant batter is baked on a hot plate (flat surface of stone or clay) over a fire, to
make the bread "injera". The toxic seeds of grasspea are detoxified by being soaked in hot water (again any
container will do), dried, roasted (hot plate as before) and hulled, ground, spiced, mixed to a paste with water
and used as a sauce - no pots. Water, of course, may be heated in many containers other than pots, on or off
the heat source.
In many societies worldwide, pulses (esp. chickpea) and other grains are prepared by short roasting over a
fire, not only as snack food or as rations for travelling, but also as a staple.
Cheers, Ann

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Magazine Article
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 11:05:09 -0700
Psychology Today May/June '97 has a piece tittled "Caveman Diet"(pg. 18) outlining the work of Loren
Cordain and S.Boyd Eaton MD.
No mention of me but a nice piece never the less! Congrats guys!
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin:A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://ww.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Lancet Article
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 12:02:35 -0700
From a Wall Street Journal article abstracting a recent Lancet Study:
"Diseases of affluence" such as heart disease and strokes are killing more people in the developing world
than in richer richer countries........
By 1990, therefore there were already 50% more cancer deaths in less developed countries than in developed
countries........
Dr. Christopher Murry. Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies Alan Lopez, World Health
Orginization
I feel this study dispells the myth that these disorders are found mostly in our decadent western societies (see
NeanderThin review).
It also, I feel, shows the benifits of a more paleolithic modern diet made possible by advanced transportation
methods and refridgeration. In examining historic life spans these seem to have a larger statistical effect than
even medical advances.
I also feel, high rates of these "diseases of civilization" should be seen in any primate species fed a
technolgy-dependent diet. As most lab primates are fed Purina Monkey Chow, I wonder if anyone has
looked at their disease rates (do they last that long?).
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin:A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: International Symposium
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 14:32:00 -0600
I just received a message indicating that at the upcoming XIV International Congress of Anthropological and
Ethnological Sciences there will be a symposium entitled "The Origins and Evolution of Human Diet".
Sounds interesting - I dont know where this Conference is to be held or even when, however the contact
person is: Dr. Peter S. Ungar, Department of Anthropology, University of ARkansas, Fayetteville AR 72701,
Tel 501-575-6361 (email:). Perhaps we could invite the organizer of the symposium to join our group.
Cordially,
Loren

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: detoxifying plant foods
From: "Kristen J. Gremillion"
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 13:00:11 -0400
Hello, everyone. I am new to the list and new to posting on the Internet so please excuse any breaches of
etiquette.
> On 12 May 1997, Luc De Bry wrote:
> As far as I am aware, most if not all (always a few exceptions to confirm the rule) tubers and
> seeds (i.e. grains and beans) must be detoxified before we can eat them safely. This implies the
> use of some "fire technology" to inactivate a wide variety of anti-nutritional factors.
Many, perhaps most, wild plant seeds, fruits, and tubers contain secondary compounds that are either
unpalatable or toxic to humans. Processing methods and/or selection under domestication are effective ways
to eliminate or reduce these toxins. However, many wild seeds and fruits are quite edible when eaten raw
(although perhaps not especially palatable or nutritious). For example, coprolites from Salts Cave and
Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, USA dating to ca. 300-600 B.C. contain remains of seed coats and pericarps of
Iva annua, Helianthus annuus, and Chenopodium berlandieri that show not obvious evidence of processing. I
certainly agree that effective processing techniques were (and remain) a crucial aspect of human dietary
adaptation (beginning well before the advent of food production), but I'm not sure that safety is always the
key factor. Nutrient extraction may be more important in many cases, e.g. with grass seeds.
So, shouldn't some kind of "pre-pottery" have been developed, or used-as-found, earlier than some 7, 500 BC
as mentionned in the exchange between Stefan and Andrew? Have some of you information, or references,
about the early technologies that must have been available for detoxifying plant-foods
(tubers, grains and beans), before the development of agriculture, i.e. before some 12, 000 years ago?

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I suspect that pottery greatly increases the efficiency of detoxifying & general cooking technology,
particularly if it is able to withstand direct heating (see for example Braun, D, 1987, "Coevolution of
sedentism, pottery technology, and horticulture in the central Midwest, 200 BC-AD 600" in W Keegan ed.
*Emergent horticultural economies of the Eastern Woodlands*, pp. 153-182, So. Illinois University at
Carbondale, Center for Arch. Investigations, Occasional Paper No. 7). However, there are a variety of
methods potentially available to traditional chemists who lack pottery. For example, California Indians
detoxified acorns by burying them in leaching pits. Manioc can be freed of cyanogenic glycosides by grating
and then exposure to air. Ingestion of clay may act to neutralize glycoalkaloids in tubers such as potatoes, as
suggested by Timothy Johns. His article, "A chemical-ecological model of root and tuber domestication in
the Andes" (in DR Harris and GC Hillman, eds., *Foraging and farming: the evolution of plant exploitation*,
Unwin Hyman, London, 1989, pp. 504-519), deals with this subject in detail. He remarks that although
cereals and legumes are made edible by heating, "generally speaking, non-seed foods such as roots and
tubers are characterized by non-protein secondary compounds, many of which are not destroyed by cooking"
(p. 505). He also proposes that sophisticated detoxifying methods may actually postdate the beginnings of
agriculture because they rely on a long period of association with particular species. Geophagy may
represent an earlier method.
Johns also has pointed out that retention of some secondary compounds in the diet is quite common and may
well be beneficial ("Ambivalence to the palatability factors in wild food plants", in *Eating on the wild
side*, ed. by N Etkin, pp. 46-61, U. of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1994)
Another very useful source is Stahl, A, "Plant food processing: implications for dietary quality", in Harris
and Hillman ed. (see above), pp. 171-194.
I look forward to learning more about the effects of plant processing on nutritional quality and
toxicity/palatability. I don't know of much archaeological evidence for pre-pottery detoxification, though
evidence of cooking (e.g., roasting pits) is quite common, at least here in North America.
cheers,
Kris Gremillion
*********************************
Kristen J. Gremillion Department of Anthropology Ohio State University 244 Lord Hall, 124 W. 17th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio, 43210 USA
*********************************

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Adaptation to one diet?
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 01:15:31 -0400
It seems to me that among the companion animals I have known (dogs, cats, ferrets, etc.), an awful lot of
them grow rather fat, and some I've encountered are really quite ridiculously fat. That, too, should be looked
at in addition to diabetes. I would certainly be interested in hearing about any data on either subject.
I'm not sure it would make sense to assume that all humans today should eat a certain diet just because our
paleolithic ancestors ate it. After all, it's been some 10, 000 years or more since the advent of agriculture, and
some adaptation has probably occurred since then. Yet we know that some groups have been eating highcarbohydrate, low-protein diets for considerable longer than others; my own Midwestern American Indian
(Miami tribe) and English, Irish, and French ancestors have been farmers a considerably shorter period of
time than the Chinese or the Indians, for example. I'm lactose-tolerant but my wife is definitely not. It seems
very clear to me that trying to find any one dietary method or protocol that universally applies to all humans
is to search for the golden fleece. And yet it seems equally clear that much can be learned from the dietary
habits of our ancestors.
Perhaps others will have more to say on this subject than I can, including offering some references that I
can't.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Lancet Article
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From: Andrew Millard


Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 09:04:54 +0100
Ray Audette wrote:
> From a Wall Street Journal article abstracting a recent Lancet Study: "Diseases of affluence" such
> as heart disease and strokes are killing more people in the developing world than in richer richer
> countries........ By 1990, therefore there were already 50% more cancer deaths in less developed
> countries than in developed countries........ I feel this study dispells the myth that these
> disorders are found mostly in our decadent western societies (see NeanderThin review).
These facts do not surprise me. The population of the developing world is so much greater than the richer
countries (especially if the latter is narrowly defined) that to have more deaths of any disease in the former is
not unlikely. I would guess there are more deaths of AIDS, cholera, TB, and other causes unrelated to diet,
even road accidents, in the developing world. What is of more interest is the proportion of deaths in the
different parts of the world, and if we are to make inferences about diet we must allow for the better medical
facilities in the richer world - I expect the prevalence of, say, breast cancer is similar but the mortality is
higher in the developing world, simply from lack of treatment.
Andrew Millard
========================================================================= Dr.
Andrew Millard Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, Tel: +44 191 374 4757 South Road,
Durham. DH1 3LE. United Kingdom. Fax: +44 191 374 3619 http://www.dur.ac.uk/~drk0arm/
=========================================================================

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Adaptation to one diet?
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 10:56:24 +1000
It seems that many of us believe that animals and human beigns have evolved on one sort of diet and it's best
that we stick to the composition of that diet.
I wonder then, if there been much work on cats and dogs. They evolved as carnivores and carbs would have
been a very small component of their diet. But these days all the dry cat/dog food contains lots of
carbohydrate, up to 60%. I know there are a few fat cats around and some develop diabetes but has this been
connected to the high CHO diets. I think we can learn alot from the knowledge/experience of the animal
nutritionists. Can anyone comment?
Best wishes Jennie

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Plant Food
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 16 May 1997 12:00:37 -0400
Another report from one of our lurking members:
For those interested in ancient plant food remains, and the digestion, a very good survey of work from
Palaeolithic to Date: Gordon Hillman: Plant foods in Ancient Diet: the Archaeological Role of Palaeofaeces
in General and Lindow Mans's Gut Contents in Particular pp 99-116. In <Lindow Man, the Body in Bog
> British Museum Publications 1986 ISBN 0-7141-1386-7 (Gordon Hillman of the Institute of
Archaeology .UCL London)
also related papers in the same book:

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Timothy G Holden: Preliminary Report on the Detailed Analyses of the Macroscopic Remains from the Gut
of Lindow Man: pp 116-126
Robert G Scaife: Pollen in Human Palaeofaeces; and the Preliminary Investigation of the Stomach and Gut
Contents of Lindow Man.: pp 126-136
Don Robins Keith Sales Duro Oduwole Tim Holden Gordon Hillman Postscript: Last Minute Results from
ESR Spectroscopy Concerning the Cooking of Lindow Man's Last Meal.: pp 140-143
< thanks to Staffan Lindberg for his note in the Paleodiet digest. I really think he should read the <Time
Walkers > book. Things are moving relatively fast in paleoanthropology especially re Homo Sapiens (I
mean they are not moving at glacial speeds the way they did for years :-)) Clive Gamble has worked on the
paleolithic development of hominids with Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum London. He is
located at Southampton University. It seems that many sites where it was presumed that man had hunted
animals and butchered them are now seen as places where the poor things were instead eaten by carnivorous
animals along with the other prey. This means that a lot of work on paleolithic diet will have to be rethought
if this is true.
>

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Rethinking Paleodiet
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 00:22:11 -0700
To fully grasp what humans were designed to eat is easy. Simply limit your technology to that which comes
naturally without any technology(naked with a sharp stick or rock) and eat accordingly. You will find that
you will eat only those things edible to any Primate in a similar state. All primates eat meat (insects and other
animals), raw fruits, raw vegetables, nuts and berries. Without technology, no primate can utilize grains,
beans, potatoes, other species milk or refined sugars or vegetable oils. Because of your hominid lateraly
asymetric brain, you have an inherent ability to aim and thus kill more animals than your monkey cousins
who lack this skill. This skill added to your bipedal gait and super efficient cooling system (lack of fur and
unique perspiration system)make you the most efficent hunter on earth (lions never attack elephants, but
pigmies do!). Because of your hominid short lower intestine, you can rely less on plant materials than any
other primate and will crave fatty meat as it is the highest energy food available to you.
This method is more reliable than fosil evidence. Get it wrong and you don't feel well! This method does not
depend on what your culture taught you or where on earth you find yourself.
Hunter-gather cultures lived closer to this ideal than any modern people. Their epidemeological data alone
are enough to support my decision to live this way (over 12 years).
Ray Audette Author"NeanderThin:A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander
> It seems that many sites where it was presumed that man had hunted animals and butchered them are
> now seen as places where the poor things were instead eaten by carnivorous animals along with the
> other prey. This means that a lot of work on paleolithic diet will have to be rethought if this is true.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Lancet Article
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 08:49:05 +0100
At 09.04 97-05-16, Andrew Millard wrote:
> "Diseases of affluence" such as heart disease and strokes are killing more people in the
> developing world than in richer countries........ By 1990, therefore there were already 50% more
> cancer deaths in less developed countries than in developed countries........ I feel this study
> dispells the myth that these disorders are found mostly in our decadent western societies (see
> NeanderThin review). These facts do not surprise me. The population of the developing world is so
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> much greater than the richer countries (especially if the latter is narrowly defined) that to have
> more deaths of any disease in the former is not unlikely. ... What is of more interest is the
> proportion of deaths in the different parts of the world, ...
In developing countries there is an emerging epidemic of cardiovascular disease which in many parts now
outnumber infectious and parasitic disease [5]. In 1993 some two-thirds of the estimated 14 million annual
cardiovascular disease deaths occured in the developing world [6]. The progressive aging of populations,
better medical facilities and the decline in infectious disease are only partial explanations for this trend, and
several studies strongly indicate that urbanization plays an important role [7, 9-17]. It is also well known that
urbanization, irrespective of ethnic origin of a population, leads to an increased mean level of blood pressure
[13, 44, 57, 58, 75, 81, 91, 93, 100, 101, 138-150] and body mass index [12, 13, 47, 57, 58, 81, 105, 139,
142, 146-148, 150-154], and that both of these cardiovascular risk factors only then start to increase with
age.
Substantial evidence indicates that most cases of cancer are caused by environmental factors (Doll R, Peto T.
The causes of cancer: Quantitative estimates of avoidable risks of cancer in the United States today. J Natl
Cancer Inst 1981; 66: 1192-1308), and the Swedish Cancer Committee has suggested that the proportion is
more than 80 per cent. The incidence rates of many cancers differ tenfold, and sometimes hundredfold,
between different countries in the world (Muir C, Waterhouse J et al. Cancer incidence in five continents.
IARC Sci Publ 1987; no 88).
The question is not if but how much atherosclerotic heart disease and cancer can be prevented.
Best regards, Staffan
5. Beaglehole R. Cardiovascular disease in developing countries. An epidemic that can be prevented. BMJ
1992; 305: 1170-1. 6. Report WD. Investing in health.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993 7. Kevau IH.
Cardiology in Papua New Guinea in the twenty-first century [editorial]. P N G Med J 1990; 33: 271-4. 9.
King H. The epidemiology of diabetes mellitus in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific: adverse consequences
of natural selection in the face of sociocultural change. In: Attenborough RD, Alpers MP, ed. Human
Biology in Papua New Guinea. The Small Cosmos. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992: 363-72.

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10. Vaughan JP. A review of cardiovascular diseases in developing countries. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 1978;
72: 101-9. 11. Sinnett PF, Kevau IH, Tyson D. Social change and the emergence of degenerative
cardiovascular disease in Papua New Guinea. In: Attenborough RD, Alpers MP, ed. Human Biology in
Papua New Guinea. The Small Cosmos. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992: 373-86. 12. Zimmet P.
Epidemiology of diabetes and its macrovascular manifestations in Pacific populations: the medical effects of
social progress. Diabetes Care 1979; 2: 144-53. 44. Gee RW. The epidemiology of hypertension in the South
Pacific. P N G Med J 1983; 26: 55-8. 47. Prior IA. Cardiovascular epidemiology in New Zealand and the
Pacific. N Z Med J 1974; 80: 245-52. 57. Eason RJ, Pada J, Wallace R, Henry A, Thornton R. Changing
patterns of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and diet among Melanesians and Micronesians in the Solomon
Islands. Med J Aust 1987; 146: 465-9. 58. Taylor R, Bennett P, Uili R, et al. Hypertension and indicators of
coronary heart disease in Wallis Polynesians: an urban-rural comparison. Eur J Epidemiol 1987; 3: 247-56.
75. Shaper AG. Cardiovascular disease in the tropics. IV. Coronary heart disease. B M J 1972; 4: 32-5. 81.
Trowell HC, Burkitt DP, ed. Western diseases: their emergence and prevention. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard
University Press, 1981: 91. Kean BH, Hamill JF. Anthropology of arterial tension. Arch Intern Med 1949;
83: 355-62. 93. Lowenstein FH. Blood-pressure in relation to age and sex in the tropics and subtropics. A
review of the literature and an investigation in two tribes of Brazil Indians. Lancet 1961; i: 389-92. 100. Prior
IAM, Stanhope JM. Blood pressure patterns, salt use and migration in the Pacific. In: Kesteloot H, Joosens
JV, ed. Epidemiology of Arterial Blood Pressure. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1980: 243-62. 101. James
GD, Baker PT. Human Population Biology and Hypertension: Evolutionary and Ecological Aspects of Blood
Pressure. In: Laragh JH, Brenner BM, ed. Hypertension: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management.
New York: Raven Press, Ltd, 1990: 137-145. 105. Mann GV. The serum lipoprotein and cholesterol
concentrations of Central and North Americans with different dietary habits. Am J Med 1955; 19: 25. 138.
Maddocks I. Dietary factors in the genesis of hypertension. In: Mills CF, Passmore R, ed. Proceedings of the
Sixth International Congress of Nutrition. Edinburgh: Livingstone, 1964: 137-47. 139. Walker ARP.
Overweight and hypertension in emerging populations. Am Heart J 1964; 68: 581-5. 140. Cruz-Coke R,
Etcheverry R, Nagel R. Influence of migration on blood pressure of Easter Islanders. Lancet 1964; i: 697-9.
141. Miall WE, Del CE, Fodor J, et al. Longitudinal study of heart disease in a Jamaican rural population. I.
Prevalence, with special reference to ECG findings. Bull World Health Organ 1972; 46: 429-41. 142.
Edwards FM, Wise PH, Thomas DW, Murchland JB, Craig RJ. Blood pressures and electrocardiographic
findings in the South Australian Aborigines. Aust N Z J Med 1976; 6: 197-205. 143. Zimmet PZ, Taylor R,
Jackson L, Whitehouse SL, Faaivaso S, Ainuu J. Blood pressure studies in rural and urban Western Samoa.
Med J Aust 1980; 2: 202-5. 144. Zimmet P, Jackson L, Whitehouse S. Blood pressure studies in two Pacific
populations with varying degrees of modernisation. N Z Med J 1980; 91: 249-52. 145. Poulter N. Blood
pressure in urban and rural East Africa: the Kenyan Luo Migrant Study. In: Cruickshank JK, Beevers DG,
ed. Ethnic Factors in Health and Disease. Oxford: Wright, 1989: 61-8. 146. Ahmed ME. Blood pressure in a
multiracial urban Sudanese community. J Hum Hypertens 1990; 4: 621-4. 147. Thouez JP, Eko JM, Foggin
PM, et al. Obesity, hypertension, hyperuricemia and diabetes mellitus among the Cree and Inuit of Northern
Cubec. Arct Med Res 1990; 49: 180-8. 148. Alpert JS, Goldberg R, Ockene IS, Taylor P. Heart disease in
native Americans. Cardiology 1991; 78: 3-12. 149. He J, Klag MJ, Whelton PK, et al. Migration, blood
pressure pattern, and hypertension: the Yi Migrant Study. Am J Epidemiol 1991; 134: 1085-101. 150. Nan L,
Tuomilehto J, Dowse G, Virtala E, Zimmet P. Prevalence of coronary heart disease indicated by
electrocardiogram abnormalities and risk factors in developing countries. J Clin Epidemiol 1994; 47: 599611. 151. Salmond CE, Prior IA, Wessen AF. Blood pressure patterns and migration: a 14-year cohort study
of adult Tokelauans. Am J Epidemiol 1989; 130: 37-52. 152. Collins V, Dowse G, Zimmet P. Prevalence of
obesity in Pacific and Indian Ocean populations. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1990; 153. Taylor R, Badcock J,
King H, et al. Dietary intake, exercise, obesity and noncommunicable disease in rural and urban populations
of three Pacific Island countries. J Am Coll Nutr 1992; 11: 283-93. 154. O'Dea K, Patel M, Kubisch D,
Hopper J, Traianedes K. Obesity, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia in a central Australian aboriginal community
with a long history of acculturation. Diabetes Care 1993; 16: 1004-10.
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/paleodiet/sl1.shtml
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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Subject: Re: Detoxifying plant foods


From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 10:29:35 +1000
Australian Aborigines had no pottery but they detoxified a large proportion of their plant foods. In fact, when
the first Europeans arrived many of the foods they tried made them very sick and they decided that the native
plants of Australia were not worht eating. Australian Aborigines ate the very toxic cycad nuts (Macrozamia
spp) and a number of yams (Dioscorea spp).
They would cut up/grind the yams/seeds, place them in a dilly bag (a tightly woven grass bag) and leave
them suspended in running water for up to 7 days and then cook on hot coals. Another method was to soak in
shallow water for several days. These were then placed in a hole dug in a dry sandy place and covered with
sand and grass tree leaves. In a fortnight (2 weeks) the pulp encasing the cycad nut was eaten raw or roasted.
There may not have been much in the way of water-soluble vitamins and minerals at the end of all this, but it
seems it was worth the effort. They got sick of eating just protein foods (marine, land animals) and liked to
have a balance between animal foods and plant foods. A good book to read about all this is Mutooroo - Plant
use by Austalian Aboriginal People. Compiled by Gleen Leiper. ISBN 0 7242 1185 3.
Best wishes Jennie
Assoc. Professor Jennie Brand Miller Human Nutrition Unit, Dept. of Biochemistry G08 University of
Sydney, 2006, Australia FAX: 61.2.9351.6022 Ph: 61.2.9351.3759

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: some basic questions
From: Sarah Mason
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 15:50:12 +0000
As a new member who has looked through much of the archive, and read messages of the last week or so
with much interest, a few questions have arisen in my mind which as far as I can tell have not been
directly/explicitly addressed so far by the list. As someone who is not an expert in dietary/nutritional studies
I hope these questions are also not ones which are felt to be too basic!
A few selections from posts which brought these questions to mind first:
Jennie Brand Miller wrote:
> It seems that many of us believe that animals and human beigns have evolved on one sort of diet
> and it's best that we stick to the composition of that diet. while Dean Esmay questions that this
> is necessarily so: After all, it's been some 10, 000 years or more since the advent of agriculture,
> and some adaptation has probably occurred since then....It seems very clear to me that trying to
> find any one dietary method or protocol that universally applies to all humans is to search for
> the golden fleece. And yet it seems equally clear that much can be learned from the dietary habits
> of our ancestors.
While Ray Audette writes:
> To fully grasp what humans were designed to eat is easy. Simply limit your technology to that
> which comes naturally without any technology(naked with a sharp stick or rock) and eat accordingly
> [continuing to suggest that certain adaptations make meat (the?) preferred food] This method is
> more reliable than fosil evidence. Get it wrong and you don't feel well! This method does not
> depend on what your culture taught you or where on earth you find yourself. Hunter-gather cultures
> lived closer to this ideal than any modern people.

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My first question has already been brought up by Mavis Wood asking WHICH Palaeolithic peoples are
being referred to by list members, but did not apparently receive much response. My reading of messages
suggest most people are referring to early hominids/the Lower Palaeolithic, for which the direct
archaeological evidence relating to diet (especially any role for plant foods) is necessarily very sparse. There
seems to be an implicit assumption by some members that this is the diet that 'we' evolved to eat. But to what
extent has evolution of the species since the Lower Palaeolithic included changes in dietary 'adaptations'
which are in (large?) part related to such 'cultural' aspects as developments in technology, including use of
cooking and other processing technologies - in other words, has the species' evolution been influenced by
these? Presumably adaptations to environments other than savannah, with different kinds of available foods,
might also be involved. What kind of evidence is there for the speed at which genetic changes related to the
way the gut behaves (for instance) can occur - I think I'm right in thinking that evidence from such things as
lactose/glucose in/tolerance suggest that there can be quite rapid changes. So what basis is there for believing
that our guts are really the same as those of Lower Palaeolithic hominids?
In view of the paucity of evidence for the real nature of Palaeolithic diets (of whatever type) should we be
making such definitive claims as those of Ray Audette? Several posts make it clear that the verdict on the
likely nature of early hominid diet is still very much out. Ethnographically-recorded hunter-gatherer diets are
remarkably varied, especially in relation to the proportions of plant vs. animal foods, suggesting that there
may be great variability in human adaptations - and to what extent can any of these be regarded as analogous
with the diet of a Lower Palaeolithic hominid?
And a furher (partly related) question: in many discussions, particularly relating to toxicity of plant foods,
there has been much use of the word 'staple' - what evidence is there that our Palaeolithic ancestors (of
whichever type) subsisted on diets in which there necessarily was A staple? (however that is defined - IS
there a broadly-acepted definition?). In a broad-spectrum / omnivorous diet, which presumably is one
possibility, is it necessary to have a staple, and can problems of toxicity be overcome by eating small
amounts of many different foodstuffs, so that toxic foods are not eaten in suficient quantities to cause
problems?
regards,
Sarah Mason Human Environment Section email: Institute of Archaeology, UCL Tel: +44 (0)171 387 7050 x
4757 31-34 Gordon Square Fax: +44 (0)171 383 2572 London, WC1H 0PY, UK

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: PaleoAnthro Fully Moderated
From: Matt Fraser
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 15:30:56 -0400
Hello,
I would like to announce that the PaleoAnthro Discussion List (a list that is devoted to topics dealing with
Paleoanthropology, Physical Anthropology, Prehistoricn Archaeology, and Human and Non-human Primate
Evolution), has become totally moderated. This measure was taken to ameliorate certain problems, such as
forgetting to trim response posts, potential flaming situations and off-topic posts. Consequently, the total
volume of posts has been decreased.
In addition, I have added a digest version of the Discussion list, as well as an "Announcements Only" list for
those not interested in the discussions. The Discussion Lists also receive the announcements, so subscribing
to more than one list is unnecessary.
To subscribe to one of the lists, send an email message to
With one of the following three messages in the body of the email:
subscribe paleoanthro
subscribe paleoanthro-digest
subscribe pa-announce
The topics of these lists include Paleoanthropology, Physical Anthropology, Prehistoric Archaeology, and
Human and Non-human Primate Evolution.
For more information, see the PaleoAnthro Lists Home Page at:
http://www.pitt.edu/~mattf/PalAntList.html
Thanks,
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

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Matt Fraser List Owner and Moderator


_________________________________________________________
Matt Fraser Matt's Paleo Pages <http://www.pitt.edu/~mattf/PaleoPage.html
>
Where you can find The Paleo Award, PaleoNews, PaleoChat, The Paleo Forum, The PaleoAnthro Mailing
Lists, and The Paleo Ring Webring!
*Member of The Paleo Ring*
_________________________________________________________

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Evolutionary changes in human gut: response to Sarah Mason
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 13:27:00 -0600
In the last digest, Sarah Mason wrote:
"What kind of evidence is there for the speed at which genetic changes related to the way the gut behaves
(for instance) can occur - I think I'm right in thinking that evidence from such things as lactose/glucose
in/tolerance suggest that there can be quite rapid changes. So what basis is there for believing that our guts
are really the same as those of Lower Palaeolithic hominids?"

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There are calculations which estimate how long it took to increase the adult lactase gene (ALP) in northern
europeans from a pre-agricultural incidence rate of 5% to its present rate of approximately 70% (1). In order
for the gene frequency to increase from 0.05 to 0.70 within the 250 generations which have occurred since
the advent of dairying, a selective advantage in excess of 5 % may have been required (1). Therefore, some
genetic changes can occur quite rapidly, particularly in polymorphic genes with wide variability in their
phenotypic expression. Because humans normally maintain lactase activity in their guts until weaning (~4
yrs of age in modern day hunter-gatherers), the type of genetic change (neoteny) required for adult lactase
maintenance can occur quite rapidly if there is sufficient selective pressure. Maintenance of childlike genetic
characteristics (neoteny) is what occurred with the geologically rapid domestication of the dog during late
pleistocene and mesolithic (2). The complete re-arrangement of gut morphology or evolution of new enzyme
systems capable of handling novel food types is quite unlikely to have occurred in humans in the short time
period since the advent of agriculture. Some populations have had 500 generations to adapt to the new staple
foods of agriculture (cereals, legumes and dairy) whereas others have had only 1-3 (i.e Inuit, amerindians
etc). Because anatomical and physiological studies among and between various racial groups indicate few
differences in the basic structure and function of the gut, it is reasonable to assume that there has been
insufficient evolutionary experience (500 generations) since the advent of agriculture to create large genetic
differences among human populations in their ability to digest and assimilate various foods. Of the
population differences in gastrointestingal function which have been identified, they generally are associated
with an increased ability to digest disachharides (lactose & sucrose) via varying dissacharidase activity.
Although insulin metabolism is not a direct component of the gastrointestinal tract, there is substantial
evidence to indicate that recently acculturated populations are more prone to hyperinsulinemia and its
various clinical manifestations, including non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), obesity,
hypertension, coronary heart disease and hyperlipidemia (3). It is thought that these abnormalities,
collectively referred to as syndrome X (4) are the result of a so called " thrifty gene" (5) which some groups
have suggested is glycogen synthase (6). Consequently, the ability to consume increasing levels of
carbohydrate without developing symptomes of syndrome X is likely genetically based and a function of
relative time exposure of populations to the higher carbohydrate contents of agriculture (3). There are no
generally recognized differences in the enzymes required to digest fats or proteins among human
populations. Additionally, all human groups regardless of their genetic background have not been able to
overcome the deleterious effects of phytates and other antinutrients in cereal grains and legumes. Iranian
populations, Inuit populations, european population and asian populations all suffer from divalent ion (Ca,
Fe, Zn, etc) sequestration with excessive ( > 50% total calories) cereal or legume consumption. All racial
groups also have not evolved gut characteristics which allow them to digest the food energy which is
potentially available in the major type of fiber contained in cereal grains. Further most of the antinutrients in
cereal grains and legumes (alklyrescorcinols, amylase inhibitors, lectins, protease inhibitors etc) wreak their
havoc upon human physiologies irrespective of differing genetic backgrounds. Thus, most of the available
evidence supports the notion that except for the evolution of certain dissacharidases and perhaps changes in
some genes involving insulin sensitivity, the human gut remains relatively unchanged from paleolithic times.
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
REFERENCES
1. Aoki K. Time required for gene frequency change in a deterministic model of gene-culture coevolution,
with special reference to the lactose absorption problem. Theoretical Population Biology 1991;40:354-68.
2. Budiansky S. The Covenant of the Wild. Why Animals Chose Domestication. New York, William
Morrow & Co., 1992.
3. Brand-Miller JC, Colagiuri S. The carnivore connection: dietary carbohydrate in the evolution of NIDDM.
Diabetologia 1994;37:1280-86.
4. Reaven GM. Syndrome X: 6 years later. J Int Med 1994;236(supp 736):13-22.
5. Neel JV. Diabete mellitus: A "thrifty" genotype rendered detrimental by "Progress". Am J Hum Genetics
1962;14:353-62.
6. Schalin-Jantti C. et al. Polymorphism of the glycogen synthase gene in hypertensive and normotensive
subjects. Hypetension 1996;27:67-71.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Message from Mary Enig PhD and Sally Fallon
From: Dean Esmay
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

123/298 (1997)

Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 13:29:09 -0400
Dear Dean and Fellow Paleodiet Colleagues
We have been lurkers so far but now throw our hat into the ring with the following article on the cave man
diet. It will appear in the Summer 1997 edition of the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal.
We particularly wish to counter the notion that the paleolithic diet was low in saturated fat.
We also recommend that paleodieters become familiar with the work of Weston Price who studied many
isolated cultures in the thirties. His pioneering work Nutrition and Physical Degeneration can be obtained
from the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation by calling (619) 574-7763. You may also wish to order back
journals that dealt with the African and Eskimo diets. Or, visit our web site at http://members.aol.com/ppnf.
Another book that will be of interest is Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Food by Keith Steinkraus,
published by Marcel Dekker.
Sincerely yours, Sally Fallon MA and Mary G Enig PhD, authors of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook
that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats ProMotion Publishers (800) 231-1776
The Cave Man Diet Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD
Low-fat diets, claim the pundits of medical orthodoxy, have been associated with good health and longevity
throughout the globe and since the dawn of time. The research of Weston Price proves otherwise. From the
Eskimo of Alaska to the hardy Alpiner, from Gaelic villager to African tribesman, Price discovered that all
healthy indigenous people had a plentiful source of animal fat in the diet. Such Neolithic groups could still
be found when Price embarked on his eventful travels back in the 1930s. But no one, of course, not even the
indefatigable Dr. Price, could visit our Paleolithic forbearers, the so-called cave men. The lack of direct
evidence about our hunter-gather ancestors--who by definition neither cultivated crops nor domesticated
farm animals--allows limitless conjecture about the content of their diets. The low fat school claims that the
cave man ate lean meat, supplemented by copious amounts of plant foods in the form of sprouts, roots, fruits,
berries and leaves; dissenting investigators assert that the cave man imbibed animal fat first and foremost,
along with the meat to which it was attached, and very little in the way of foods from the vegetable kingdom.
Both schools of thought are in agreement that the cave man diet was otherwise Spartan, lacking foodstuffs
that were either salty or sweet.
Dr. Walter L Voegtlin argues for the high fat model in his book the Stone Age Diet, published in 1975.
Humans are carnivorous animals he asserts, and the Stone Age diet was that of a carnivore--chiefly fats and
protein, with only small amounts of carbohydrates. He notes that like the carnivorous dog, man has canine
teeth, ridged molars and incisors in both jaws. His jaw is designed for crushing and tearing, and moves in
vertical motions. Mastication of his food is unnecessary and he does not ruminate. His stomach holds two
quarts, empties in three hours, rests between meals, lacks bacteria and protozoa, secretes large quantities of
hydrochloric acid and does not digest cellulose. His digestive tract is short relative to body length, his cecum
is nonfunctional and his appendix vestigial. His rectum is small, contains putrefactive bacterial flora and
does not contribute to the digestive process. The volume of feces is small; digestive efficiency borders on
100%; his gall bladder is active and well developed. Both the dog and man feed intermittently and can
survive without a stomach or colon. The herbivorous sheep, by contrast, lacks canines, has flat molars and
incisors only in the lower jaw. His jaw is designed for grinding and rotary movments. Mastication and
rumination are vital functions. His stomach holds eight and one-half gallons, contains bacteria and protozoa,
never empties and has but weak production of hydrochloric acid. His colon and cecum are long and
capacious; the cecum performs a vital function; the bacterial flora of his rectum is fermentative rather than
putrefactive; feces are voluminous; gall bladder function is weak or absent; and total digestive efficiency is
50% or less. The sheep feeds continuously. He cannot live without his stomach or colon. His entire digestive
tract is about five times longer, as a ratio of body length, than that of man and his dog.
Voegtlin argues that gross differences in the anatomy of man and the herbiverous animals make him unable
to successfully adapt to a diet based on plant foods, particularly carbohydrate-rich grains, as well as to a diet
in which milk products, rich in lactose, predominate; and that the whole range of modern diseases stems
from his abandonment of the food choices of his primitive ancestors, based largely on meat and rich in fat.
He notes that, with the exception of vitamins C and K, all essential nutrients can be derived from animal
foods, and that the cave man diet was certainly much richer in vitamins and minerals than our own. Modern
devitalized plant foods--such as sugar and white flour--only hasten our decline.

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A decade later, in 1988, Dr. Boyd Eaton published the Paleolithic Prescription in which he argues that the
cave man diet was low in fat, particularly saturated fat, low in salt and rich in dietary fiber from plant foods.
His Paleolithic prescription for optimum health is, in fact, very much akin to the so-called prudent diet of the
American Heart Association. The typical Paleolithic macronutrient profile, he asserts, contained 33% of total
energy from protein, principally but not entirely animal protein, 46% from carbohydrates and a mere 21%
from fat. Journalist Joe Friel translates these suppositions about Paleolithic eating habits into the following
dietary recommendations: Select the leanest cuts of meat (wild game, if possible), trim away all visible fat
from meat, include fish and fowl, eat low- or non-fat dairy products and include moderate amounts of
monounsaturated fat in the diet in the form of oils and spreads of almonds, avocado, hazelnut, macadamia
nut, olive and walnut. He lumps natural saturated fats in with newfangled hydrogenated oils as fats to be
avoided. The cave man, it seems, thriving on a diet of lean venison along with roots, shoots and fruits, was
altogether politically correct in his low-fat dietary habits,
Or was he? In a recently published collection of essays, Ice Age Hunters of the Rocky Mountains, we learn
that the hunter-gatherers of the North American continent ate the following animals: mammoth, camel, sloth,
bison, mountain sheep, small mammals including beaver, pronghorn antelope, elk, mule deer, horse, llama
and large members of the dog family. Mammoth, sloth, mountain sheep, bison and beaver are fatty animals
in the modern sense in that they have a thick layer of subcutaneous fat, as do the many species of bear and
wild pig whose remains have been found at Paleolithic sites throughout the world. The bison and camel have
humps composed largely of tallow.
Furthermore, if the dietary patterns of present day African hunter-gathers can serve as a guide, the Paleolithic
hunter preferred the fatty portions of the carcass including organs, brains, tongue, feet and marrow.
Archeological remains indicate that whereas meat from game carcasses was often left uneaten, the long
bones were carried back into camps and chopped onto pieces so that the marrow could be extracted. Organ
meats were eaten immediately--and often raw--but muscle meat was preserved by drying, or by mixing it
with tallow to make pemmican. Some investigators believe that the cave man's preference for the fatty
portions of his kill led to profligate practices--wastefully killing of mammoths simply to extract their fatty
tongues, for example--and that selective hunting of the fattier animals was a prime factor leading to the
extinction of large mammals such as mammoths, sloths and rhinoceros.
Bones of the bear predominate in many European sites. Archeologist Myra Shakley reports on an important
Neanderthal site in Hungary where 90 percent of the remains were those of bear. Whole carcasses were
brought to the site--not just portions as was the case for other animals--and the manner in which the
carcasses were cut up suggests that the skins were removed. Obviously the pelts were used to protect the
hunter-gather from the severe climate. The skins would also have provided a rich source of fat that could be
used for preserving other foods. Altars containing bear skulls found in caves in the Swiss Alps, and dated
back as far as 75, 000 years, indicated that the bear was worshiped as a sacred animal.
Present-day hunter-gathers, as well as those of the ancient past, possess greater dietary wisdom than the
majority of our modern Ph.D.s. They understood that a diet of lean meat, lacking in fat, was the surest route
to weakness, disease and death. Steffanson, who studied the Eskimos and Indians of the far north, reports
that when lean caribou was the only meat available, anxiety set in. These natives knew that a month or more
on such meat, without the addition of marine animals or fatty fish, would make them sick and prone to
disease. The ancient tribes of the Americans West would not eat female bison in the Spring because nursing
and pregnant bison cows burned off their fat reserves during the winter months. In fact, most bison hunts
occurred in the late Summer and Fall when the bison were naturally fattened on the ripe grain of prairie
grasses. Anthropologist Leon Abrams reports that the Aborigine will throw away a kangaroo he has killed if
he discovers that its carcass does not contain sufficient fat. Members of Randolph Marcys 1856 expedition
to Wyoming grew weak and sick consuming a politically correct low-fat regime of six pounds of lean horse
and mule meat per day; Dr. Wolfgang Lutz reports that a very efficient way of eliminating jailed political
prisoners in South and Central America is to feed them a diet composed exclusively of lean meat. They soon
develop severe diarrhoea and succumb. The explanation is that fats contain nutrients like vitamin A that the
body needs to utilize the amino acids and minerals in flesh foods; without fat in the diet, the body rapidly
uses up its own stores of fat soluble vitamins. When these vital nutrients are depleted, the human organism
can no longer fight off disease.

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Was the cave man diet simply rich in unsaturated fats, but low in saturated fats? Antelope and caribou fat is
over 50% saturated--about the same as beef--and mountain sheepfat would be the similar. Buffalo fat is 56%
saturated--more saturated than beef! All ruminant animals contain lots of saturated fat because the protozoa
in their capacious guts do an efficient job of saturating the oils found in plant foods--whether these oils come
from dried hay or green grass, from feedlot corn or the ripe grains of prairie grasses. (Of course naturally fed
meat is richer in vitamins and minerals.) The bison were hunted in the late Summer and Fall when their fat
stores would have been highest. Grazing animals spend several months eating the carbohydrate-rich seeds of
wild grasses, which begin to ripen as early as the month of May--grain fattening in feedlots merely mimics
this natural process.
Camel fat, from the kind of animal the Neanderthals apparently hunted to extinction, is a whooping 63%
saturated! Wild boar is about 41% saturated, exactly the same as lard from a domestic pig. Kidney fat--which
modern man avoids but which the cave man would have eaten--is highly saturated. Buffalo kidney is 58%
saturated, antelope kidney fat is 65% saturated, elk kidney is 62% saturated and mountain goat kidney fat is
66 % saturated. Caribou marrow has a preponderance of monounsaturated fat, and a small amount of
polyunsaturated, but still contains more than 27% saturated fat. Figures for elephant tongue are unavailable
but beef tongue is 45% saturated. Bears, which yield 48% of their kilocalories as fat, have a preponderance
of monounsaturated fat, the same kind found in olives, almonds and other nuts.
Seafood in coastal regions would also have provided fat for primitive man, particularly the valuable omega-3
fatty acids; insects, grubs and worms are a source of additional fat in all regions except the arctic.
So the high-fat proponents are the most likely winners of great Paleolithic fat debate; but they are probably
wrong in their assertions that plant foods, particularly grains, are new to the human diet. Remains of plant
foods at Paleolithic sites include seeds, berries, roots, leaves and bulbs. Sunflower seeds, prickly pear seeds,
amaranth seeds and limber pine seeds have been found at Rocky Mountain sites. Various types of nuts were
consumed by primitives in the Americas and on the European continent. The amount of plant food in the
cave man diet varied according to the climate and locality. Obviously plant foods were minimal in the diets
of those in arctic climates, but played a large role in tropical regions. Nuts, of course, provided additional fat.
The pecan, consumed in large quantities by the Indians of the Southeast, contains 85% of calories as fat. In
tropical regions, palm nuts and coconuts provide large quantities of saturated fats.
Present day hunter-gatherers employ special preparation methods for carbohydrate-rich foods. Acorns, for
example, are soaked in water and lye to remove tannins; tubers are buried in the ground, pounded or cooked
in hearth ashes; seeds are soaked, pounded and allowed to ferment in various ways. It is safe to assume that
the ancient hunter-gatherers employed similar techniques to neutralize the many enzyme inhibitors, irritants
and mineral blocking substances found in tubers and seeds. In fact, a large portion of the primitive womans
day was spent in just such preparations--pounding, soaking, sieving, souring and putting the finishing
touches on various types of root and seed foods. The men, on the other hand, divided their time between
dangerous hunting forays, in which physical stamina and strength was at a premium, and periods of idleness
when they would work on their weapons and gossip.
So the comparison of the human digestive tract with that of the dog, while interesting, does not tell the whole
story. Man can benefit from the many nutrients in plant foods as long as he takes care in their preparation.
Primitive plant preparation methods--pounding, soaking, and fermenting--imitate the time-consuming
processes that take place in the sheeps digestive tract, beginning with his flat grinding molars and ending
with the fermentative bacteria in his lower bowel. The Paleolithic hunter-gatherer had the good sense not
only to eat the fattier portions of meat, but to prepare his plant foods correctly. Modern man, particularly the
modern professor of nutrition, does not.
Dogs, apparently, were the first animal to be domesticated by man--or, as the current theory holds, the dogs
adopted man and went to work for him. A man with five or six dogs can track down and kill the largest of
wild animals. Dogs made hunting less dangerous, and allowed our intrepid cave man to stand back and kill
his prey with something he threw--an arrow or light spear--rather than with a lance that he physically had to
thrust in. Almost certainly, the advent of the dog at mans side hastened the extinction of the large fatty
animals that had given the cave man his physical prowess and resistance to disease. But the dog would also
have helped the hunter move into his Neolithic phase, by rounding up wild sheep, cattle and goats and
helping to keep them in flocks, so that their fatty meat and milk would be available throughout the year. Such
milk was much richer than milk from todays Holsteins which have been bred to produce low-fat milk The
neo-agriculturist would have been ruled by his tastebuds, rather than modern advertising, and consumed his
milk products whole.

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Assuming that mans tastebuds are not superfluous, but natures way of guiding him to the food he needs, let
us examine the notion that the cave man diet satisfied only the bitter, sour or pungent portion of his tasting
apparatus, and not the salty or sweet. A number of studies report that honey, far from being a rare delicacy,
contributed a substantial portion of the calories in many primitive diets. The Hazda of Tanzania, the Mbuti
pygmies of the Congo, the Veddas or Wild Men of Sri Lanka, the Guayaka Indians of Paraguay, the
Bushmen of South Africa and the Aborigines of Australia, all put a high value on honey and consumed it in
large amounts. East coast American Indians consumed plentiful portions of maple syrup, and used it in the
production of pemmican. Wild fruits and berries are incredibly sweet at the peak of ripeness, and can be
preserved in various ways for consumption throughout the year. Fermented foods of the Eskimo are
described as tasting as sweet as candy. Primitive man did not consume refined sweeteners, as we do, but
neither did he neglect his sweet tooth.
It is hard to imagine that he would have neglected his taste for salt. It occurs naturally in meat and blood and,
as animals seek out natural salt licks, so our sensible cave man would have done the same. The manufacture
of salt can be accomplished simply by filling a hollowed out log with sea water and letting the brine
evaporate. The evidence of place names in England indicates that salt was the earliest commodity to be
traded from the seacoast, or from salt pits, to other areas. In extremely remote locations, such as the
Himalayas or the interior of Africa, the ashes of sodium-rich marsh grasses are added to food. It is reported
that the members of the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon basin do not take in any added salt. In an apparant
adoptive measure, they also excrete almost no salt in the urine.
Milk is salty because mammals need salt for the production of hydrochloric acid and for the development of
the brain and nervous system. Without dietary salt, the human mind does not fully develop and man must
live, not by his wits like the ingenious cave man from the dawn of time, but as a brute, even if he happens to
be born in this modern age.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Comments on Dr. Enig's and Sally Fallon's Cave Man Diet
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 15:43:00 -0600
First, I would like to welcome Mary Enig and Sally Fallon to our group. I have been a long time admirer of
Dr. Enig's work in the area of lipid metabolism and coronary artery disease. Her seminal work in pointing
out the lack of an association between per capita disposal rates of saturated fats and cancer (1) and
cardiovascular disease (2) clearly demonstrate the complexity of dietary practices and human health and well
being. Also, her realization of the health dangers of dietary trans fatty acids preceded more mainstream
recognition (3) of this data by 12-15 years. I have a number of questions/comments that perhaps Mary and
Sally could address:

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1. I was unaware of Dr. Walter L. Voegtlin's book, "The Stone Age Diet", published in 1975. Could you
provide a more complete citation. Also, a correction must be made regarding Voegtlin's assertion that "with
the exception of vitamins C and K, all essential nutrients can be derived from animal foods". Uncooked or
minimally cooked flesh and organs of animals apparently provide sufficient vitamin C levels to prevent
scurvy (4). 2. Although never explicitly stated in their recent posting, it seems the point, Dr. Enig and Sally
Fallon were making was that paleolithic humans ate considerable levels of saturated fats and likely did not
develop the degenerative diseases afflicting modern man such as atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease
(CHD). Therefore, if we follow this line of logic, present day consumption of high levels of saturated fats in
the western diet would not necessarily be associated with an increased risk for CHD. Therefore, modern man
should not limit consumption of saturated fats. There are a number of points which need to be clarified
regarding this line of logic. First, there is little doubt that paleolithic man consumed (probably preferentially)
the fatty portions of wild game animals and that during certain times of the year (late summer and early fall),
the total lipid content of large herbivorous animals was considerable; consequently consumption of saturated
fats could have been quite high. Despite a consumption of a largely animal based diet that frequently could
include high levels of saturated fats, most modern day hunter gatherers exhibit low serum cholesterol levels,
low blood pressure and low to non-existent mortality rates from (CHD) (5, 6). At first, this data seems
paradoxical in light of the almost universal recommendations of a low saturated fat, high carbohydrate diet in
the treatment of CHD. However, there are important and subtle differences between the high saturated
fat/animal based diets of pre-agricultural man and the high saturated fat diets of modern man which can
account for this paradoxical situation. 1. There is increasing recognition that for the atherosclerotic process to
occur, there must not only be elevated levels of LDL cholesterol, but that the lipids and cholesterol carried
by LDL must be oxidized (7). The macrophages which take up oxidized LDL molecules and eventually
become the foam cells of the atherosclerotic plaque have a scavenger receptor which is different from native
LDL receptors and which does not down regulate. Consequently, continually elevated levels of oxidized
LDL in the plasma tends to promote the atherosclerotic process. High levels of dietary linoleate increase
LDL oxidizabilty (8). Because refined vegetable oils were not present in pre-agricultural diets the linoleate
levels would have been lower than in western diets wherein the vegetable fat consumption has increased 300
% since 1910 and the animal fat consumption has decreased slightly (9). Thus, the relatively high levels of
vegetable oils consumed along with relatively high levels of saturated fats in the western diet promote a lipid
profile in which LDL cholesterol is elevated and more prone to oxidation and hence to the development of
CHD. 2. The protein content of the paleolithic diet was significantly higher than the average 12-15% of the
western diet. Recent studies (10, 11) show that isocaloric replacement of carbohydrate with protein lower
total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL and triglycerides (TG) while elevating HDL cholesterol. Consequently, a high
dietary protein content even in the face of increasing saturated fat serves to lower serum cholesterol levels
and reduce the risk for CHD. 3. The carbohydrate content of pre-agricultural diets was generally lower than
the 45-55% of the western diet. Consequently the post-prandial lipemic excursions, during which LDL
molecules are most prone to oxidation would have been reduced, since the addition of carbohydrate to a fat
rich meal exacerbates this swing (12). Pre-agricultural eating patterns show that fat and protein were
generally eaten together whereas, carbohydrate meals were eaten separately. This eating pattern would have
reduced post-prandial lipemic excursions. Additionally, the reduced carbohydrate content of pre-agricultural
diets would have improved the portions of the blood lipid profile (TG, VLDL, HDL, Lp(a)) which are
worsened by high carbohydrate diets (13). 4. Work from our laboratory, as well as that of others has shown
that the fatty acid profiles of storage as well as structural fat is quite different when contrasting wild to
domesticated animals. Of the dietary saturated fats, 12:0, 14:0 and 16:0 are known to elevate plasma
cholesterol levels whereas 18:0 is neutral or perhaps hypocholesterolemic. The saturated fat of marrow and
depot fat in wild animals contains greater levels of 18:0 and lower levels of 14:0 and 16:0 when compare to
domestic animals. Additionally, the structural lipid content in game meat is quite different than that in
domestic meat. There generally are higher levels of all n-3 fats and higher levels of all 20 and 22 carbon fats
of both the n-3 and n-6 variety in game meat. The N6/N3 ratio of beef averages about 15 whereas in wild
animals it is about 4-5. Again, higher levels of N6 lipids in domestic animals, particularly linoleate tend to
increase LDL oxidizability whereas the higher levels of N3 fats in game animals are cardioprotective.
Consequently, the consumption of saturated fats in pre-agricultural diets occured against a background of
dietary lipids which was much different than the background fats in the modern diet. Recent evidence clearly
shows that the fatty acid composition of a meal can improve serum lipid values despite widely varying fat
levels (14). 5. Pre-agricultural diets by definition would not have included dairy fats. In western diets, about
a third of the saturated fats is contibuted by dairy foods (milk, butter, cheese, ice cream). In metabolic ward
studies, butter fat raised LDL cholesterol levels significantly higher than beef tallow (15). Further, milk
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consumption is the best world wide predictor of CHD mortality of all dietary elements (16). Bovine milk fat
is quite low in the long chain cardioprotective N3 fats and has an high n6/ratio. Additionally the Ca/Mg ratio
in milk and dairy products is quite high compared to the average 1:1 ratio in foods available to preagricultural man. Elevated Ca/Mg ratios have been shown to be positively related to CHD (17). This data
suggests dairy products would be quite atherogenic, particularly when consumed in a background of other
dietary elements in the western diet. 6. Modern man eating a high saturated fat diet is generally quite inactive
compare to pre-agricultural man (18). High levels of activity serve to improve insulin sensitivity and lower
TG and VLDL while increasing HDL cholesterol.
So yes, in all liklihood, the dietary saturated fat levels of pre-agricultural man could have been quite high
(even by modern standards); however because of differing types and amounts of carbohydrate, protein and
fatty acids as well as differing levels of fiber and antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals, these types of
diets generally did not elevate cholesterol levels, nor increase LDL oxidizablility.
One final comment - not only does the high sodium content of the western diet predispose us to
hypertension, osteoporosis, urinary tract stones, menierre's syndrome, stomach cancer, insomnia, asthma and
initiation and promotion of all types of cancer, it also seems to do the same in our closest relative, the chimp
(19).
REFERENCES
1. Enig MG, Munn RJ, Keeney M. Dietary fat and cancer trends-a critique. Fed Proc 1978;37:2215-2220.
2. Enig MG. Diet, serum cholesterol and coronary heart disease. In: (dont have exact title of book - perhaps
Dr. Enig can supply the rest of the citation)
3. Willett WC, Ascherio A. Trans fatty acids: Are the effects only marginal? Am J Pub Health 1994;84:72224.
4. Stefansson V. Observations on three cases of scurvy. JAMA 1918;71:1715-18.
5. Bang HO, Dyerberg J. Lipid metabolism and ischemic heart disease in Greenland Eskimos. In: Draper HH
(ed). Advances in Nutrition Research, vol 3, N.Y., Plenum Press, 1980, 1-22.
6. Leonard WR, et al. Correlates of low serum lipid levels among Evenki herders of siberia. Am J Hum Biol
1994;6:329-338.
7. Steinberg D et al. Beyond cholesterol: modifications of low-density lipoprotein that increase its
atherogenicity. N Engl J Med 1989;320:915-24.
8. Louheranta AM et al. Linoleic acid intake and susceptibility of very low ensity and low density
lipoproteins to oxidation in men. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;63:698-703.
9. ASCN/AIN Task Force on Trans Fatty Acids. Position paper on trans fatty acids. Am J Clin Nutr
1996;63:663-70.
10. Wolfe BM. Potential role of raising dietary protein intake for reducing risk of atherosclerosis. Can J
Cardiol 1995;11(supp G):127G-131G.
11. Wolfe BM et al. Short term effects of substituting protein for carbohydrate in the diets of moderately
hypercholesterolemic human subjects. Metabolism 1991;40:338-43.
12. Chen YDI et al. Effect of acute variations in dietary fat and carbohydrate intake on retinly ester content
of intestinally derived lipoproteins. J Clin Endocrin Metabolism 1992;74:28-32.
13. Reaven GM. Pathophysiology of insulin resistance in human disease. Physiol Rev 1995 75:473-86.
14. Nelson GJ et al. Low fat diets do not lower plasma cholesterol levels in healthy men compared to high fat
diets with similar fatty acid composition at constant caloric intake. Lipids 1995;30:969-76.
15. Denke MA, Grundy SM. Effects of fats high in stearic acid on lipid and lipoprotein concentrations in
men. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;54:1036-40.
16. Artaud-Wild SM et al. Differences in coronary mortality can be explained by differences in cholesterol
and saturated fat intakes in 40 countries but not in France and Finland. A paradox. Circulation 1993;88:277179.
17. Varo P. Mineral element balance and coronary heart disease. Internat J Vit Nutr Res 1974;44:267-73.
18. Cordain L, Gotshall RW, Eaton SB. Evolutionary aspects of exercise. World Review of Nutrition and
Dietetics 1997;81: in press.
19. Denton D et al. The effect of increased salt intake on blood pressure of chimpanzees. Nature Medicine
1995;1:1009-16.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Bears
From: Dean Esmay
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Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 14:03:51 -0400
Passed along from an anonymous member:
Timewalkers. Clive Gamble 1993 p194
< The excavator of the Drachenloch cast his alpine Palaeolithic finds as specialist cave bear hunters and
threw in some fanciful evidence for bear cults among the Ancients to support the case. These have proved
difficult to dislodge both from the archaeological and general literature but, however reluctantly, the much
illustrated stone "cupboards " with bear skulls stacked inside have to be dismantled. Bears frequently die
during hibernation and other sleepers in the cave will push bodies and skeletons out of the way and in doing
so create all sorts of interesting patterns with skulls and bones....... It is, however difficult to find clear
evidence for the specialist hunting of species. Well dated Middle Paleolithic sites as the Hortus cave in
Southern France and the early Upper Paleolithic site at Bacho Kiro in Bulgaria both have animal faunas
dominated by bones of mountain goat. However it is unclear how many of these bones are really the end
products of hunting since at both sites carnivores, which would be major predators on ibex, such as leopard,
wolf, and lynx are also common. This raises the distinct possibility that the human record is once again being
swamped by the archaeology of other species > see also Gamble 1986 The Palaeolithic Settlement of
Europe Cambridge University Press
The title of the book on the Neanderthals
Stringer C and C Gamble 1993 In Search of the Neanderthals : solving the puzzle of human origins. London
Thames and Hudson
-=-=Once in a while you get shown the light/ In the strangest of places if you look at it right ---Robert Hunter
http://www.syndicomm.com/esmay

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: "The Stone Age Diet"
From: "Jeffrey P. Krabbe"
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 16:22:52 EDT
The Stone Age Diet: based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man. Voegtlin, Walter L.,
1904- 1st ed. New York, Vantage Press, c1975 xvii, 277 p. bibliography: p.265-277.
I read this book cover-to-cover at least twice back in college. I would highly recommend that anyone
interested in either ketogenic diets or the diet of our ancestors to check with your local library and read it.
Jeffrey P. Krabbe

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Question for Dr. Enig
From: Tammy Glaser
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 22:47:59 -0400
Having read the book "The Zone" by Dr. Barry Sears, I have become very interested in EFA metabolism,
specifically for my daughter who is autistic. She has done very well on a diet free of gluten and casein (based
upon the research of Reichelt (1), (2), (3), (4) and Shattock (5), (6), (7)). A search on medline revealed no
hits on autism and EFA metabolism, but it may be due to the fact it's been overlooked. Since the research on
gluten/casein originated from links to schizophrenia (8), (9), (10), I ran a search on schizophrenia and EFA
metabolism. I found many studies linking schizophrenia and altered cell membrane dynamics(11, (12),
impaired EFA/PGE1 metabolism (13), (14), (15), (16) and elevated PGE2 plasma levels (17), just to mention
a few anomalies mentioned in recent studies.

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In your research on today's hunter/gatherer societies, have you found people who fit the conditions of
schizophrenia or autism? (Obviously, there may be many other factors arising in our society that contribute
to these conditions.)
Tammy L. Glaser M.S., Operations Research
References: (1) "Dietary Intervention in Autistic Syndromes" by A M Knivsberg, K L Reichelt, et al., Brain
Dysfunction 3: 315-327 (1990) (2) "Gluten, Milk Proteins and Autism: Dietary Intervention Effects on
Behavior and Peptide Secretion" by K L Reichelt, J Ekrem, H Scot, Journal of Applied Nutrition, 42(1): 1-11
(1990) (3) "Nature and Consequences of Hyperpeptiduria and Bovine Casomorphins Found in Autistic
Syndromes" by K L Reichelt, A M Knivsberg, et al., Developmental Brain Dysfunction, 7: 71-85 (1994) (4)
"Probable Etiology and Possible Treatment of Childhood Autism" by K L Reichelt, A M Knivsberg, et al.
Brain Dysfunction, 4: 308-319 (1991) (5) "Proteins, Peptides and Autism: Part 1: Urinary Protein Patterns in
Autism as Revealed by Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate-Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis and Silver Staining"
by K Williams, P Shattock, et al., Brain Dysfunction, 4: 320-322 (1991) (6) "Proteins, Peptides and Autism:
Part 2: Implications for the Education and Care of People with Autism" by P Shattock and G Lowdon, Brain
Dysfunction, 4: 323-334 (1991) (7) "Role of Neuropeptides in Autism and Their Relationships with Classical
Neurotransmitters, P Shattock, A Kennedy, et al., Brain Dysfunction, 3: 328-345 (1990) (8) "Cereals and
Schizophrenia - Data and Hypothesis" by F C Dohan, Acta Psychiatr. Scandinavia, 42: 125 (1966) (9)
"Schizophrenia: Possible Relationship to Cereal Grains and Celiac Disease" by F C Dohan in
"Schizophrenia: Current Concepts and Research" by S Sankar, P. J. D. Publications, Ltd., Hicksville NY
(1969) (10) "Relapsed Schizophrenics: More Rapid Improvement on a Milk and Cereal-Free Diet" by F C
Dohan, J Grasberger, et al., British Journal of Psychiatry, 115: 595 (1969) (11) Decreased tyrosine transport
in fibroblasts from schizophrenics: implications for membrane pathology. Ramchand CN; Peet M; Clark AE;
Gliddon AE; Hemmings GP. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 1996 Aug, 55:1-2, 59-64 (12)
Abnormal incorporation of arachidonic acid into platelets of drug-free patients with schizophrenia. Yao JK;
van Kammen DP; Gurklis JA. Psychiatry Res, 1996 Feb 28, 60:1, 11-21 (13) The relationship between
schizophrenia and essential fatty acid and eicosanoid metabolism. Horrobin DF. Prostaglandins Leukot
Essent Fatty Acids, 1992 May, 46:1, 71-7 (14) Essential and other fatty acids in plasma in schizophrenics
and normal individuals from Japan. Kaiya H; Horrobin DF; Manku MS; Fisher NM. Biol Psychiatry, 1991
Aug 15, 30:4, 357-62 (15) Prostaglandin E1 suppression of platelet aggregation response in schizophrenia.
Kaiya H. Schizophr Res, 1991 Jul-Aug, 5:1, 67-80 (16) Polyunsaturated fatty acids, prostaglandins, and
schizophrenia. van Kammen DP; Yao JK; Goetz K. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1989, 559:, 411-23 (17) Elevated
plasma prostaglandin E2 levels in schizophrenia. Kaiya H; Uematsu M; Ofuji M; Nishida A; Takeuchi K;
Nozaki M; Idaka E. J Neural Transm, 1989, 77:1, 39-46

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: State of the Paleodiet Symposium
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 1997 23:36:14 -0400
I would like to welcome all the new members who have joined our list in the last few weeks.
I'm pleased to say that after less than three months of operation, this listserv now boasts very nearly 200
members, the vast majority of whom have doctorates in fields such as biology, archaeology, paleontology,
medicine, and other (mostly related) fields. Even a majority of the non-degreed appear to be graduate
students. Our list is now also available generally on the World Wide Web at
http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/archives/paleodiet.html and is undoubtedly read by others who are not currently
list members, since the web site is now linked in several other places and all messages posted to the list are
readable from that page.
Traffic on our list has been relatively low of late, but thoroughly informative. I would like to invite some of
you who may have been silent to date to feel free to take part in discussions; there is a tremendous pool of
knowledge and insight available from our list here, and I would like to encourage everyone to make use of it.
Thank you all for helping to make this list a success beyond my expectations.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Animals (Was: Adaptation to one diet?)
From: Staffan Lindeberg
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Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 00:26:55 +0100


At 01.56 97-05-16, Jennie Brand Miller wrote:
> It seems that many of us believe that animals and human beigns have evolved on one sort of diet
> and it's best that we stick to the composition of that diet. I wonder then, if there been much
> work on cats and dogs. They evolved as carnivores and carbs would have been a very small
> component of their diet. But these days all the dry cat/dog food contains lots of carbohydrate, up to
> 60%. I know there are a few fat cats around and some develop diabetes but has this been connected to
> the high CHO diets. I think we can learn alot from the knowledge/experience of the animal
> nutritionists. Can anyone comment?
As Jennie Brand Miller points out, we can learn a lot from animal nutrition. One area of research where
much (but far too little) has been done is atherosclerosis.
Fully developed lipid-rich atherosclerosis of the extramural coronary arteries (the largest branches
supporting the heart) is part of normal ageing in westernized populations and is seen in more than 90 per cent
of men aged 60 years or more [1-4], but it has to my knowledge not been demonstrated in other free-living
mammals [5-9]. However, early stages of atherosclerosis, with no or little deposition of fat in the arterial
wall, can appear 'spontaneously' in mammals like horses, swine, ruminants and some carnivores including
dogs [5-9]. In dogs, hyaline degeneration of smaller intramural coronary arteries, an entirely different
disorder, is rather common and often leads to severe heart failure [6, 10].
With the exception of strains with genetic hypercholesterolemia (rabbits etc), every studied case of lipid-rich
atheromas in non-human mammals (laboratory animals, domestic pigs etc) has thus apparently been
preceeded by a diet which is not eaten by the animal in its natural context. Neither smoking nor stress suffice
when feeding is not manipulated. Psychological stress can induce early atherosclerosis like fatty streaks and
fibrous plaques but not true atheromas [11]. Regression of atherosclerosis in an animal can be obtained if,
and apparently only if, the animal is fed a natural diet [12-14].
Animal species differ in their susceptibility to atherosclerosis when fed atherogenic diets. There are few
attempts in the literature to put the pieces together, but in 1965 Richard Fiennes, Pathologist at the
Zoological Society of London, suggested that "the dividing line between susceptible and insusceptible
groups is related more to dietary habits than to phylogenetic relationships" [15]. His following passage is
worth quoting in full: "Among birds, insusceptible species are those whose natural diet is grain, while the
most susceptible are those who feed normally on fruit or fresh animal food. Among mammals, the most
susceptible group is the primates, including man. Man in his original state fed on a mixed diet with a high
proportion of fruit and fresh animal protein. It may be suggested, therefore, that susceptible groups of
animals are those whose natural diet would be fruit or fresh uncooked food of animal origin and who, under
conditions of captivity, domestication, or civilization, are maintained on graminivorous diets. The analogy
holds good also in the case of susceptible rodent family members, such as guinea pigs, chinchillas, and
rabbits, who rely on fresh-growing vegetable foods for their diet. Rats and mice, on the other hand, naturally
graminivorous and adapted to life in sewers and ships and other places where fresh foods often are not
available, are atheroma-insusceptible. The domestic pig, fed largely on an unnatural diet of grain, suffers
from atheroma, while the wild pig, rooting for shoots and other germinating tuberous foods and killing rats
and snakes as a fresh animal supplement, is rarely affected. We have supposed, therefore, that the
development of atheroma in susceptible species may be primarily associated with enforced dietary habits of
an unnatural nature. The main association appears to be with secondary graminivorous habits, of which man
himself, the greatest atheroma sufferer, is supremely guilty."
I am not aware of any serious comment to Fiennes' 32 year old suggestion that cereals may be a cause of
atherosclerosis in animals.
Advanced 'spontaneous' atherosclerosis is thus common only in birds with wide variation between species,
strains and breeds (see 15 for some taxonomic details). For obvious reasons most studies were performed in
captive birds. Whether atherosclerosis was common in paleolithic birds is of course impossible to know but
may be worth considering, or rather what diets were available to these birds, and also whether 10, 000
generations of birds living near seed-producing humans could have led to speciation of some more resistant
strains.

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Another illustration of the difficulties of studying wild animals is the case of the elephant. Early stages of
coronary atherosclerosis are not uncommon in the wild African elephant but unlike humans their aorta is
much more affected [16]. Sikes compared the distribution of atherosclerosis in the aorta among two groups
of elephants living in two separate habitats, a 'natural' montane habitat where, among other things, diet was
varied, and a 'disturbed' habitat consisting of scrubland or grassland, a habitat which elephants would not
choose were they not confined there by encroaching human settlements. Atheromas were found only in
elephants from the 'disturbed' habitat [17].
As for humans, westernization obviously has a great impact on whether at all and to what extent they are
affected by atherosclerosis. In the 1960s Tejada et al compared the distribution of atherosclerosis in a defined
segment of one partical coronary artery in deceased men aged 45-55 in four different cities: New Orleans
(whites), Sao Paolo, Brazil (whites), Santiago, Chile, and Durban, South Africa (blacks) [4]. In only 14 of
156 men (9%) from New Orleans, less than 2% of the vessel was affected, compared to 108 of 142 (76%)
among the Durban black men. Today coronary heart disease in urban blacks of South Africa is still low but
increasing [18], while in the US it is about as high in blacks as in whites [19].
Essential hypertension, the common form of high blood pressure in westerners (which is absent in
contemporary hunter-gatherers and subsistence horticulturalists), has not been reported in animals [6]. I don't
know about diabetes or abdominal obesity in animals but I doubt that there is much data.
Best wishes, Staffan Lindeberg
1. Velican D, Velican C. Study of fibrous plaques occurring in the coronary arteries of children.
Atherosclerosis 1979; 33: 201-5. 2. Velican D, Velican C. Atherosclerotic involvement of the coronary
arteries of adolescents and young adults. Atherosclerosis 1980; 36: 449-60. 3. Velican C, Velican D.
Incidence, topography and light-microscopic feature of coronary atherosclerotic plaques in adults 26--35
years old. Atherosclerosis 1980; 35: 111-22. 4. Tejada C, Strong JP, Montenegro MR, Restrepo C, Solberg
LA. Distribution of coronary and aortic atherosclerosis by geographic location, race, and sex. Lab Invest
1968; 18: 509-26. 5. Robinson WF, Maxie MG. The cardiovascular system. In: Jubb KVF, Kennedy PC,
Palmer N, ed. Pathology of domesticated animals. New York: Academic Press, 1985. 6. Whitney JC. The
spontaneous cardiovascular diseases of animals. In: Pomerance A, Davies MJ, ed. The pathology of the
heart. Oxford: Blackwell, 1975: 579-610. 7. Stout LC, Bohorquez F. Significance of intimal arterial changes
in non-human vertebrates. Med Clin North Am 1974; 58: 245-55. 8. McCullagh KG. Arteriosclerosis in the
African elephant. Atherosclerosis 1972; 307-35. 9. Armstrong ML, Heistad DD. Animal models of
atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis 1990; 85: 15-23. 10. Jonsson L. Coronary arterial lesions and myocardial
infarcts in the dog. A pathologic and microangiographic study. Acta Vet Scand Suppl 1972; 38: 1-80. 11.
Kaplan JR et al. Plaque changes and arterial enlargement in atherosclerotic monkeys after manipulation of
diet and social environment. Arterioscl Thromb 1993; 13: 254-63. 12. Moncada S, Martin JF, Higgs A.
Symposium on regression of atherosclerosis. Eur J Clin Invest 1993; 23: 385-98. 13. Kaplan JR, Manuck SB,
Adams MR, Williams JK, Register TC, Clarkson TB. Plaque changes and arterial enlargement in
atherosclerotic monkeys after manipulation of diet and social environment. Arterioscler Thromb 1993; 13:
254-63. 14. Malinow MR. Experimental models of atherosclerosis regression. Atherosclerosis 1983; 48: 10518. 15. Fiennes RNTW. Atherosclerosis in Wild Animals. In: Roberts JC, Straus R (eds). Comparative
Atherosclerosis. The morphology of spontaneous and induced atherosclerotic lesions in animals and its
relation to human disease. Harper & Row, New York, 1965: 113-26. 16. McCullagh KG. Arteriosclerosis in
the African elephant. Atherosclerosis 1972; 16: 307-35. 17. Sikes SK. The disturbed habitat and its effect on
the health of animal populations, with special reference to cardiovascular disease in elephants. Proc R Soc
Med 1968; 61: 2-3. 18. Walker A.R.P, Labadarios D, Glatthaar II. Diet-related disease patterns in South
African interethnic populations. In: Temple NJ, Burkitt DP. Western Diseases. Their Dietary Prevention and
Reversibility. 1994 Totowa, New Jersey, Humana Press, 29-66. 19. Manson JE, Ridker PM. Racial
differences in coronary heart disease incidence and mortality. Methodologic mythology? Ann Epidemiol
1990; 1: 97-100.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Cereal grains
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 22:30:52 -0400
I have been intending to write an essay on cereal grains but alas the "real world" has left me far too busy
these last few weeks and an end is not in sight. So I thought I would offer a few brief comment:
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Enig and Fallon, in their piece submitted a few weeks ago, stated that Paleolithic Nutrition writers are
probably wrong about cereal grains being unnatural foods for humans. They then gave examples of the use
of acorns and seeds from non-grain plants. This sincerely seems to dodge the issue to me.
Many on this list have questioned of late whether it is really possible to construct a picture of the paleolithic
diet in humans. There also seems to have been some argument against man as a true, 100% meat-eating,
carbohydrate-free animal, although notably no one I'm aware of seems to have seriously taken that position
for quite some time. I think much of this may be time wasted; can it safely be said that it is generally
acknowledged that humans have always eaten a wide variety of foods, and that the "natural" diet for humans
will of necessity vary wildly in content depending upon region and climate and season?
A review of modern hunter/gatherer diets(1) shows tremendous variation in diet based on these factors and I
don't see how it's possible to argue that it has not always been so. In fact I think it can easily be argued that
one of man's primary evolutionary advantages has been the ability to adapt to an extremely wide array of
foods.
I think instead it seems easier to use deductive reasoning in trying to define a "paleodiet": it can probably
best be defined by what it lacks, rather than by what it contains. We can never know precisely what a prehuman living in plains 25, 000 years ago ate, but we can probably take very educated guesses about what he
did -not- eat, and from that as a starting point we can start adding in what we think he -did- eat within
reasonable guessing parameters.
From this perspective I do not think it can be successfully argued that cereal grains such as rice, wheat,
barley, and etc. were ever a part of the natural human diet prior to but a few millenia ago (2, 4). I have yet to
find any respectable scientific reference which seriously suggests this might be so. The best argument that
can be made is that possibly early man may have occasionally munched on wild grass seeds, but the idea that
this would ever have been a daily staple seems quite far-fetched. I would be extremely interested in hearing
about any research which suggests that it might be otherwise. Given the lack of evidence to the contrary and
the simple fact that the idea of eating large quantities of cereal grains on a daily basis seems extremely
difficult to imagine without a system of agriculture, it surely seems to that there's not much reason to think
that cereal grains as a staple are in any way natural to the human animal.
There is also significant evidence linking the advent of agriculture with bone and joint disease (2, 3). A study
of a people eating a high saturated fat diet that are nearly 100% free of heart disease seems to show that the
most significant difference between their diet and that of Westerners is a lack of dairy and cereal grain
products (5). There is evidence that the proteins in cereal grains provoke auto-immune reactions (6). There is
also the troubling existence of Celiac disease, which is a serious condition caused entirely by sensitivity to
the proteins in cereal grains, and which appears to be quite a bit more common among peoples who have
culturally only been agriculturalist a relatively short time, such as the Irish, compared to that of, say, the
Indians or the Chinese; I do not happen to have references on the incidence of Celiac right now but perhaps
Ron Hoggan can help us out there (Ron, are you still reading?). Also Staffan has given us numerous
references in the past which strongly suggest that the phytic acid in cereal grains causes calcium depletion; I
have seen these references posted in the past but apparently not to this list; Staffan, could I talk you into
posting specific references for this matter to this list?
I see that this message has rambled more than I intended, and there are more references that can be offered. It
does seem to me that while it is probably not possible to construct "a paleodiet" for all humans that gives
specific content, it can be said that there are probably things in common to most if not all pre-agricultural
diets, especially if you start your definition by what such diets -lack-.
Perhaps others can comment further; my time for this evening (and this month I suspect!) is done. :-)
Dean
1. Ember CR. Myths about hunter gatherers. Ethnology 1978;17:439-48.
2. Eaton S, Nelson D, "Calcium in evolutionary perspective" _Am. J. Clin. Nutr._1991; 54: 281S - 287S
3 Armelagos G, Van Gerven D, Martin D, Huss-Ashmore R, "Effects of Nutritional Change on the Skeletal
Biology of Northeast African (Sudanese Nubian) Populations" _From Hunters to Farmers The Causes and
Consequences of Food Production in Africa_ Clark & Brandt (eds.) 1984; II: 37-146
4. Lutz W J, "The Colonisation of Europe and Our Western Diseases" _Medical Hypotheses_ 1995; 45: 115120
5. Lindeberg S, et al. "Cardiovascular risk factors in a Melanesian population apparently free from stroke and
ischaemic heart disease: the Kitava study" _J Intern Med_ 1994 Sep.
6. 11. Ostenstad B, Dybwad A, Lea T, Forre O, Vinje O, Sioud M, "Evidence for monoclonal expansion of
synovial T cells bearing V Alpha 2.1/V beta 5.5 gene segments and recognizing a syntehtic peptide that
shares homology with a number of putative autoantigens"
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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Cooking habits
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 20:44:53 -0400
A wonderful document, ARCTIC DAWN -- The Journeys of Samuel Hearne, is to be found in its entirety at
http://web.idirect.com/~hland/sh/title.html
This is, essentially, the journals of an 18th Century Englishman as he explored the Canadian wilderness.
Here is some fascinating stuff about diet and cooking from this journal. Note especially the use of an
animal's stomach as a cooking implement. The phrasing is a little hard to follow in places because Hearne's
18th-Century King's English is a bit different from modern English (I believe "parts of generation" refers to
genitalia, for example) but hopefully others will find these observations as interesting as did I. (Thanks to
David Chapman for supplying this originally to me):
From: A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean in the years 1769,
1770, 1771, 1772; Hearne, Samuel, 1745-1792, Strahan and Cadell, London, England, 1795.
13 July, 1771: ... Seeing some woods to the Westward, and judging that the current of the rivulet ran that
way, we concluded that the main river lay in that direction, and was not very remote from our present
situation. We therefore directed our course by the side of it, when the Indians met with several very fine buck
deer, which they destroyed; and as that part we now traversed afforded plenty of good firewood, we put up,
and cooked the most comfortable meal to which we had sat down for some months. As such favourable
opportunities of indulging the appetite happen but seldom, it is a general rule with the Indians, which we did
not neglect, to exert every art in dressing our food which the most refined skill in Indian cookery has been
able to invent, and which consists chiefly in boiling, broiling, and roasting: but of all the dishes cooked by
those people, a BEEATEE, as it is called in their language, is certainly the most delicious, at least for a
change, that can be prepared from a deer only, without any other ingredient. It is a kind of haggis, made with
the blood, a good quantity of fat shred small, some of the tenderest of the flesh, together with the heart and
lungs cut, or more commonly torn into small shivers; all which is put into the stomach, and roasted, by being
suspended before the fire by a string. Care must be taken that it does not get too much heat at first, as the bag
would thereby be liable to be burnt, and the contents to be let out. When it is sufficiently done, it will emit
steam, in the same manner as a fowl or a joint of meat; which is as much as to say, Come, eat me now: and if
it be taken in time, before the blood and other contents are too much done, it is certainly a most delicious
morsel, even without pepper, salt, or any other seasoning.
After regaling ourselves in the most plentiful manner, and taking a few hours rest, (for it was almost
impossible to sleep for the muskettoes,) we once more set forward, directing our course to the North West by
West; and after walking about nine or ten miles, arrived at that long wished-for spot, the Copper-mine River.
...
January, 1772 ....
The flesh of the buffalo is exceedingly good eating; and so entirely free from any disagreeable smell or taste,
that it resembles beef as nearly as possible: the flesh of the cows, when some time gone with calf, is
esteemed the finest; and the young calves, cut out of their bellies, are reckoned a great delicacy indeed.
... The tongue is also very delicate; and what is most extraordinary, when the beasts are in the poorest state,
which happens regularly at certain seasons, their tongues are then very fat and fine; some say fatter than
when they are in the best order; the truth of which, I will not confirm. ...
Though the flesh of the moose is esteemed by most Indians for both its flavour and substance, yet the
Northern Indians of my crew did not reckon either it or the flesh of the buffalo substantial food. This I should
think entirely proceeded from prejudice, especially with respect to the moose; but the flesh of the buffalo,
though so fine to the eye, and pleasing to the taste, is so light and easy of digestion, as not to be deemed
substantial food by any Indian in this country, either Northern or Southern. ...
Chapter IX: A Short Description of the Northern Indians, also a farther Account of their Country,
Manufactures, Customs, &c. ...

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The extreme poverty of those Indians in general will not permit one half of them to purchase brass kettles
from the Company; so that they are still under the necessity of continuing their original mode of boiling their
victuals in large upright vessels made of birch-rind. As those vessels will not admit being exposed to the fire,
the Indians, to supply the defect, heat stones red-hot and put them into the water, which soon occasions it to
boil; and by having a constant succession of hot stones, they may continue the process as long as it is
necessary. This method of cooking, though very expeditious, is attended with one great evil; the victuals
which are thus prepared are full of sand: for the stones thus heated, and then immerged in the water, are not
only liable to shiver to pieces, but many of them being of a coarse gritty nature, fall into a mass of gravel in
the kettle, which cannot be prevented from mixing with the victuals which are boiled in it. Besides this, they
have several methods of preparing their food, such as roasting it by a string, broiling it, &c; but these need no
farther description.
The most remarkable dish among them, as well as all the other tribes of Indians of those parts, both Northern
and Southern, is blood mixed with the half-digested food which is found in the deer's stomach or paunch, and
boiled up with a sufficient quantity of water, to make it of the consistence of pease-pottage. Some fat and
scraps of tender flesh are also shred small and boiled with it. To render this dish more palatable, they have a
method of mixing the blood with the contents of the stomach in the paunch itself, and hanging it up in the
heat and smoke of the fire for several days; which puts the whole mass into a state of fermentation, and gives
it such an agreeable acid taste, that were it not for prejudice, it might be eaten my those who have the nicest
palates. It is true, some people with delicate stomachs would not be easily persuaded to partake of this dish,
especially if they saw it dressed; for most of the fat which is boiled in it is first chewed by the men and boys,
in order to break the globules that contain the fat; by which means it all boils out, and mixes with the broth;
whereas, if it were permitted to remain as it came from the knife, it would still be in lumps, like suet. To do
justice, however, it their cleanliness in this particular, I must observe, that they are very careful that neither
old people with bad teeth, nor young children, have any hand in preparing this dish. At first, I must
acknowledge that I was rather shy in partaking of this mess, but when I was sufficiently convinced of the
truth of the above remark, I no longer made any scruple, but always thought it exceedingly good.
The stomach of no other large animal beside the deer is eaten by any of the Indians that border on Hudson's
Bay. In Winter, when the deer feed on fine white moss, the contents of the stomach is so much esteemed by
them, that I have often seen them sit round a deer where it was killed, and eat it warm out of the paunch. In
Summer the deer feed more coarsely, and therefore this dish, if it deserve that appellation, is then not so
much in favour. The young calves, fawns, beaver, &c. taken out of the bellies of their mothers are reckoned
most delicate food; and I am not the only European who heartily joins in pronouncing them the greatest
dainties that can be eaten. Many gentlemen who have served with me at Churchill, as well as at York Fort,
and the inland settlement, will readily agree with me in asserting, that no one who ever got the better of
prejudice so far as to taste of these young animals, but has immediately become excessively fond of them;
and the same may be said of young geese, ducks &c. in the shell. In fact, is almost become a proverb in the
Northern settlements, that whosoever wishes to know what is good, must live with the Indians.
The parts of generation belonging to any beast they kill, both male and female, are always eaten by the men
and boys; and though these parts, particularly in the males, are generally very tough, they are not, on any
account, to be cut with an edge-tool, but torn to pieces with the teeth; and when any part of them proves too
tough to be masticated, it is thrown into the fire and burnt. For the Indians believe firmly, that if a dog should
eat any part of them, it would have the same effect on their success in hunting, that a woman crossing their
hunting track at an improper period would have. The same ill-success is supposed also to attend them if a
woman eat any of those parts.
They are also remarkably fond of the womb of the buffalo, elk, deer, &c. which they eagerly devour without
washing, or any other process but barely stroking out the contents. This, in some of the larger animals, and
especially when they are some time gone with young, needs no description to make it sufficiently disgusting;
and yet I have known some in the Company's service remarkably fond of the dish, though I am not one of the
number. The womb of the beaver and deer is well enough, but that of the moose and buffalo is very rank, and
truly disgusting.*
* The Indian method of preparing this unaccountable dish is by throwing the filthy bag across a pole directly
over the fire, the smoke of which, they say, much improves it, by taking off the original flavour; and when
any of it is to be cooked, a large flake, like as much tripe, is cut off and boiled for a few minutes; but the
many large nodes with which the inside of the womb is studded, make it abominable. Those nodes are as
incapable of being divested of moisture as the skin of a live eel; but when boiled, much resemble, both in
shape and colour, the yolk of an egg, and are so called by the natives, and as eagerly devoured by them.

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The tripe of the buffalo is exceedingly good, and the Indian method of cooking it infinitely superior to that
practised in Europe. When opportunity will permit, they wash it tolerably clean in cold water, strip off all the
honey-comb, and only boil it about half, or three-quarters of an hour: in that time it is sufficiently done for
eating; and though rather tough than what is prepared in England, yet is exceedingly pleasant to the taste, and
must be much more nourishing that tripe that has been soked and scrubbed in many hot waters, and then
boiled for ten or twelve hours. The lesser stomach, or, as some call it, the many-folds, either of buffalo,
moose, or deer, are usually eaten raw, and are very good; but that of the moose, unless great care be taken in
washing it, is rather bitter, owing to the nature of their food.
The kidneys of both the moose and buffalo are usually eaten raw by the Southern Indians; for no sooner is
one of these beasts killed, than the hunter rips up its belly, thrusts in his arm, snatches out the kidneys, and
eats them warm, before the animal is quite dead. They also at times put their mouths to the wound the ball
has made, and suck the blood; which they say quenches thirst, and is very nourishing.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Cereal grains (cont) & Marrow
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 16:49:00 -0600

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I enjoyed Dean's recent piece on cereal grains. I would agree with his statement saying that Dr. Enig and
Sally Fallon are off base in suggesting that cereal grains have been a long term component of the human
dietary evolutionary experience. First off, as pointed out by Dean, Dr. Enig and Sally Fallon are incorrect in
suggesting that the consumption of plant seeds ("sunflower seeds, prickly pear seeds, limber pine seeds") at
pre-agricultural sites is a general indication of cereal grain consumption by pre-agricultural man. Cereal
grains are the seeds of grass and are botanically classified in the gramineae family. Consequently even
though the fossil record may indicate that pre-historic man may have consumed plant seeds, it cannot
necessarily be concluded that a specific type of seeds (gramineae) were consumed by paleolithic man as
well. There are a number of lines of logic which point to this conclusion. 1. There are 8 major cereal grains
which are consumed by modern man (wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, sorghum and millet) (1). Each of
these grains were derived from wild precursors whose original ranges were quite localized (1). Wheat and
barley were domesticated ~10, 000 years ago in the Near East; rice was domesticated approximately 7, 000
years ago in China, India and South East Asia; corn was domesticated 7, 000 years ago in central and south
america; millets were domesticated in Africa 5-6, 000 years ago; sorghum was domesticated in East Africa
5-6, 000; rye was domesticated ~5, 000 years ago in south west asia and oats were domesticated ~3, 000
years ago in europe. Consequently, the present day edible grass seeds simply would have been unavailable to
most of mankind until after their domestication because of their limited geographical distribution. Also, the
wild version of these grains were much smaller than the domesticated versions and extremely difficult to
harvest (2). 2. Clearly, grass seeds have a world wide distribution and would have been found in most
environments in which early man would have inhabited. However because almost all of these seeds are quite
small, difficult to harvest and require substantial processing before consumption (threshing, winnowing,
grinding and cooking), it would have been virtually impossible for pre behaviorally modern humans (circa
35, 000-40, 000) to exploit this food source. To harvest and process grains on a large scale, sickles,
winnowing trays (baskets), threshing sticks, grinding stones and cooking apparatus are required. There is no
reliable evidence to indicate that this combination of technology was ever utilized by hominids until the late
pleistocene. The advent of grinding stones in the mideast approximately 15, 000 years ago heralds the first
large scale evidence of regular cereal grain consumption by our species (3). There is substantial evidence that
certain modern day hunter gatherers such as the Australian Aborigine and the American Great Basin Indians
utilized grass seeds (1), however these grass seeds were not utilized as a staple and represented only a small
percentage of the total caloric intake and were eaten for only a few weeks out of the year. 3. Except for some
species of baboons, no primate consumes gramineae seeds as a part of their regular natural diet. Primates in
general evolved in the tropical rain forest in which dicotyledons predominate - consequently monocotyledons
(gramineae) would not have been available to our primate ancestors. 4. The primate gut is not equipped with
the enzyme systems required to derive energy from the specific types of fiber which predominate in
graminae. Consequently, unless cereal grains are milled to break down the cell walls and cooked to
crystallize the starch granules (&hence make them more digestible), the proteins and carbohydrates are
largely unavailable for absorption and assimilation. Thus, until the advent of regular fire use and control (as
evidenced by hearths ~125, 000) years ago, it would have been almost virtually energetically impossible for
our species to consume cereal grains to supply the bulk of our daily caloric requirements. 5. Eating raw
cereal grains (as well as cooked cereal grains) wreaks enormous havoc on the primate gut because of their
high antinutrient content. Additionally in virtually every animal model studied (dog, rat, guinea pig, baboon
etc - citations available if you want them), high cereal grain promotes and induces rickets. I havent even
touched upon the other antinutrients which inflict damage on a wide variety of human physiological systems
- these antinutrients include protease inhibitors, alkylrescorcinols, alpha amylase inhitors, molecular
mimicking proteins ect). Clearly, unprocessed cereal grains cannot contribute substantial calories to the diet
of primates unless they are cooked and processed. 6. Optimal foraging theory suggests that because of the
substantial amount of energy required to harvest, process and eat cereal grains, they generally would not be
eaten except under conditions of dietary duress (4).
A final note to Dr. Enig & Sally Fallon regarding the saturated fat argument. Recent unpublished data (we
will abstract this data for the Federation meeting this Fall) from our laboratory shows that although the lipid
content of wild animal marrow (a food commonly used by preagricultural man) is generally quite high in
total fat percent (~90%), it contains the lowest saturated fat content (20%) of four tissues we have studied
(brain, marrow, white adipose tissue and brain). Additionally it contains the highest level of
monounsaturated fats (~75%) of all tissues. Consequently, marrow would be generally non-atherogenic
because it contains such high levels of MS fats and quite low levels of saturated fat.
REFERENCES
1. Harlan JR. Crops and Man. American Society of Agronomy, Inc., Madison, WI, 1992.
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2. Zohary D. The progenitors of wheat and barley in relation to domestication and agricultural dispersal in
the old world. In: The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals. PJ Ucko, GW Dimbleby (Eds).
Aldine Publishing Co, Chicago, 1969;46-66.
3. Eaton SB. Humans, lipids and evolution. Lipids 1992;27:814-20.
4. Hawkes K, O'Connell JF. Optimal foraging models and the case of the !Kung. Am Anthropologist
1985;87:401-05.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Cereal grains
From: Mark Leney
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 09:40:36 +0100
Dean Esmay wrote:
> A review of modern hunter/gatherer diets(1) shows tremendous variation in diet based on these
> factors and I don't see how it's possible to argue that it has not always been so. In fact I think
> it can easily be argued that one of man's primary evolutionary advantages has been the ability to
> adapt to an extremely wide array of foods.
I'm not sure if we have been over this ground already, but it is perfectly possible to argue (and biologically it
must be the null assumption) that the vast majority of our nutritional requirements have (in the evolutionary
past) been satisfied by a relatively small number of food items.
Optimal foraging theory suggests that when all food types are ranked in terms of the time costs of processing
them and nutritional benefits resulting that a foraging indicidual can then be thought of as making a choice
when it encounters a potential food item, along these lines. Should I stop and eat this item or would my time
be better spent continuing my search for a more rewarding item. Stop and eat now will be common if the
processing time is very small or the density of better options is (or is likely) to be low. Leaving potential
food items will be common where processing times (including time taken to catch, dig-up, clean and eat
etc..) are high or the probablity of something better coming along soon is also high.
Following this simpel algorithim thorugh suggests that species will tend to minimize the number of food
species to that most efficient set. This is most likely to leave food resources for growth and reproduction
after maintainence. The assumption here is that the foragers is limited by a macronutrient. Micro-nutrient
limitation might complicate things.
Modern hunter-gatherers tend to live in environments where the costs of moving on to the next potential
resource are relatively high (!Kung women appear to have reached the point where foraging distance has
compromised their reproductive physiology), they take many sub-optimal items in their diet because the
density of optimal items is low and search costs are high, leading to dietary diversity. When there is a rich
and cheap source of food they concentrate on that (Mongogo nuts).
Our pre-agricultural ancestors in general did not live in the areas currently occupied by hunter-gatherers.
Because they occupied areas with richer resources now overun by agro/pastoralists the dynamic between
food choice and foraging time would be different. Less food species would be included in the diet as the
density of higher quality items increased. Therefore I would argue that dietary diversity amongst modern
HG's is derived and is not good evidence for the basic evolutionary dietary strategy adopted by humans in
the late Pleistocene.
If dietary diversity is a basic human adaptation then we have to conceive of humans as living largely in an
impoverished and marginal environment with few or no 'keystone' resource species (such as figs) providing
resource refugia during seasonal resource restrictions. Why would humans live in these places and where are
they?
All this mainly applies to the female diet, males will on the whole do more risky things, but then their
reproductive sucesss is not so closely linked to nutritional status as females. I am not arguing for an all meat
diet for these women, but I suggest that the basal dietary strategy may have been based on the efficient
exploitation of a few species at any one time and place. These key species would clearly vary accross space
and through time but then that kind of diversity is not what we are talking about when we look at modern
hunter-gatherers.
Well there you go, I'm an unreconstructed evolutionary ecologist so what would I know?

PALEODIET Archives
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Subject: Cereals in hunter-gatherer diets


From: Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 1997 11:05:02 +1000
In his last posting, Dean writes:
I do not think it can be successfully argued that cereal grains such as rice, wheat, barley, and etc. were ever a
part of the natural human diet prior to but a few millenia ago (2, 4). I have yet to find any respectable
scientific reference which seriously suggests this might be so.
I'd like to add something here. Although rice, wheat and barley were not part of Australian Aboriginal diets,
it sees that other cereal grains played an important role.
I cite from Kirk's book (Aboriginal Man Adapting, RL Kirk, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1983).
"Although the collection of seed was widespread across the continent, it was the predominant actitivy in
more arid areas and became high specialised in the wide belt of grasslands which sweep across the north and
down through the east of the Continent (this means about 30% of Australia!). Seed gathering activity was a
major activity for the Bagundji in the Darling River Basin, although in the Murray River area, tubers were
the main dietary staple. Early in the last century Mitchell (one of the first European explorers of Australia)
observed as he travelled down the Darling River that grass had been gathered and piled in heaps. Sometimes
the heaped grass (native millet or Panicum sp.) was burnt and the seed collected form the ground. But storing
the green grass in heaps also allowed the seed to be kept fresh for several months so that a supply was
aailable during the leaner period of the year. Reports from other places suggest that storage of seed was not
uncommon. Howitt, for exapmple reported in 1862 a store of Portulaca seed wrapped in grass and coated
with mud, and more recently in central Australia nearly 1000 kg of grain was found stored in wooden dishes.
Certainly in the more favoured grassland areas there were extensive tracts of grass for harvesting and one
report from south-west Queensland speaks of Aborigines reaping areas of 1000 acres of Panicum,, using
stone knives to cut the stalks. Tindale argues that the wet-milled grass-seed economy was greater than that of
one based on the hard seed derived form the shrublands. This greater edfficiency is one of the dterminants of
the far larger population among the tribes of the grassland areas.'
JBM's interpretation of all this: various AA groups seemed to have relished the cereal grains and eaten them
in significant amounts but I'm sure that much of the carbohydrate in them must have been resistant to
digestion and that which wasn't would have been slowly absorbed.
Cheers Jennie

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Insulin resistance and glucose scarcity in the paleolithic
From: Art De Vany
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 17:06:12 -0700
Whether it is called Profactor H, Syndrome X, or the Western Disease, the complex of factors surrounding
insulin resistance and hyperinsulemia are at the heart of many of the degenerative and lethal diseases that
afflict modern human beings. I think of insulin resistance as glucose sparing for it impedes transfer across
membranes and, thus, preserves a higher level of circulating glocose. Such a mechanism would serve to
protect the glucose-demanding brain in the internal competition between muscle, organ, and adipose tissue
for scarce glucose. (Adipose tissue indirectly competes for glucose; when the free fatty acids are taken up by
adipose tissue, removing substrate for gluconeogenesis.)
By limiting the uptake by other tissues, insulin resistance spares glucose for the brain. Indeed, the evolution
of a measure of glucose-sparing insulin resistance in other tissues relative to the brain may have been an
essential step in the development of large-brained homo sapiens. The positive, non-linear feedback in which
hyperinsulemia promotes higher insulin resistance which promotes higher hyperinsulemia, is also evidence
of a glucose scarce ancestral habitat. Evolutionarily elegant design would require a negative loop.
This hypothesis could be tested by comparing the relative passage rates of glucose into the relevant tissues
among insulin resistant and non-insulin resistant subjects. Insulin resistance must be a property of adipose
tissue as well as muscle tissue according to this model.
The existence of Factor H is evidence of the scarcity of glucose in the ancestral habitat and of the relative
abundance in the modern habitat. Whatever our ancestors ate, glucose was relatively scarce.

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Diet is only one part of dealing with Factor H. Intense exercise that passes the anerobic threshold promotes
growth hormone release, which breaks the positive feedback loop. Growth hormone is antagonistic to insulin
and at the same time sensitizes insulin receptors. Moderate exercise is incapable of triggering the large,
pulsate GH releases that are essential to breaking the hypercycle. Control theory tells us that you regulate a
non-linear, positive feedback system by taking some of the non-linearity out of it (sensitizing the insulin
binding sites through GH release does this) and by hitting it with control pulses (the pulsate GH spikes do
this). Evolution seems to have settled on the same control principles.
Effective exercise should be aimed at promoting hormone drive, not at burning calories.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Cereal Grains
From: Ron Hoggan
Date: Thu, 5 Jun 1997 23:20:28 -0700
Dean Esmay wrote:
> There is also significant evidence linking the advent of agriculture with bone and joint disease
> (2, 3). A study of a people eating a high saturated fat diet that are nearly 100% free of heart
> disease seems to show that the most significant difference between their diet and that of
> Westerners is a lack of dairy and cereal grain products (5). There is evidence that the proteins
> in cereal grains provoke auto-immune reactions (6). There is also the troubling existence of
> Celiac disease, which is a serious condition caused entirely by sensitivity to the proteins in
> cereal grains, and which appears to be quite a bit more common among peoples who have culturally
> only been agriculturalist a relatively short time, such as the Irish, compared to that of, say,
> the Indians or the Chinese; I do not happen to have references on the incidence of Celiac right
> now but perhaps Ron Hoggan can help us out there (Ron, are you still reading?).
I'm still reading, but am very limited in time right now. That will change in a couple of weeks, but in the
interim, my comments will have to be very brief.
Depending on the means of determining gluten intolerance, as associated with serum antibodies against some
protein fractions of wheat, rather than mental illness or villous atrophy, the incidence ranges from 15% of a
random population sample in Iceland (1) to 4.75% of a sample taken from healthy blood donors in Maryland,
USA (2) I think it reasonable to deduce that something more than 5% of Westerners experience an immune
response to the commonest food in our diet.
The types of gluten intolerance that result in mental illness are given little creedence in mainstream
medicine, and I am unaware of any epidemiological data on that facet of gluten intolerance.
As for celiac disease itself, there is increasing serological evidence, both from Europe and the USA, that the
incidence among healthy blood donors is ~ 1:250 (3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
There is further evidence that in patient populations with neuropathies of unknown etiology, the incidence of
celiac disease runs as high as 35% (8).
To my knowledge, no epidemiological studies have been done among cancer patients, but there is some basis
for speculating that, while not a carcinogen per se, some fractions of the cereal grain proteins which are toxic
to celiacs, may also be involved in the downregulation of natural killer cell activation, thus contributing to
the incidence and progression of a variety of malignancies. (9)
1. Arnason J, Gudjonsson H, Freysdottir J, Jonsdottir I, valdimarsson H. Do adults with high gliadin
antibody concentrations have subclinical gluten intolerance? Gut 1992; 33 (2): 194-197.
2. Not T, Horvath K, Hill I, Fasano A, Hammed A, Magazzu G, "ENDOMYSIUM ANTIBODIES IN
BLOOD DONORS PREDICTS A HIGH PRVALENCE OF CELIAC DISEASE IN USA"
_Gastroenterology_ Supplement April, 1996; 110(4): A 351
3. Challacombe, David "When is coeliac" _Lancet_ 1994; 343: p188
4. Tighe & Ciclitira "The implications of recent advances in coeliac disease" _Acta Paediatr_ 1993; 82: 805810
5. Corrao G, Corazza G, Andreani M, Torchio P, Valentini R, Galatola G, Quaglino D, Gasbarrini G, di Orio
F, "Serological screening of coeliac disease: choosing the optimal procedure according to various prevalence
values" _Gut_ 1994; 35: 771-775
6. Ladinser B, Rossipal E, Pittschieler K, "Endomysium antibodies in coeliac disease: an improved method"
_Gut_ 1994; 35: 776-778
7. Malnick S, Lurie Y, Bass D, Geltner D, "Screening of coeliac disease" _Lancet_ 1994; 343: 675
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8. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones G, Lobo A, Stephenson T, Milford-Ward A, "Does cryptic


gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness?" _Lancet_ 1996; 347: 369-371
9. Hoggan R, "Considering Wheat, Rye, Barley, and Oats Proteins as Aids to Carcinogens" _Medical
Hypotheses_ In Press
From Loren Cordain's post of June 4:
5. Eating raw cereal grains (as well as cooked cereal grains) wreaks enormous havoc on the primate gut
because of their high antinutrient content. Additionally in virtually every animal model studied (dog, rat,
guinea pig, baboon etc - citations available if you want them), high cereal grain promotes and induces
rickets. I havent even touched upon the other antinutrients which inflict damage on a wide variety of human
physiological systems - these antinutrients include protease inhibitors, alkylrescorcinols, alpha amylase
inhitors, molecular mimicking proteins ect). Clearly, unprocessed cereal grains cannot contribute substantial
calories to the diet of primates unless they are cooked and processed.
Hi Loren,
I would appreciate such citations as you offer. I'm sure I have some. One on dogs done here in Canada, and
one on cats. But I've never heard of the others and would welcome them, as I'm sure many list members
would.
Thanks, Ron Hoggan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Cereal grains
From: Sarah Mason
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 16:04:50 +0000
Dean Esmay and Loren Cordain have made some interesting arguments against the role of cereal grains
(defined as the seeds of Gramineae - the grass family) in pre-agrarian diet. I would like to present some
discussion regarding some of the points raised:
1. Dean says:
> I think instead it seems easier to use deductive reasoning in trying to define a "paleodiet": it
> can probably best be defined by what it lacks, rather than by what it contains. We can never know
> precisely what a pre-human living in plains 25, 000 years ago ate, but we can probably take very
> educated guesses about what he did -not- eat, and from that as a starting point we can start
> adding in what we think he -did- eat within reasonable guessing parameters.
Such an argument fails to acknowledge the crucial role of archaeological data - we can construct -models- of
Palaeolithic diet based on deductive reasoning from many and varied sources, but we can only -test- these
models against finds from the archaeological record. These, unfortunately, can be more or less equivocal;
nevertheless, we can make weaker or stronger inferences about some of the foods that people are likely to
have been eating, based on the archaeological evidence. We can guess that it is -unlikely- that people ate
particular items, but, given the vagaries of the archaeological record, especially from early periods, absence
of evidence can never provide conclusive proof regarding this. So I would disagree with Dean on this point we can be -more- (though not wholly) definite about what people ate than about what they did not eat.
2. Dean continues:
> From this perspective I do not think it can be successfully argued that cereal grains such as
> rice, wheat, barley, and etc. were ever a part of the natural human diet prior to but a few
> millenia ago .... I have yet to find any respectable scientific reference which seriously suggests
> this might be so. The best argument that can be made is that possibly early man may have
> occasionally munched on wild grass seeds, but the idea that this would ever have been a daily
> staple seems quite far-fetched. I would be extremely interested in hearing about any research
> which suggests that it might be otherwise. Given the lack of evidence to the contrary and the
> simple fact that the idea of eating large quantities of cereal grains on a daily basis seems
> extremely difficult to imagine without a system of agriculture, it surely seems to that there's
> not much reason to think that cereal grains as a staple are in any way natural to the human animal.
Loren backs up Dean's arguments by citing the restricted distributions of wild ancestors of the major modern
domesticated cereals, and suggesting that
> Also, the wild version of these grains were much smaller than the domesticated versions and
> extremely difficult to harvest ...... Clearly, grass seeds have a world wide distribution and
> would have been found in most environments in which early man would have inhabited. However
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> because almost all of these seeds are quite small, difficult to harvest and require substantial
> processing before consumption (threshing, winnowing, grinding and cooking), it would have been
> virtually impossible for pre behaviorally modern humans (circa 35, 000-40, 000) to exploit this food
> source. To harvest and process grains on a large scale, sickles, winnowing trays (baskets),
> threshing sticks, grinding stones and cooking apparatus are required.
There is very good ethnobotanical, ecological, experimental and archaeobotanical evidence which can be
used to support a hypothesis of pre-agrarian grass seed use ('cereal' usually being confined to the seeds of
domesticated forms). As both Loren Cordain and Jennie Brand Miller have already suggested,
ethnoecological data, especially from Australia, western North America, and Africa suggest that wild grass
seeds can potentially contribute significantly to diet (see Harris, D. 1984. Ethnohistorical evidence for the
exploitation of wild grasses and forbs: its scope and archaeological implications. In Plants and Ancient Man.
W. van Zeist & W.A. Casparie (ed.), 63-69. Rotterdam: Balkema; Harlan, J.R. 1989. Wild grass-seed
harvesting in the Sahara and Sub-Sahara of Africa. In Foraging and Farming: The Evolution of Plant
Exploitation. D.R. Harris & G.C. Hillman (ed.), 79-98. One World Archaeology. London: Unwin Hyman).
Harlan's classic experiments demonstrated that wild grass seed harvesting can be extremely productive
(Harlan, J.R. 1967. A wild wheat harvest in Turkey. Archaeology 20: 197-201). Archaeobotanical evidence
for pre-agrarian Gramineae seed use (I'm excluding later pre-agrarian evidence here, since the arguments
seem to centre around Palaeolithic use, for which I'm assuming approximately a pre-Holocene cut-off point)
comes mainly from the Near East, with the best examples being the sites of Tell Abu Hureyra and Ohalo II
(though less categoric and/or relatively later finds have also been made in Epipalaeolithic levels from Wadi
Hammeh and Jericho) (see Hillman, G.C., S.M. Colledge & D.R. Harris. 1989. Plant-food economy during
the Epipalaeolithic period at Tell Abu Hureyra, Syria: dietary diversity, seasonality, and modes of
exploitation. In Foraging and Farming: The Evolution of Plant Exploitation. D.R. Harris & G.C. Hillman
(ed.), 240-268. One World Archaeology. London: Unwin Hyman; Kislev, M.E., D. Nadel & I. Carmi. 1992.
Epipalaeolithic (19, 000 BP) cereal and fruit diet at Ohalo II, Sea of Galilee, Israel. Review of Palaeobotany
and Palynology 73: 161-166).
3. The above cannot demonstrate, and nor am I suggesting that grass seeds necessarily ever constituted a major- portion of pre-agrarian diet, partly for reasons provided by Loren Cordain in his post (though in a
previous post I have also questioned the need to assume that foodstuffs were ever necessarily consumed as
'staples' equivalent to agricultural staples during the Palaeolithic). However, I am concerned particularly with
the way in which arguments surrounding this issue are apparently being used in the literature; and this brings
me to a crucial question surrounding the whole issue of 'palaeodiets'. Many of the references in opposition to
the use of cereal grains pre-agriculture are traceable to the work of Boyd Eaton (see Dean and Loren's
previous posts), whose reconstructions of 'Palaeolithic diet' derive from a combination of dietary studies of
recent peoples (both 'hunter-gatherers' and 'traditional agriculturalists'), and nutritional analyses of a range of
wild plant and animal foods. As an archaeologist I acknowledge the great usefulness of such data in erecting
hypotheses about pre-agrarian diet. However, I have two concerns about the use of such arguments by those
arguing for a 'Palaeolithic (dietary) prescription' for modern ailments. First, since much of the data used in
constructing arguments about a 'healthy' diet derives from studies of recent h-gs and traditional
agriculturalists, why is it felt necessary to go through the extra step of extrapolating such diets back to the
Palaeolithic to demonstrate that they might be good for us too? Notwithstanding arguments about our
common ancient genetic heritage, this seems to me an unnecessary step, replete as it is with the many
uncertainties that much of the debate on this list makes clear exist - if elements of dietary practice exhibited
by recent h-gs and agriculturalists can be demonstrated to be 'healthy', then any need to back this up by
referring to them as 'Palaeolithic' is not only superfluous, but may well be inaccurate. Which leads onto my
second point, which is that the desire to produce a model of Palaeolithic diet which supports
recommendations for a modern healthy diet is in many ways putting the cart before the horse, in that
arguments about the 'paleodiet' may be being influenced by opinions about what constitutes a 'healthy' diet;
and, most importantly (from my point of view anyway), may be preventing an objective approach to the true
nature of Palaeolithic diets.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: More on cooking
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Fri, 6 Jun 1997 20:29:55 -0400

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Two interesting observations about the below:


1) Here is at least one hunter/gatherer people who seem to eat a fairly wide variety of foods (meats of many
varieties, corn, squash, melons, beans, edible tree bark, wild rice, although the meat seems most strongly
emphasized).
2) Here we have another example of a non-agriculturalist people eating grains, albeit that it is unclear what
percentage of the diet this would have been.
(Again, the below is supplied by Dave Chapman.)
From: Carver's Travels through North America in the Years 1766, 1767, and 1768 with Illustrations and
Maps, Carver, Jonathan, 1710-1780, J.Walter and S. Crowder, London, 1778.
CHAP. VI. Of Their Feasts.
Many of the Indian nations neither make use of bread, salt, or spices; and some of them have never seen or
tasted of either. The Naudowessies in particular have no bread, nor any substitute for it. They eat the wild
rice which grows in great quantities in different parts of their territories; but they boil it and eat it alone. They
also eat the flesh of the beasts they kill, without having recourse to any farinaceous substance to absorb the
grosser particles of it. And even when they consume the sugar which they have extracted fro the maple tree,
they use it not to render some other food palatable, but generally eat it by itself. Neither have they any idea
of the use of milk, although they might collect great quantities from the buffalo of the elk; they only consider
it as proper for the nutriment of the young of these beasts, during their tender state. I could not perceive that
any inconveniency attended the total disuse of articles esteemed so necessary and nutritious by other nations,
on the contrary, they are in general healthy and vigorous.
One dish however, which answers nearly the same purpose as bread, is in use among the Ottagaumies, the
Saukies, and the more eastern nations, where Indian corn grows, which is not only much esteemed by them,
but it is reckoned extremely palatable by all the Europeans who enter their dominions. This is composed of
their unripe corn as before described, and beans in the same state, boiled together with bears flesh, the fat of
which moistens the pulse, and renders it beyond comparison delicious. They call this food Succatosh.
The Indians are far from being canibals as they are said to be. All their victuals are either roasted or boiled;
and this in the extreme. Their drink is generally the broth in which it has been boiled.
Their food consists of the flesh of the bear, the buffalo, the elk, the deer, the beaver, and the racoon; which
they prepare in the manner just mentioned. The usually eat the flesh of the deer which is naturally dry, with
that of the bear which is fat and juicy; and though the latter is extremely rich and luscious, it is never known
to cloy.
In the spring of the year, the Naudowessies eat the inside bark of a shrub that they gather in same part of
their country; but I could neither learn the name of it, or discover from whence they got it. It was of a brittle
nature and easily masticated. The taste of it was very agreeable, and they said it was extremely nourishing. In
flavour it was not unlike the turnip, and when received into the mouth resembled that root both in its puplous
and frangible nature.
The lower ranks of the Indians are exceedingly nasty in dressing their victuals, but some of the chiefs are
very neat and cleanly in their apparel, tents, and food.
They commonly eat in large parties, so that their meals may properly be termed feasts; and this they do
without being restricted to any fixed or regular hours, but just as their appetites require, and convenience
suits. They usually dance either before or after every meal; and by this cheerfulness, probably, render the
Great Spirit, to whom they consider themselves as indebted for every good, a more acceptable sacrifice than
a formal and unanimated thanksgiving. The men and women feast apart: and each sex invite by turns their
companions to partake with them of the food they happen to have; but in their domestic way of living then
men and women eat together.
No people are more hospitable, kind, and free than the Indians. They will readily share with any of their own
tribe the last part of their provisions, and even with those of a different nation, if they chance to come in
when they are eating. Though they do not keep one common flock, yet that community of goods which is so
prevalent among them, and their generous disposition, render it nearly of the same effect.
When the chiefs are convened on any public business, they always conclude with a feast, at which their
festivity and cheerfulness knows no limits.
CHAP. XIX. Of the Trees, Shrubs, Roots, Herbs, Flowers, &c. ....
Farinaceous and Leguminous Roots, &c. Maize or Indian Corn, Wild Rice, Beans, the Squash, &c.

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MAIZE or INDIAN CORN, grows to the height of about five or six feet, on a stalk full of joints, which is
stiff and solid, and when green, abounding with a sweet juice. The leaves are like those of the reed, about
two feet in length, and three of four inches broad. The flowers which are produced at some distance from the
fruit on the same plant, grow like the ears of oats, and are sometimes white, yellow, or of a purple colour.
The seeds are as large as peas, and like them quite naked and smooth, but of a roundish surface, rather
compressed. One spike generally consists of about six hundred grains, which are placed closely together in
rows to the number of eight or ten, and sometimes twelve. This corn is very wholesome, easy of digestion,
and yields as good nourishment as any other sort. After the Indians have reduced it to meal by pounding it,
the make cakes of it and bake them before the fire. I have already mentioned that some nations eat it in cakes
before it is ripe, in which state it is very agreeable to the palate and extremely nutritive.
WILD RICE. This grain, which grows in the greatest plenty throughout the interior part of North America, is
the most valuable of the spontaneous productions of that country. Exclusive of its utility, as a supply of food
for those of the human species who inhabit this part of the continent, and obtained without any other trouble
than that of gathering it, in the sweetness and nutritious quality of it attracts an infinite number of wild fowl
of every kind, which flock from distant climes to enjoy this rare repast; and by it become inexpressibly fat
and delicious. In future periods it will be of great service to the infant colonies, as will afford them a present
support, until in the course of cultivation other supplies may be produced; whereas in those realms which are
not furnished with this bounteous gift of nature, even if the climate is temperate and the soil good, the first
settlers are often exposed to great hardships from the want of an immediate resource for necessary food. This
useful grain grows in the water where it is about two feet deep, and where it finds a rich muddy soil. The
stalks of it, and the branches or ears that bear the seed, resemble oats both in their appearance and manner of
growing. The stalks are full of joints, and rise more than eight feet above the water. The natives gather the
grain in the following manner: nearly about the time that it begins to turn from its milky state and to ripen,
they run their canoes into the midst of it, and tying bunches of it together just below the ears with bark, leave
it in this situation three or four weeks longer, till it is perfectly ripe. About the latter end of September they
return to the river, when each family having its separate allotment, and being able to distinguish their own
property by the manner of fastening the sheaves, gather in the portion that belongs to them. This they do by
placing their canoes close to the bunches of rice, in such position to receive the grain when it falls, and then
beat it out, with pieces of wood formed for that purpose. Having done this, they dry it with smoke, and
afterwards tread or rub it off the outside husk; when it is fit for use they put it into the skins of fawns or
young buffalos taken off nearly whole for this purpose and sewed into a sort of sack, wherein they preserve it
till the return of their harvest. It has been the subject of much speculation why this spontaneous grain is not
found in any other regions of America, or in those countries situated in the same parallels of latitude, where
the waters are as apparently adapted for its growth as in the climates I treat of. As for instance, none of the
countries that lie to the south and east of the great lakes, even from the provinces north of the Carolinas to
the extremities of Labradore, produce any of this grain. It is true I found great quantities of it in the watered
lands near Detroit, between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, but on enquiry I learned that it never arrived nearer
to maturity then just to blossom; after which it appeared blighted, and died away. This convinces me that the
northwest wind, as I have before hinted, is much more powerful in these than in the interior parts; and that it
is more inimical to the fruits of the earth, after it has passed over the lakes and become united with the wind
which joins it from the frozen regions of the north, that it is farther to the westward.
BEANS. These are nearly of the same shape as the European beans, but are not much larger than the smallest
size of them. They are boiled by the Indians and eaten chiefly with bear's flesh.
The SQUASH. They have also several species of the MELON or PUMPKIN, which my some are called
Squashes, and which serve many nations partly as a substitute for bread. Of these there is the round, the
crane-neck, the small flat, the large oblong Squash. The smaller sorts being boiled, are eaten during the
summer as vegetables; and are all of a pleasing flavour. The crane-neck, which greatly excels all the others,
are usually hung up for a winter's store and in this manner might be preserved for several months.
I am sensible the I have not treated the foregoing Account of the natural productions of the interior parts of
North America with the precision of a naturalist. I have neither enumerated the whole of the trees, shrubs,
plants, herbs, &c. that it produces, nor have I divided them into classes according to their different genera
after the Linnaean method: the limits of my Work, in its present state, would not permit me to pursue the
Subject more copiously. However, if the favour of the Public should render a future edition necessary, as I
trust, from the number of Subscribers who have already favoured me with their Names, will be the case, I
then propose the enlarge it considerably, and to insert many interesting particulars and descriptions, which
the size of the present Edition obliges me to curtail or entirely to omit.

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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: More on cereal grains & response to Sarah Mason
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 12:28:00 -0600
The following citations show that excessive whole cereal grain consumption ( > 50% of total calories) can
cause or exacerbate rickets and/or osteomalacia in both animals and man: (I inclued the articles on zinc
deficiency because it (zinc deficiency) has now been shown to retard skeletal growth (12).
1. Robertson I et al. The role of cereals in the aetiology of nutritional rickets: the lesson of the Irish National
Nutrition Survey 1943-8. Brit J Nutr 1981;45:17-22. 2. Ewer TK. Rachitogenicity of green oats. Nature
1950;166:732-33. 3. Sly MR. et al. Exacerbation of rickets and osteomalacia by maize: a study of bone
histomorphometry and composition in young baboons. Calcif Tissue Int 1984;36:370-79. 4. Ford JA et al. A
possible relationship between high extraction cereal and rickets and osteomalacia. Advances in Exp Med &
Biol 1977;81:353-62. 5. Ford JA et al. Biochemical response of late rickets and osteomalacia to a chupatty
free diet. Brit Med J 1972;ii:446-447. 6. MacAuliffe T. et al. Variable rachitogenic effects of grain and
alleviation by extraction or supplementation with vitamin D, fat and antibiotics. Poultry Science
1976;55:2142-47. 7. Hidiroglou M et al. Effect of a single intramuscular dose of vitamin D on concentrations
of liposoluble vitamins in the plasma of heifers winter-fed oat silage, grass silage or hay. Can J Anim Sci
1980; 60:311-18. 8. Reinhold JG. High phytate content of rural Iranian bread: a possible cause of human zinc
deficiency. Am J Clin Nutr 1971;24:1204-06. 9. Halsted JA et al. Zinc deficiency in man, The Shiraz
Experiment. Am J Med 1972;53:277-84. 10. Sandstrom B et al. Zinc absorption in humans from meals based
on rye, barley, oatmeat, triticale and whole wheat. J Nutr 1987;117:1898-1902. 11. Dagnelie PC et al. High
prevalence of rickets in infants on macrobiotic diets. Am J Clin Nutr 1990;51:202-08. 12. Golub MS et al.
Adolescent growth and maturation in zinc-deprived rhesus monkeys. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;64:274-82.
RESPONSE TO SARAH MASON'S LAST POSTING:
Clearly, present day and historical accounts of hunter-gatherers have shown that cereal grains have been
included in the human diet. Sarah's reference list on this topic is comprehensive and outlines most of the
better known citations. However, the point to be made here is that cereal grains rarely formed the bulk of the
daily caloric intake throughout the year of any of these peoples, and that for virtually all of the rest of the
studied hunter-gatherer populations, cereal grains were not consumed. Consequently, in view of optimal
foraging theory, it seems likely that during the late paleolithic and before, when large mammals abounded,
our ancestors would almost have never consumed the seeds of grass. As has been suggested by John Yudkin
almost 30 years ago, cereal grains are a relatively recent food for hominids and our physiologies are still
adjusting and adapting to their presence. Clearly, no human can live on a diet composed entirely of cereal
grains (for one thing they have no vitamin C). As I pointed out in my last posting, when cereal grain calories
reach 50% or more of the daily caloric intake, humans suffer severe health consequences. One has to look no
further than the severe pellagra epidemics of the late 19th century in America and the beri-beri scourges of
South East Asian to confirm this. The present day incidence of hypo-gonadal dwarfism in Iran (8, 9) lends
further support to this notion. Simoons classic work (Simoons FJ. Celiac disease as a geographic problem.
In: Food, Nutrition & Evolution, DN Walcher & N Kretchmer (Eds). NY, Masson Pub, 1981, 179-199) on
the incidence of celiac disease shows that the distribution of the HLA B8 haplotype of the human major
histocompatibility complex (MHC) nicely follows the spread of farming from the mideast to northern
europe. Because there is strong linkage disequalibrium between HLA B8 and the HLA genotypes which are
associated with celiac disease, it indicates that those populations with the least exposure to cereal grains
(wheat primarily) have the highest incidence of celiac disease. This genetic argument is perhaps the strongest
evidence to support Yudkin's observation that humans are incompletely adapted to the consumption of cereal
grains. Thus, the genetic evidence for human disease (in this case, I have used celiac disease, however other
models of autoimmune disease could have been used) is supported by the archeological evidence which in
turn supports the clinical evidence. Thus, the extrapolation of paleo diets has provided important clues to
human disease - clues which may have gone un-noticed without the conglomeration of data from many
diverse fields (archaeology, nutrition, immunology, genetics, anthropology and geography). So, in the case
of the celiac disease, we clearly are not putting the cart before the horse. For a celiac, a healthy diet is
definitely cereal free - why is this so - perhaps now the evolutionary data is finally helping to solve this
conundrum.

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PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Cereal grains
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 14:55:35 +0100
Dean asked for references to the notion that phytic acid in cereal grains causes calcium depletion. In 1992
Professor Harold H. Sandsted, who is Interim Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
the most important journal of nutrition, noted that "the evidence seems overwhelming that high intakes of
fiber sources that are also rich in phytate can have adverse effects on mineral nutrition of humans" and that,
"in view of the [reviewed] data, it appears that some health promoters who suggest that U.S. adults should
consume 30-35 g dietary fiber daily either have not done their homework or have simply ignored carefully
done research on this topic" [1]. My own opinion is that authorities who advocate cereals in a prudent
western diet largely do so for practical reasons [2].
So let's look do the homework. Whole meal cereals and other seeds have in their shells phytic acid which
strongly binds to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to form insoluble salts, phytates [1, 3-7]. It
is well known that whole meal cereals by this mechanism decrease the absorption of such minerals [1, 3-7].
There is apparently no adaptation to a habitual high intake of phytic acid [8] which is an important
contributing cause of iron deficiency in third world countries and possibly in the western world [9]. It is also
an important cause of mineral deficiency in vegetarians [10-12]. The most commonly studied minerals are
bound to phytic acid possibly in the following decreasing order: calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium (Fredlund K,
personal communication).
Mellanby found back in the 30s that young dogs got rickets when they were fed oatmeal [13]. He was made
aware of the calcium-binding effect of phytate [14] and showed that phytate was the dietary factor
responsible for inhibition of calcium absorption by oatmeal as well as the induction of rickets in dogs [15].
McCance and Widdowson found adverse effects of bread prepared from high-extraction wheat flour on
retention of essential metals by humans [16]. They also showed that destruction of phytate improved
retention of calcium [17]. Substantial evidence have later firmly established this negative impact of phytate
[1, 3-7]. Not even rats seem to be fully adapted to graminivorous diets since phytate adversely affects
mineral absorption in them as well [18].
In the archaeological record, rickets is rare or absent in preagricultural human skeletons, while the
prevalence increases during medieval urbanization and then explodes during industrialism [19]. In the year
1900, an estimated 80-90 per cent of Northern European children were affected [20, 21]. This can hardly be
explained only in terms of decreasing exposure to sunlight and descreased length of breast-feeding. An
additional possible cause is a secular trend of increasing intake of phytate since cereal intake increased
during the Middle Ages (Morell M, personal communication) and since old methods of reducing the phytate
content such as malting, soaking, scalding, fermentation, germination and sourdough baking may have been
lost during the agrarian revolution and industrialism by the emergence of large-scale cereal processing. The
mentioned methods reduce the amount of phytic acid by use of phytases, enzymes which are also present in
cereals [22-26]. These enzymes are easily destroyed during industrial cereal processing [27, 28].
It should be noted that dietary fiber alone has no impact on mineral absorption [5, 29] why a high intake of
fiber from fruits and tubers can safely be recommended, at least from this point of view.
Best regards to all of you,
Staffan

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1. Sandstead HH. Fiber, phytates, and mineral nutrition. Nutr Rev 1992; 50: 30-1. 2. Walker ARP, Walker
BF I. I. Fiber, phytic acid, and mineral metabolism. Nutr Rev 1992; 50: 246-7. 3. Spivey Fox MR, Tao S-H.
Antinutritive effects of phytate and other phosphorylated derivatives. In: Hathcock JN, ed. Nutritional
Toxicology. New York: Academic Press, 1989: 59-96. vol 3). 4. Harland BF. Dietary fibre and mineral
bioavailability. Nutr Res Rev 1989; 2: 133-47. 5. Rossander L, Sandberg A-S, Sandstr=F6m B. The
influence of dietary fibre on mineral absorption and utilisation. In: Schweizer TF, Edwards CA, ed. Dietary
fibre - a component of food. Nutritional function in health and disease. London: 1992: 6. Sandberg AS,
Hasselblad C, Hasselblad K, Hulten L. The effect of wheat bran on the absorption of minerals in the small
intestine. Br J Nutr 1982; 48: 185-91. 7. Morris ER. Phytate and dietary mineral bioavailability. In: Graf E,
ed. Phytic acid: Chemistry and applications. Minneapolis: Pilatus Press, 1986: 57-76. vol 4). 8. Brune M,
Rossander L, Hallberg L. Iron absorption: no intestinal adaptation to a high-phytate diet. Am J Clin Nutr
1989; 49: 542-5. 9. Hallberg L, Rossander L, Skanberg AB. Phytates and the inhibitory effect of bran on iron
absorption in man. Am J Clin Nutr 1987; 45: 988-96. 10. Harland BF, Smith SA, Howard MP, Ellis R, Smith
JJ. Nutritional status and phytate:zinc and phytate x calcium:zinc dietary molar ratios of lacto-ovo vegetarian
Trappist monks: 10 years later. J Am Diet Assoc 1988; 88: 1562-6. 11. Ellis R, Kelsay JL, Reynolds RD,
Morris ER, Moser PB, Frazier CW. Phytate:zinc and phytate X calcium:zinc millimolar ratios in selfselected diets of Americans, Asian Indians, and Nepalese. J Am Diet Assoc 1987; 87: 1043-7. 12. Gibson
RS. Content and bioavailability of trace elements in vegetarian diets. Am J Clin Nutr 1994; 59(5 Suppl):
1223S-1232S. 13. Mellanby E. A story of nutrition research.Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co, 1950 14.
Bruce H, Callow R. Cereals and rickets. The role of inositolhexaphosphoric acid. Biochem J 1934; 28: 51728. 15. Harrison D, Mellanby E. Phytic acid and the rickets-producing action of cereals. Biochem J 1934; 28:
517-28. 16. McCance R, Widdowsos E. Mineral metabolism of healthy adults on white and brown bread
dietaries. j Physiol 1942; 101: 44-85. 17. McCance R, Edgecombe C, Widdowson E. Mineral metabolism of
dephytinized bread. J Physiol 1942; 101: 18. Fairweather TS, Wright AJ. The effects of sugar-beet fibre and
wheat bran on iron and zinc absorption in rats. Br J Nutr 1990; 64: 547-52. 19. Stuart-Macadam PL.
Nutritional deficiency diseases: a survey of scurvy, rickets, and iron-deficiency anemia. In: Is=E7an MY,
Kennedy KAR, ed= . Reconstruction of life from the human skeleton. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1989: 201-22.
20. Gibbs D. Rickets and the crippled child: an historical perspective [see comments]. J R Soc Med 1994; 87:
729-32. 21. Hernigou P. Historical overview of rickets, osteomalacia, and vitamin D. Rev Rhum Engl Ed
1995; 62: 261-70. 22. Sandberg AS. The effect of food processing on phytate hydrolysis and availability of
iron and zinc. Adv Exp Med Biol 1991; 289: 499-508. 23. Svanberg U, Sandberg A-S. Improved iron
availability in weaning foods using germination and fermentation. In: Southgate DAT, Johnson IT,
=46enwick GR, ed. Nutrient Availability: Chemical and biological aspects. Cambridge: Cambridge
University press, 1989: 179-81. 24. Larsson M, Sandberg A-S. Phytate reduction in bread containing oat
flour, oat bran or rye bran. J Cereal Sci 1991; 14: 141-9. 25. Navert B, Sandstrom B, Cederblad A. Reduction
of the phytate content of bran by leavening in bread and its effect on zinc absorption in man. Br J Nutr 1985;
53: 47-53. 26. Caprez A, Fairweather TS. The effect of heat treatment and particle size of bran on mineral
absorption in rats. Br J Nutr 1982; 48: 467-75. 27. Sandberg A-S. Food processing influencing iron
bioavailability. In: Hallberg L, Asp N-G, ed. Iron Nutrition in Health and Disease. London: John Libbey,
1996: 349-58. 28. Sandstrom B. Food processing and trace element supply. In: Somogyi JC, Muller HR, ed.
Nutritional Impact of Food Processing. Bibl Nutr Dieta. Basel: Karger, 1989: 165-72. 29. Andersson H,
Navert B, Bingham SA, Englyst HN, Cummings JH. The effects of breads containing similar amounts of
phytate but different amounts of wheat bran on calcium, zinc and iron balance in man. Br J Nutr 1983; 50:
503-10.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Add to the dangers of vegging out....
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 01:08:57 +0100
> According to Professor Uri Seligson, insufficient levels of vitamin B-12 can lead to nervous
> system damage. He noted that these symptoms could develop in people strict vegetarians who eat no
> meat, dairy products or eggs.
> Awwww, that's not fair. As people age, they lose the "intrinsic factor" in their stomachs which is
> necessary for the absorption of B12. That's why they have sublinguals and shots of B12.

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Very fair indeed. It is well established knowledge, not just a notion by Seligson, that long term vegetarians,
most notably vegans, are at increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency [Herbert V. Staging vitamin B-12
(cobalamin) status in vegetarians. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 59: 1213S-22S].
"As people age..." should better be "As western people age...". Although this particular aspect of human
aging has not been studied in non-western populations, there are many other aging processes that are not
seen in such people. Accordingly, aging in the West is sometimes obviously quite different than true
biological aging.
Best regards
Staffan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Cereal grains
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 13:33:55 -0400
In response to Sarah mason's piece on Friday:
I believe Sarah makes a justifiable point. She is also not the first archaeologist to raise this objection. Just
days before her note to the list, another archaeologist made a similar point to me in private email. In
contemplating their messages I suspect that most archaeologists probably have very similar concerns and
may well be wondering if the rest of us are all daft.
From the point of view of an archaeologist, much if not most of our discussions are putting the cart before
the horse. They understand better than anybody the available evidence for what pre-agricultural humans ate
really is, how slim it is on certain points, how much debate there has been in this area, and where and how
those debates continue. It is in those debates that they center their attention. From the view of the
archaeologist, the object of "paleolithic nutrition" is to find out very specifically what exactly people ate
during a very specific and exact time period; to them the discussion is about that specific point. The idea of
applying this to modern life probably seems a bit odd. From their perspective a lot of the deductions made
about human diet prior to written history are only speculation and often not particularly scientific by the
standards of their field.
What I think some archaeologists may be missing is that they'll probably never have a complete picture and
will always have debate over many specific points. They may also miss that the results of their hunt in this
area has serious ramifications for those far beyond their field. The question of what humans evolved to eat is
an important one which may have tremendous impact on medicine and nutrition.
In fact, the concept of paleolithic nutrition as a model for a healthy diet for modern humans started among
anthropologists (Vilhjalmur Stefansson seems to have been the first), with people in medicine and nutrition
taking a strong interest some time later. That interest waxed and waned for a while but got serious I think
after Boyd Eaton revived serious interest in the subject in the 1980s.
The very name "paleolithic nutrition" probably suggests something far different and far more specific to an
archaeologist than it does to people outside that field. To the nutritionist, "Paleolithic nutrition" is about how
humans ate prior to agriculture; to the archaeologist, it implies examinatioon of precisely that particular
period in prehistory from about 750, 000 b.c. to roughly 15, 000 b.c. and furthermore would be about various
periods within the paleolithic, and various regions during those time periods.
I suspect that a lot of archaeologists are simply lost on a lot of these discussions because they're not entirely
sure what some of us are babbling about, and are probably wondering quite frequently why many of us are
generalizing strongly about certain things that, to them, ought not to be generalized about at all.
Sarah suggests that:
> First, since much of the data used in constructing arguments about a 'healthy' diet derives from
> studies of recent h-gs and traditional agriculturalists, why is it felt necessary to go through
> the extra step of extrapolating such diets back to the Palaeolithic to demonstrate that they might
> be good for us too? Notwithstanding arguments about our common ancient genetic heritage, this
> seems to me an unnecessary step, replete as it is with the many uncertainties that much of the
> debate on this list makes clear exist - if elements of dietary practice exhibited by recent h-gs
> and agriculturalists can be demonstrated to be 'healthy', then any need to back this up by
> referring to them as 'Palaeolithic' is not only superfluous, but may well be inaccurate. Which
> leads onto my second point, which is that the desire to produce a model of Palaeolithic diet which
> supports recommendations for a modern healthy diet is in many ways putting the cart before the
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> horse, in that arguments about the 'paleodiet' may be being influenced by opinions about what
> constitutes a 'healthy' diet; and, most importantly (from my point of view anyway), may be
> preventing an objective approach to the true nature of Palaeolithic diets.
The very concept of paleolithic diet (or exercise) as a healthy modern lifestyle is a theoretical model, not a
proven proposition. And it is much more a medical or biological model than an archaeological one. Although
it may be of some interest to the archaeologist, I don't think the archaeologist should take it very seriously in
his quest to learn -in his field-. The biological model may be an interesting thing for him to contemplate and
might provide him with a flash of insight, but might equally be a distraction or lead him in directions he
needn't necessarily go.
But without the evidence from the evolutionary record, the medical side of this discussion grinds to a halt.
Who would seriously suggest that the diet of the Pygmie, the Australian Aborigine, the Watusi, and the Inuit
have something in common, or anything meaningful to contribute to modern ideas of nutrition? What
compelling basis would there be for any such theory? The only basis, realistically, seems to lie in the fact
that most of the evidence suggests that modern hunter/gatherers have a lifestyle that probably more closely
resembles that of pre-historic humans than anything or anyone else in the modern world (although
Lindeberg's work with the Kitava provides an interesting, if closely related, alternative view). The only
reason we would think their lifestyle would have much to teach us in the field of nutrition is because they
appear to be the peoples closest to the evolutionary roots we sprang from.
Medical research is full of conflicting theories and ideas. Nutritional research as a field is chaotic and filled
with a shameful amount of politics; large corporate agricultural interests fund research testing the alleged
health benefits of vegetarianism or whole grain foods, ethical vegetarians fund studies to test the proposition
that meat is carcinogenic and atherogenic, margarine manufacturers fund studies attempting to show that
butter kills and vegetable oil is "heart-healthy, " egg manufacturers fund studies showing that eggs are good
for you, and so on and so forth. And because human biology is such a very complicated thing, it is terribly
easy to come up with facts that support a wide variety of theories. Furthermore, the pace of much medical
research is achingly slow and terribly specific to the point at times of being not very useful without much
more research. The simple question of whether or not saturated fat is atherogenic has been fought over for
decades, and just when the issue seemed settled has started again in recent years with people on both sides
growing quite vociferous. In general medical research in areas like this one moves in terribly tiny
increments.
Furthermore, a tremendous amount of research in nutrition, ever since the earlier parts of this century
(starting with Kellogg, I think) has been driven by people who advocate vegetarianism or near-vegetarianism
as the "natural" human diet. In fact it's surprising how often you'll hear well-educated people in the field of
nutrition or medicine claim that human beings evolved as herbivores! Such claims are -astonishinglycommon--not in the published literature per se, but in medical schools, schools of nutrition, and popular
books on nutrition written by people who really ought to know better. Nutritional research itself doesn't
suggest this openly, but a great deal of research in this area is driven, consciously or unconsciously, by these
kinds of assumptions. Paleontology and archaeology ought to be helping us answer these questions, and a
great many others.
Let me use another example: Start as a medical researcher with the proposition that humans did not evolve to
eat large amounts of cereal grains on daily basis. Examine the archaeological evidence for this. Find that
there is some support for this common-sense theory, and not much to refute it. Now from the perspective of
an archaeologist perhaps you haven't gotten anything, but to the medical researcher you've opened up a vast
new field of inquiry. You can test this idea further and see if you can't find a link between certain medical
problems and widespread grain consumption. If you can then find a correlation (and some have done so), you
can try direct lab research to see if you can figure out what about the grains might be troublesome, if
anything.
This chain of events can't happen without having that theoretical model in the first place. If indeed there IS
something in cereal grains that causes many modern diseases, you might spend years, even centuries, before
you stumble upon that link if you didn't have that theoretical model to base your explorations on. Who
otherwise would look to the harmless and wholesome bread everyone so enjoys as a possible cause of
rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or cancer? Yet there are researchers seriously looking at such
questions now--some of them are on this list. For example, there is at least one researcher on this list who is
looking at a "paleolithic diet" model of nutrition as a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis.

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The discomfort of the archaeologist in these discussions is both understandable and serious, but also may be
missing an important point. If archaeology can provide useful insights to people in other fields, then that is a
tremendous contribution. To be more melodramatic, if archaeological data can provide inspiration and
insight into theories in medicine which eventually lead to improving the quality of life for millions of people,
even saving lives, that's impressive indeed. It's probably not why you got into archaeology, in fact that was
probably the furthest thing from your mind at the time, but it represents (to me) one of the most exciting
ways in which one field can cross-pollinate with another to bring about wonderful results.
To me it seems that the goal for the archaeologist, when discussing the medical model of "paleolithic
nutrition, " would be to either ignore it completely as a distraction (which may well be the best course of
action), or to attempt to test that model, disproving its assumptions if possible or adding supporting data if
not.
This does leave me in a difficult position with this list. It seems that the archaeologists may have a
completely different agenda for what they want to talk about than the biologists and physicians. My hope has
been that the archaeologists among us (and we have at least a dozen among our membership, most of whom
have remained silent so far!) would be able to provide data which either supports or contradicts the medical
model--or to give simple insights to various points of contention such as, "Well yes there is some support for
that, and here's why, " or "No I don't think you can find support for that, and here's way." I had also hoped
that archaeologists would be able to glean some ideas and insights from other fields, and perhaps share data
with each other, but perhaps that's not possible?

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: More on cereal grains & response to Sarah Mason
From: Sarah Mason
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 16:40:01 +0000
Loren Cordain responded to my own previous post on cereal grains by emphasising that:
> .... the point to be made here is that cereal grains rarely formed the bulk of the daily caloric
> intake throughout the year of any of these [ethnographically-recorded] peoples, and that for
> virtually all of the rest of the studied hunter-gatherer populations, cereal grains were not
> consumed. Consequently, in view of optimal foraging theory, it seems likely that during the late
> paleolithic and before, when large mammals abounded, our ancestors would almost have never
> consumed the seeds of grass.
> As has been suggested by John Yudkin almost 30 years ago, cereal grains are a relatively recent
> food for hominids and our physiologies are still adjusting and adapting to their presence.
> Clearly, no human can live on a diet composed entirely of cereal grains (for one thing they have
> no vitamin C). As I pointed out in my last posting, when cereal grain calories reach 50% or more
> of the daily caloric intake, humans suffer severe health consequences.....[the] genetic argument
> [regarding celiac disease] is perhaps the strongest evidence to support Yudkin's observation that
> humans are incompletely adapted to the consumption of cereal grains.

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I would suggest that there is a very big difference between never consuming the seeds of grass and a point
where they comprise as much as 50% of caloric intake. Most research on hunter-gatherer diets indicates the
broad range of resources which are utilised, and their consequent dietary diversity; and current theories and
evidence surrounding the transitions to an agricultural economy, though they may approach the subject from
varying angles, almost all inevitably imply a decrease in the number and range of foodstuffs utilised (as a
cause, or consequence, of increasing focus on the small range of domesticated resources) [for summaries see
especially Hillman, and Hillman et al. in Foraging and Farming: The Evolution of Plant Exploitation. D.R.
Harris & G.C. Hillman (ed.), 240-268. One World Archaeology. London: Unwin Hyman; also Hillman in
Harris, D.R. (ed.). 1996. The Origins and Spread of Agriculture and Pastoralism in Eurasia. London: UCL
Press]. Thus I suspect that few hunter-gatherer peoples are likely to have fulfilled as much as 50% of their
caloric needs from -any- single resource - e.g., the highest estimate that I know of for the role of acorns in
the diet of native Californians, who are frequently cited as being at the extreme end of high reliance on one
wild resource (though even here, several different species of oak were invariably involved), was suggested
by Steven Powers in 1877 to have been as much as 56%, but subsequent research suggests this is likley to be
very much an overestimate, and has emphasised the high diversity of diet even within this group of peoples
[Heizer, R.F. & A.B. Elsasser. 1980. The Natural World of the California Indians. California Natural History
Guides 46. Berkeley: University of California Press; McCorriston, J. 1994. Acorn eating and agricultural
origins: California ethnographies as analogies for the ancient Near East. Antiquity 68: 97-107]. The only
possible exceptions to this that I can think of are perhaps some of the Arctic groups - but did even they
obtain more than 50% over the year from any one animal species? If the adverse dietary consequences of
cereal intake are not great until an intake of 50% or so is reached, could this not imply that genes providing
adaptations to cereals would have little selective advantage with a lower proportion in the diet? If that was
the case, then absence of adaptations would not necessarily imply an absence of some (less than 50%) role in
diet before agriculture (I'm not clear to what extent the proteins related to celiac diseases are, in any case,
present in all wild grasses). To say that cereals formed less than 50% of diet (which in any case is far greater
than any estimate I imagine would seriously be given by even the more strenuous advocates of a large role
for plant foods in pre-agrarian diet) is quite different from saying that 'our ancestors would almost have never
consumed the seeds of grass'. As Loren suggests, many estimates, (see, e.g., those cited by Hillman in some
of the above publications), often based on some from of optimal foraging argument do indeed suggest that
wild grasses would only be a -favoured- resource, and become more intensively-utilised in certain
specialised circumstances, such as inceased resource stress.
In other words I'm happy to agree with Loren that, in the case of celiac disease the coming together of data
from the fields of archaeology, nutrition, immunology, genetics, anthropology and geography...
has provided important clues to human disease but would argue that this is most informative in relation to
arguments regarding the role of cereals in the diet of people, and the spread of intensive cereal use -after- the
introduction of agriculture; I'm also happy to agree that -it's likely that- wild grasses are unlikely to been the
sole major provider of calories for pre-agrarian peoples. However, I would argue that while the
genetic/evolutionary argument can certainly allow us to suggest that cereals were not important enough in
pre-agrarian diet to have led to any significant adaptations to their use, it cannot be used to argue that they
cannot have had -any- significant role. Evidently, semantics may be one problem here (depending on how
one wishes to define significant); and as I've suggested in previous posts, I think that assumptions about the
fact that pre-agrarian/Palaeolithic peoples must have utilised 'staples' (in the sense of single, or a very small
number of, foods which comprised the bulk of their diet) may also be responsible for producing conflicting
hypotheses about the potential roles of different foods in palaeodiets.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Just a little bit more on cereal grains
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 17:39:00 -0600

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I agree in principal with Sarah's comments & suspect, as Sarah mentioned, that most of our differences
perhaps lie in the semantics of the argument. Clearly our ancestors were opportunistic and relied upon a wide
variety of species (both plant and animal) to sustain themselves. The point to be made here is that the
archaelogical data supports the clinical, biochemical and genetic data indicating that the human dietary
experience with cereal grain consumption is quite recent and that our present day physiologies have not
completely adapted to consumption of this ubiquitous food. As a discussion group, we have not even touched
upon the role cereal grains have in inducing autoimmune disease (except for a few discussions upon celiac
disease). There is substantial evidence (both epidemiological, and clinical) showing the role cereal grains
may play in the aetiology of such diverse autoimmune diseases as MS, Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus
(IDDM), rheumatoid arthritis, sjogrens syndrome, dermatitis herpetiformis, and IgA nephropathy. Although
this proposal may at first seem preposterous, there is strong data to suggest that cereal grains may be
involved in all of these diseases through a process of molecular mimicry whereby certain amino acid
sequences within specific poly peptides of the gramineae family are homologous to a variety of amino acid
sequences in mammalian tissue. These homologous amino acid sequences can ultimately confuse our
immune systems so that it becomes difficult to recognize "self" from "non-self". When this happens, T-cells
among other immune system components, launch an autoimmune attack upon a body tissue with AA
sequences similar to that of the the dietary antigen. It seems that grass seeds (gramineae) have evolved these
proteins with similarity to mammalian tissue to protect themselves from predation by mammals, vertebrates
and even insects. This evolutionary strategy of molecular mimicry to deter predation or to exploit another
organism has apparently been with us for hundred's of millions of years and is a quite common evolutionary
strategy for viruses and bacteria. It has only been realized since about the mid 80's (Oldstone MBA.
Molecular mimicry and autoimmune disease. Cell 1987;50:819-20) that viruses and bacteria are quite likely
to be involved in autoimmune diseases through the process of molecular mimicry, and with a little bit of
luck, our group will hopefully publish a review paper in the next 6 months or so compiling the evidence (and
it is extensive) implicating cereal grains in the autoimmune process. As Dean mentioned, without the
evolutionary template and without the evidence provided us by the anthropological community showing that
cereal grains were not part of the human dietary experience, the idea that cereal grains had anything to do
with autoimmune disease would probably had never occurred to us. This new electronic medium has allowed
instant cross fertilization of disciplines which probably would have rarely occurred as recently as 5 yrs ago.
Cordially,
Loren

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Cereal grains
From: Ron Hoggan
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 18:27:08 -0700
Let me begin by saying that I am thirlled by today's posts from Sarah Mason and Dean Esmay. Such
discussions are the very reasons I wanted to participate in this list.
On Wed, 11 Jun 1997 13:33:55 -0400 Dean Esmay wrote:
> What I think some archaeologists may be missing is that they'll probably never have a complete
> picture and will always have debate over many specific points. They may also miss that the results
> of their hunt in this area has serious ramifications for those far beyond their field. The
> question of what humans evolved to eat is an important one which may have tremendous impact on
> medicine and nutrition.
This is, in my opinion, an extremely important point worth exploring just a little further. In: Armelagos G,
Van Gerven D, Martin D, and Huss-Ashmore R, "Effects of Nutritional Change on the Skeletal Biology of
Northeast African (Sudanese Nubian) Populations" _From Hunters to Farmers_ Clark J, & Brandt S. eds. U
of California Press, 1984
They indicate that concommitant with the advent of agriculture, associated skeletal remains revealed
significant skeletal changes including: cranial morphology; porotic hyperostosis; bone growth patterns;
microdefects in dentition; and premature osteoporosis in juvenile and young women.

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These conditions could be attributed, for the most part, to a dietary crisis which preceeded the cultivation of
cereals, rather than the result of such cultivation. There is, however, an exception to this generalization.
Porotic hyperostosis is well established as the result of iron deficiency anemia. It happens that the proximal
duodenum is both the site of earliest damage to the intestinal microvilli, in gluten reactions, and the site of
most iron absorption.
Without such archaeological evidence, medical assessment could not occur.
> First, since much of the data used in constructing arguments about a 'healthy' diet derives from
> studies of recent h-gs and traditional agriculturalists, why is it felt necessary to go through
> the extra step of extrapolating such diets back to the Palaeolithic to demonstrate that they might
> be good for us too?
That is not quite how I see this as working. The arguments used to deny the pathogenic nature of cereals
point to the long, healthy heritage of their cultivation and consumption. A fair response to such an argument
is to offer evidence to the contrary.
> Which leads onto my second point, which is that the desire to produce a model of Palaeolithic diet
> which supports recommendations for a modern healthy diet is in many ways putting the cart before
> the horse, in that arguments about the 'paleodiet' may be being influenced by opinions about what
> constitutes a 'healthy' diet; and, most importantly (from my point of view anyway), may be
> preventing an objective approach to the true nature of Palaeolithic diets.
But if we can have a sense of human dietary habits during the bulk of the evolution of our predecessors, we
may be able to counter some of the malignacy and autoimmunity which is torturing and killing much of the
Western world. Modern medicine does much to aid us in our battle against bacteria and injury, but they are
quite ineffective when it comes to civilizatory diseases.
> The discomfort of the archaeologist in these discussions is both understandable and serious, but
> also may be missing an important point. If archaeology can provide useful insights to people in
> other fields, then that is a tremendous contribution. To be more melodramatic, if archaeological
> data can provide inspiration and insight into theories in medicine which eventually lead to
> improving the quality of life for millions of people, even saving lives, that's impressive indeed.
> It's probably not why you got into archaeology, in fact that was probably the furthest thing from
> your mind at the time, but it represents (to me) one of the most exciting ways in which one field
> can cross-pollinate with another to bring about wonderful results.
And there is some possibility of aiding in archaeological discovery. For instance, declines of certain
populations might be explained in light of evidence that suggests that cereal grains may be a factor in
lukemia and lymphoma. Increased consumption of cereals might lead to increases in consequent deaths. I
would think that could be a powerful bit of information in the hands of an archaeologist trying to unravel a
mystery involving lost civilizations.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Molecular mimicry and evolution
From: Ward Nicholson
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 21:57:19 -0500
Jennie Brand Miller writes:
> In her last posting, Loren wrote:
> 'This evolutionary strategy of molecular mimicry to deter predation or to exploit another organism
> has apparently been with us for hundred's of millions of years and is a quite common evolutionary
> strategy for viruses and bacteria.' Wouldn't this mean that the foods that we have exploited most
> often for the longest period of time, should be the highest source of these molecules, not the
> foods (like cereals) that we've adopted most recently?

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It might if one assumed that plants were constantly evolving strategies of molecular mimicry while the
animals that preyed on the plants weren't countering the mimicry with ever-evolving immune-system
strategies of their own. One key evolutionary characteristic of the predator/prey relationship (in this case
foraging animals vs. the plants that are their "prey") is that it is an *arms race*--i.e., it is *ongoing*, not a
situation of evolutionary stasis that allows one side to continue developing its arsenal while the other side
simply stands still becoming a victim. (Or more accurately, if one side cannot cope over evolutionary time
and *does* become a victim, then it goes exteinct.) Each side tends to be continually responding to the need
to evolve new survival strategies in response to whatever "opponents" they face change what *they* do over
time.
Thus, just because plants that we have been associated with for long periods of evolutionary time could be
expected to evolve ever-more-sophisticated strategies of molecular mimicry against a long-familiar
adversary doesn't mean that we the adversary have a biology or physiology that is just sitting there doing
nothing about it. Because we are a moving target. Our bodies, too, are continually evolving new strategies to
counter the deterrent mechanisms of the plants that counter ours. But of course when changes are introduced
suddenly (as would be the case with grains in the human diet right now) there is something of a time lag
where "evolutionary discordance" prevails while the species is still working out an evolutionary coping
strategy.
However, so far, this way of looking at it only considers *adversarial* evolutionary relationships. It is easy
to overlook--when characterizing plants' and animals' evolutionary strategies in regard to each other as
adversarial--that just as importantly relationships may end up being *symbiotic* instead. For example, take
the classic example of fruits. Fruits in some sense symbiotically exploit the animals that eat them by using
them as seed dispersers (through their feces). So the relationship in this kind of situation is advantageous to
both sides.
On yet a third hand, sometimes the relationship between predator and prey is at the same time a complex
mixture of both symbiois *and* that of adversary. For instance, carnivores that prey on herbivores may help
keep the herds thinned out which keeps them from overgrazing the landscape and going through seasonal
die-offs from overshooting the landscape's capacity to support them. Things can get complicated.
However, one would still expect as a general rule that those foods (or environmental conditions, or any input
or stressor for that matter) that a species has had the least exposure to would be the ones with which
*mutual* evolutionary coping strategies would not yet have been worked out (mutual is the key word here)-whether that mutual relationship be symbiotic in nature or adversarial, or what-have-you (however complex).
Think of the cases where species alien to another environment (starlings, Dutch elms, etc.) have been
suddenly introduced. The result is normally a period of instability before things settle down into some sort of
long-term balance.
No matter what the selective pressures are--whether they be food, environment, or whatever--one of the
foundational assumptions of evolution as a paradigm (and of the things that gives it part of its explanatory
and predictive power) is that *anything* significantly new in evolutionary terms is almost inevitably going to
be *discordant* with the species adaptation; and there will necessarily be a time lag before evolutionary
selective processes have a chance to weed things out to establish more of a balance. Even if that "balance" is
a dynamically shifting one as in an arms race, or one of symbiosis, or both.
--Ward Nicholson
P.S.--By the way, Loren Cordain is not a she--he is a he! :-)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Practical Paleodiet
From: Ray Audette
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 22:40:13 -0700
From the response I have received from my book, I know perhaps better than anyone how effective a
paleolithic diet can be for a wide variety of "diseases of civilization".
Although NeanderThin is primarily a high-fat, high-calorie weight loss book, I have never been overweight.
I wrote of my own experience in ridding myself of diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis (it took 1 week) by
following only one rule - Only eat that which is edible when you are naked with a sharp stick! From my
mail, it seems to reduce weight and blood sugar problems in all primates!

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Others have reported great results on a wide variety of health problems including colitis, MS, ALS, ADD,
Bipolar disorder (manic/depression), high cholesterol and blood preasure and many other auto-immune
problems. Readers have also reported improved muscle tone, stamina and recovery in athletic endevors.
Could these results be only a placebo effect of my charismatic writing style? In spite of my "mesiah
complex", I think not. If this rule was more widly applied would it save human suffering and billions of
health care dollars? I think so and have dedicated my life to this end.
That my self-published work is the only book currently in print on the topic of paleolithic nutrition is a very
sad state of affairs. Many of the members of this list (who have better credentials than my BS degree and
Mensa card)could correct this easily. The potential for fame and fortune is great (Dr. Adkins has sold over 30
million books)but more importantly, millions of people despritly need this information.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Molecular mimicry
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 10:59:05 +1000
In her last posting, Loren wrote:
'This evolutionary strategy of molecular mimicry to deter predation or to exploit another organism has
apparently been with us for hundred's of millions of years and is a quite common evolutionary strategy for
viruses and bacteria.'
Wouldn't this mean that the foods that we have exploited most often for the longest period of time, should be
the highest source of these molecules, not the foods (like cereals) that we've adopted most recently?

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Molecular mimicry
From: Kurt Starsinic
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997 16:32:49 -0400
Jennie Brand Miller writes:
> In her last posting, Loren wrote:
> 'This evolutionary strategy of molecular mimicry to deter predation or to exploit another organism
> has apparently been with us for hundred's of millions of years and is a quite common evolutionary
> strategy for viruses and bacteria.' Wouldn't this mean that the foods that we have exploited most
> often for the longest period of time, should be the highest source of these molecules, not the
> foods (like cereals) that we've adopted most recently?
It is worth emphasizing that human consumption of grain is consumption of _ground_ seed. We don't
disperse viable grain seeds through our feces, as with fruit and vegetable seeds; and we cultivate and inbreed
grains, thus limiting diversification. Humans are, to the best of my understanding, the primary "predators" of
cereal grains. Evolutionarily speaking, if I were wheat, I would "have it in" for humans.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Response to molecular mimicry comments
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 1997 14:07:00 -0600

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I appreciate Jenny's recent comment about my original posting on molecular mimicry. Having had a busy
weekend, I didnt get a chance to answer, but upon my return, I see that Ward Nicholson has done a superb
job in covering this topic. My only follow-up on this idea concerns the genetic evidence which supports the
concept. In the human immune system, there are a number of individual mechanisms which allow the body
the ability to determine self from non self so that foreign proteins (ie bacteria, viruses etc) can be recognized,
destroyed and eliminated. Perhaps the most complex system which nature and evolution have engineered to
accomplish this is the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) system. This system was discovered when early
physicians found out that tissue from one human could not be grafted to another without rejection. The
physiological function of this system was not to foil the efforts of transplant surgeons, but to initiate an
immune response to parasites (viruses, bacteria). All cells of the body manufacture HLA proteins, whose
function is to bind short peptides (protein fragments) and display them on the cell surface. Most of the
peptides are derived from the body's own proteins (self peptides), however when the body is infected by a
virus or bacteria, the HLA molecules pick up peptides derived from broken down proteins of the virus or
bacteria and present them to T lymphocytes. The purpose of T-lymphocytes is to continually scan the
surfaces of other cells to recognize foreign peptides while ignoring self peptides. Once a T cell receptor
"recognizes" a foreign peptide, a complex series of steps is set into play which ultimately destroys the cell
presenting the foreign peptide as well as living viruses or bacteria in the body which also have peptide
sequences similar to those which were presented. When the HLA system loses the ability to recognize self
(self peptides) from non-self (foreign peptides), T- lymphocytes attack self tissue resulting in what is known
as an autoimmune disease (i.e. celiac disease, IDDM, MS, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, ankylosing spondylitis
etc). The HLA proteins which present foreign peptides to circulating T lymphocytes are coded by DNA
sequences on chromosome 6. The entire HLA system includes more than 100 genes and occupies a region
more than four million base pairs in length which represent 1/3, 000 of the total human genome. On
chromosome 6, the HLA is sub-divided into Class I (HLA-A, HLA-B, HLA-C) and Class II segments (HLADR, HLA-DQ, HLA-DP). Individuals with autoimmune disease inherit characteristic HLA combinations
which identify their disease. People with celiac disease have genetic markers (HLA-DR3, HLA -B8 and
HLA-DQ2) which are associated with the disease; people with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
almost always have DQ and DR genotypes. Thus, the manner in which foreign proteins are presented to
circulating T cells by HLA proteins tends to be different for individuals with auto-immune diseases
compared to those without these maladies. As I mentioned in a previous post, the incidence of a variety of
autoimmune diseases follows a southeasternly gradient from northern europe (highest incidence) to the
mideast (lowest incidence) - can provide citations if wanted. This gradient occurs because the incidence of
susceptible HLA haplotypes increases as one moves north westerly from the mideast. This gradient which
occurs for both the incidence of autoimmune diseases and HLA haplotypes is not a serendipitous relationship
but occurred as a result of the spread of agriculture from the mideast to northern europe (Simoons FJ. Celiac
disease as a geographic problem. In: Food, Nutrition & Evolution. DN Walcher & N Kretchmer (Eds), NY
Masson Pub, 1981, 179-199). Consequently, as agriculture spread into Europe there were environmental
elements associated with this demic expansion which progressively selected against HLA haplotypes
(combinations of HLA genes inherited from the two chromosomes in each cell) which were originally
present in the pre-agrarian peoples of Europe. Now, the question is, what were those environmental selective
elements? In the case of celiac disease, it doesnt take a rocket scientist to determine that it was wheat.
Increasing consumption of wheat caused increased mortality from celiac disease - thus, the incidence of
celiac disease and its susceptible HLA haplotypes (HLA-B8, HLA-DQ, HLA-DR) are lowest in those
populations with the most chronologic exposure to wheat (mideasterners and southern europeans) and
greatest in those populations with the least exposure (northern europeans). Similar arguments can be made
for IDDM and a host of other autoimmune diseases. There are a substantial number of animal studies
showing that consumption of wheat by rats increases the incidence of IDDM - citations available if wanted.
How is it that wheat can wreak such havoc with the autoimmune system? Our group believes that wheat
contains peptide sequences which remain undigested and which can enter into systemic circulation. These
peptide sequences are homolgous to a wide variety of the body's tissue peptide sequences and hence induce
autoimmune disease via the process of molecular mimicry (eg. macrophages ingest the circulating wheat
peptides and HLA molecules within the macrophage present amino acid sequences of the fragmented peptide
to circulating T-lymphocytes which through clonal expansion create other T cells to "attack" the offending
dietary antigen and any other self antigen which has a similar peptide sequence - i.e. the bodies own tissues).
The original non-agricultural HLA haplotypes conferred selective advantage because these genotypes
provided enhanced immunity from certain types of infectious diseases, however with the advent of cereals in
the diet they represented a liability. Thus, the genetic data clearly shows that a recently introduced food type
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has resulted in genetic discordance between our species and those from the gramineae family.
Cordially,
Loren Cordain, Ph.D. Professor, Colorado State University
-And yep! I'm not a her, but a him!

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Announcement
From: STONE and SPEAR
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 01:05:31 -0700
A variety of diets help a variety of folks in a variety of ways. Here are three private email Listserv groups
that cover three Lifestyles that I have found beneficial in controlling and dealing with my challenges leading
to more energy and a feeling of well being.
LC-DIABETES for Persons with Diabetes who control their carbohydrate intake to assist in the management
of their diabetes. Especially popular is the new book by a 50+ year Type I Richard K. Bernstein MD, the
Endocrinologist. But all diets and lifestyles are welcome. Archives at:
http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/archives/lc-diabetes.html To subscribe email: put in the body of the message:
SUB LC-DIABETES YourFirstName YourLastName
PALEOFOOD is a Support Group for those who shy away the from grains, legumes and dairy products of
the post-agricultural era and instead consume fresh meat, fruit and veggies that would have been safely eaten
by Hunters & gatherers of the pre-agricultural period. Based on Ray Audette's NeanderThin "A Caveman's
Guide to Nutrition". Archives at: http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/archives/paleofood.html To subscribe email:
put in the body of the message: SUB PALEOFOOD YourFirstName YourLastName
ATKINS-NEW is a Support Group who have discovered the benefits of low carbing by following the work
of Robert C. Atkins MD along with his approach to weight loss and dietary advice for disease control and
management as explained in his book Dr. Atkins' "New Diet Revolution". Archives at:
http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/archives/atkins-new.html To subscribe email: put in the body of the message:
SUB ATKINS-NEW YourFirstName YourLastName
Looking forward to seeing you in one or more of the Groups
Grant
PALEOFOOD--> Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle following "NeanderThin" LC-DIABETES-- All carbohydrate counting
> diets for Diabetes control ATKINS-NEW--- for followers of Dr. Atkins "New Diet Revolution"
> More information at: http://www.mountain-inter.net/~magnuson/

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Counterfactuals
From: Art De Vany
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 15:05:00 -0700
It is sometimes helpful to look at counterfactuals when seeking a deeper understanding. This strikes me as a
useful way to try to understand what features of the human adaptation evolved during the Paleolithic. How
much of our humanity, intelligence and failings emerged during this period? Who knows?
But, think of it this way. Ask the question: But for the Paleolithic, humans would be ... and fill in the blanks.
The essential features strike me as the abundant big game, the cold, the seasonality, and the big-game
hunting adaptation. So, here is the proposition (others on the list will have their own counterfactuals to
supply I hope)
Proposition: Paleolithic big-game hunting required courage, strength, and endurance. It also required wit and
a deep understanding of the animals, their migratory patterns, the seasons of the earth, and its topography.
These are the requirements of the Paleolithic human lifeway and they shaped every aspect of modern human
physiology and function.

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Had it not been for this critical period and its unique environment, human beings of our form would not have
evolved. But for the Paleolithic adaptation, humans would be smaller, have larger stomachs, and smaller
brains. They would be less intelligent. They would have less preference for meat as a food. They would not
have such a strong liking for fat. And they would be less capable of storing fat on their bodies. They would
be less cooperative and far less capable of thinking ahead. They probably would not bury their dead. And
they would be nearly devoid of spiritual beliefs.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Counterfactuals
From: Andrew Millard
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 10:01:26 +0100
On Fri, 20 Jun 1997, Art De Vany wrote:
> It is sometimes helpful to look at counterfactuals when seeking a deeper understanding. This
> strikes me as a useful way to try to understand what features of the human adaptation evolved
> during the Paleolithic. How much of our humanity, intelligence and failings emerged during this
> period? Who knows? But, think of it this way. Ask the question: But for the Paleolithic, humans
> would be ... and fill in the blanks.
We must be very careful when doing this as the Palaeolithic is a long period of time (at least 2.5 million
years).
> The essential features strike me as the abundant big game, the cold, the seasonality, and the
> big-game hunting adaptation. So, here is the proposition (others on the list will have their own
> counterfactuals to supply I hope)
This is an a high latitude Palaeolithic scenario, which applies to the last 5-700, 000 years of human
occupation in Europe, northern Asia and northern North America, it is not necessarily true of the rest of the
world. If we are interested here in anatomically modern humans then we must consider this to apply only to
the last 40, 000 years of human occupation in those high latitude regions.
> Proposition: Paleolithic big-game hunting required courage, strength, and endurance. It also
> required wit and a deep understanding of the animals, their migratory patterns, the seasons of the
> earth, and its topography. These are the requirements of the Paleolithic human lifeway and they
> shaped every aspect of modern human physiology and function. Had it not been for this critical
> period and its unique environment, human beings of our form would not have evolved.
Not entirely true. Most modern humans have a body shape which is not adapted for the cold of the last
glacial in Europe - our body shape is essentially that required for an African climate. (Although some
peoples have a body shape better adapted to cold than others [e.g. Eskimo].)
> But for the Paleolithic adaptation, humans would be smaller, have larger stomachs, and smaller
> brains. They would be less intelligent. They would have less preference for meat as a food. They
> would not have such a strong liking for fat. And they would be less capable of storing fat on
> their bodies. They would be less cooperative and far less capable of thinking ahead.
Much of the increase in brain size relative to other apes (measured by encephalisation quotient) had occurred
prior to the Palaeolithic when stone tool use began. Gut length was also decreasing to keep the body in
energy balance, according to the expensive tissue hypothesis. As the other deductions here follow on from
this we may deduce that they had also started to occur to a greater or lesser extent prior to the appearance of
the genus homo.
> They probably would not bury their dead. And they would be nearly devoid of spiritual beliefs.
These traits do not appear until the Upper Palaeolithic. We have hardly any evidence for burial of the dead
(which is construed as religious belief) until well into the Upper Palaeolithic of Europe. There are only 2 or 3
definite burials of Neanderthals and these have no sign of ritual practices. The earliest grave goods and art
are associated with Upper Palaeolithic humans, whose ancestors appear to have had the same anatomical
form for many tens of millenia before this time. The appearance of ritual is thus not linked to brain size or
anatomical form and is something of a mystery. It is however linked to changes in tool manufacture and the
introduction of bone tools alongside stone tools, which suggests some sort of mental change which cannot be
observed anatomically.

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The scenario described by Art as influencing human evolution is in fact one which modern humans adapted
to when they entered Europe c.45-35, 000 years ago, and after which point we can detect very little change to
their anatomy, although technology is changing. This "Palaeolithic human lifeway" is thus *not* what
moulded our evolution, but something which we adapted to in certain parts of the world.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: citations showing wheat's diabetogenicity
From: Loren Cordain
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 1997 11:52:00 -0600
In a previous posting, I mentioned that certain wheat peptides have been implicated in animal models of
insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). The following references may be of interest to readers wanting
more information.
1. Scott FW et al. Evidence for a critical role of diet in the development of insulin dependent diabetes
mellitus. Diabetes Research 1988;7:153-57.
2. Elliott RB et al. Dietary protein: a trigger of insulin-dependent diabetes in the BB rat? Diabetologia
1984;26:297-99.
3. Hoofar J. et al. Prophylactic nutritional modeification of the incidence of diabetes in autoimmune nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. Brit J Nutr 1993;69:597-607.
4. Scott FW et al. Diabetogenicity of various protein sources in the diet of the diabetes prone BB rat. In:
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. RA Camerini-Davalos, HS Cole (Eds); vol 246; Plenum
Press, NY, 277-85.
5. Storlien LH et al. Laboratory chow-induced insulin resistance: a possible contributor to autoimmune type I
diabetes in rodents. Diabetologia 1996;39:618-20.
6. Effects of wheat germ agglutinin on insulin binding and insulin sensitivity of fat cells. Am J Physiol
1980;238:E267--E275.
7. Schechter Y. Bound lectins that mimic insulin produce persistent insulin like activities. Endocrinology
1983;113:1921-26.
8. Scott FW et al. Conference summary: Diet as an environmental factor in development of insulindependent diabetes mellitus. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1991;69:311-319.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: New book
From: Art De Vany
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 1997 15:34:34 -0700
There is yet another new evolutionary diet book titled: Dr. Citron's Evolutionary Diet and Cookbook. I
haven't seen it and don't know the publisher, but Citron is doing some LA book signings this week. It was
featured in a Crown Books ad.
I, for one, do best on a modified evolutionary diet; it is more or less a mediterranean diet without the grains,
no milk or dairy products, and with rather more animal sources of protein, like eggs and lean meat. The focus
in this diet, for me, is on the antioxidant content of the olive oil, the fresh plant foods and fruits including the
vitamins C and E, the carotenoids, and the flavonoids. Plenty of variety is essential in order to (as Marge
Profet would say) diversify your toxins.
The sulpher containing amino acids that I get from eggs also contribute to endogenous antioxidant
production. The utility of 2 glasses of wine a day, and the resolution of the "French paradox", comes from
the flavonoids in the wine (I prefer beer which has the same flavonoid content). A red onion in your salad
with olive oil and balsamic vinegar is a far better way to get your flavonoids. B. Halliwell, "Antioxidants in
Human Health and Disease, " Amer. Rev. Nutr. 1996, 16:33-50.
A diet higher in fat, which I briefly tried, left me ravenous and I went from less than 8% body fat to around
11%. Since I had no visible fat, it was easy to see where I gained it --- it was in the adominal area over the
kidneys, the worst place. Sarah Mason has pointed to this connection in an earlier post. See also J. Blundell,
et. al. "Control of Human Appetite...." Amer. Rev. Nutr. 1996, 16:285-319.

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Given the seasonal variation in the fat content of big game in the upper paleolithic (I stand corrected for
using "paleolithic" rather too broadly, thanks to Andrew Millard's excellent posting), a selectively favorable
adaptation would have been a weak appetite suppression from the consumption of fat. Fattening up for the
winter by over-feeding on summer-fattened animals at the seasonal peak of caloric abundance would have
been adaptive.
Is the wide-spread, and seemingly culturally universal, antipathy to obesity also a selective strategy that
stems from the impending dietary stress at the onset of winter?

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: antipathy to obesity
From: "Kristen J. Gremillion"
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 1997 16:47:11 -0400
> On Tue, 24 Jun 1997, Art De Vany wrote:
> Given the seasonal variation in the fat content of big game in the upper paleolithic (I stand
> corrected for using "paleolithic" rather too broadly, thanks to Andrew Millard's excellent
> posting), a selectively favorable adaptation would have been a weak appetite suppression from the
> consumption of fat. Fattening up for the winter by over-feeding on summer-fattened animals at the
> seasonal peak of caloric abundance would have been adaptive. Is the wide-spread, and seemingly
> culturally universal, antipathy to obesity also a selective strategy that stems from the impending
> dietary stress at the onset of winter?
Antipathy to obesity is not a cultural universal. In fact, I believe it is primarily a recent phenomenon
confined largely to the world of Western European and descendant populations. Take a look at indigenous
representational art from around the world--including that of the European Upper Paleolithic. Assuming that
artistic representations are often (if not always) embodiments of the aesthetic sensibilities of a culture, body
fat is not/has not been cross-culturally reviled as either unhealthy or unattractive. In fact, many traditional
cultures consider obesity to be a sign of prosperity and therefore desirable in a potential spouse. I am not a
cultural anthropologist, and I don't have the references right at hand, but I can find them if necessary. There
is no doubt that many dietary practices that are adaptive in some way are supported by cultural values. I am
just questioning the generalization about attitudes toward obesity.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Calcium
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 23:16:49 +0100
Paleolithic diets are expected to be beneficial for calcium balance for three reasons:
1 Calcium INTAKE from vegetables is high. This is because vegetables are rich in calcium when this is
measured in mg per unit of energy, actually close to dairy products, and because much of the western foods
are low in calcium (e.g. margarine, oil, sugar and cereals).
2 Calcium BIOAVAILABILITY is high when cereals, maize and beans are absent. These are rich in phytic
acid which strongly binds to calcium (and iron, zinc and magnesium) so that this is excreted without being
absorbed (Sandstead HH. Fiber, phytates, and mineral nutrition. Nutr Rev 1992; 50: 30-1).
3 Calcium LOSSES are apparently less when salt intake is low. A high sodium intake increases urinary
losses of calcium (Evans C, Eastell R. Adaptation to high dietary sodium intake. In: Burckhardt P, Heaney
RP, ed. Nutritional aspects of osteoporosis '94. Rome: Ares-Serono Symposia, 1995: 413-8. vol 7; Shortt C,
Flynn A. Sodium-calcium inter-relationships with specific reference to osteoporosis. Nutr Res Rev 1990; 3:
101-15; Schaafsma G, van BE, Raymakers JA, Duursma SA. Nutritional aspects of osteoporosis. World Rev
Nutr Diet 1987; 49: 121-59) and one study suggests that this may increase the risk of osteoporosis (Devine
A, Criddle RA, Dick IM, Kerr DA, Prince RL. A longitudinal study of the effect of sodium and calcium
intakes on regional bone density in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 1995; 62: 740-5).
Several studies suggest that bioavailability and urinary losses of calcium are more important than intake
(Nordin BEC, Need AG, Morris HA, Horowitz M, Chatterton BE, Sedgwick AW. Bad habits and bad bones.
In: Burckhardt P, Heaney RP, ed. Nutritional aspects of osteoporosis '94. Rome: Ares-Serono Symposia,
1995: 1-25. vol 7).
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A no-salt no-cereal diet rich in saturating vegetables would thus seem to prevent osteoporosis.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Leon Chaitow
From: Dietmar Hartl
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 04:27:23 -0700
I believe his surname is actually "Chaitow". He's a British/US/Jewish osteopath who's written TONS of
books (from "Acupuncture Treatment of Pain" & "Amino Acids in Therapy" to "Osteopathic SelfTreatment" & "Varicose Veins", among the 23 listed in my 1993 edition of "Ost. Self-Tx"). So he's definitely
"in the writing business", maybe more than in the "helping" business"? My own personal jury is out,
although I WAS happy with the 2 books of his that I've read.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Enig & Fallon Reply to Dr. Cordain
From: Date: Sun, 29 Jun 1997 09:26:30 -0400
To: Dr. Cordain and members of the Paleodiet Group Re: Answers to questions of May 26, 1997
First, many apologies for taking so long to respond to your excellent questions and comments of May 26.
Our replies follow:
1. You now have the reference for Voegtlin's book. As you point out, Voegtlin errs in asserting that plant
foods are needed to prevent scurvy. Uncooked or minimally cooked flesh of organs of animals contain either
vitamin C or a vitamin-C-like substance that prevents scurvy. Dr. Weston Price made this discovery when
studying the Indians of Northern Canada. (1) When they killed an animal, the Indians immediately divided
up the adrenal glands and gave a piece--raw--to every member of the tribe, and they understood that this
would prevent scurvy. Dr. Voegtlin is also wrong about vitamin K, which is found in butter and animal fats.
So it can be said that all the known vitamins, minerals and needed macronutrients can be obtained from
animal foods. However, we should not rule out the possibility that the various phyto-chemicals, alkaloids,
etc. found in plant foods, while not classified as vitamins, are necessary for optimal health, at least to some
individuals.
2. We have consistently argued that the current high levels of CHD have nothing to do with the consumption
of saturated fat from animal sources, (2, 3, 4) but rather are due to foods relatively new to the human diet-particularly excess polyunsaturates, hydrogenated oils and refined carbohydrates. The anti-cholesterol, antianimal-fat campaign is a phoney issue invented and promulgated by the vegetable oil and fabricated food
industries during the 50s and 60s in order to get the upper hand in marketing their products. It amounts to
propaganda designed to denigrate nutritious traditional foods so that the consumer will buy highly refined
and processed food items instead. The amount of saturated fat in the American diet remained the same
between 1935 and 1974--the period of greatest increase in heart disease.
3. The LDL/HDL issue is also phoney and does not stand up to rigorous scrutiny. LDL is necessary to carry
cholesterol from the liver to the cells, particularly to the brain cells, which unlike other cells in the human
body, do not manufacture cholesterol. However, it is true that oxidized LDL is a problem, and does initiate
foam cells in the arteries. Oxidized cholesterol is found in products that have been heated to very high
temperatures in the presence of oxygen, such as powdered eggs and milk. Powdered eggs are added to many
processed foods and powdered milk is added to 1% and 2% milk to give it body. People drinking reduced fat
milk in order to "avoid heart disease" are actually taking in large quantities of oxidized cholesterol which is a
causative factor. You are also right in pointing out that high levels of commercial polyunsaturated oils
(virtually all of which have a high N6 to N3 ratio) increase LDL oxidizability. It is the excess of
polyunsaturated oils that cause the problem--not the saturated fats, whether in the modern diet or in
traditional cuisines. In fact, SFAs have been shown to lower Lp(a) which, unlike total serum cholesterol,
HDL or LDL, is a very good marker for increased risk of CHD. (5)

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

162/298 (1997)

4. We believe that the amount of protein in the diet as related to CHD is another phony issue. One can point
to populations with relatively high protein consumption (30-40%) with little or no CHD, and to populations
with relatively low protein consumption (15-20%) with little or no CHD. In any event, we have no way of
knowing the exact ratios of macronutrients in the Paleolithic diet, and in fact, there probably was a lot of
variation depending on season, locality and tribal custom. The danger lies, as we pointed out in our article, in
diets high in animal protein but low in fat. This seems to have been generally recognized by the huntergatherer.
5. We would like to know what kind of fat combined with carbohydrates exacerbate the postprandial lipemic
excursions. We can well believe that excess polyunsaturated or trans fats would do this. We know that fats
taken with carbohydrates, especially traditional fats such as butter or any of the tropical oils, lower the
glycemic index, thereby preventing blood sugar swings. We are not aware of any studies showing
carbohydrates were eaten separately in pre-industrial societies. American Indians made pemmican from meat
or fish, fat, maple syrup and cranberries; succatash was made from meat, fat, beans and corn. Orthodox
dieticians/nutritionists contend that high carbohydrate diets improve blood lipid profiles. All this emphasis
on protein and carbohydrate content is, we believe, misplaced. The real issue is the kind and quality of the
macronutrients--how they are produced, processed and prepared.
6. We look forward to seeing your research and intriguing findings about the varying lengths of SFAs in wild
and domesticated animals. Stearic acid (18:0) has been shown to raise cholesterol in some studies--and in
any event, the whole cholesterol issue is bogus. There may be differences in the N6/N3 ratios in wild and
domesticated ruminant adipose tissue, but in both overall total PUFA is low. The real imbalances come with
modern farming methods (for eggs, fish, vegetables, etc.) and with the introduction of high N6 oils into the
diet. Excess N6/N3 ratios result in profound imbalances at the cellular level that can lead to MI, cancer and
many other diseases. (6, 7) We certainly do agree that high levels of N6 in the diet are a problem, but the
source of excess N6 is not domesticated beef and lamb.
7. We do not know when milk product consumption became general, but it is fair to assume that the adoption
of a nomadic/herder life-style--and therefore the domestication of animals--preceded agriculture. We cannot
understand how dairy products per se can be blamed for the CHD epidemic. Counter examples include
France (low CHD, high consumption of butter and cheese); Soviet Georgia (famed for longevity, high
consumption of whole milk products); the Masai (high consumption of whole milk products, no CHD);
Switzerland and Austria (life span almost as long as Japan, diet rich in butterfat and whole milk products)
and America at the turn of the century (diet loaded with butterfat and whole milk products, very little CHD.)
If CHD is associated with milk consumption within individual countries, the finger must be pointed at
modern production methods (inappropriate feed for the cows, cows bred to have a low butterfat content)
processing (pasteurization, homogenization) and additives (powdered skim milk containing oxidized
cholesterol and synthetic vitamin D2 or D3. Synthetic D2 has been very conclusively shown to cause
calcification of the soft tissues including the arteries, and large amounts of synthetic D3, which has largely
replaced D2 as an additive to milk, have been implicated as a causative factor in the initiation of pathogenic
lesion development in the arteries. (8) The N6-N3 ratio of the small amounts of PUFAs in bovine milk fat is
excellent--about 2/1--whereas total N6/N3 in the modern diet exceeds 20/1. So once again, while we agree
that high levels of N6 in the diet are a problem, the source of excess N6 is not butterfat. Dietary saturated fats
contribute to improved assimilation of EFAs. (9) In other words, we need less of the EFAs when there are
enough SFAs in the diet. Magnesium does seem to protect against CHD. The fault lies not with high levels of
calcium from milk products, but with the deficiency of magnesium in modern diets. Weston Price found that
the diets of healthy "primitives" contained at least four times the amount of calcium as the American diet of
his day (and ten times the fat-soluble vitamins A and D!) (1) Sources of magnesium include nuts, meat and
grains such as buckwheat.
8. As we stated earlier, modern man is not consuming high levels of SFAs compared to pre-agricultural man.
The blame for inactivity should be placed on the lower nutrient content of the total diet, composed as it is of
high levels of refined and devitalized foods. When the diet supplies all the needed factors, humans need no
incentives to exercise.

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

163/298 (1997)

9. Finally, on the question of salt, a distinction must be made between processed salt, which contains many
problematic chemicals including aluminium, and from which the magnesium salts and all the valuable trace
minerals have been removed. Modern salt comes attached to modern food products, which are invariably
refined, rancid and laced with additives; and it is difficult to separate salt from these other variables in
dietary research surveys. Some studies have shown that with low salt diets, hypertension becomes worse. In
the 1930s, researcher McCance demonstrated that when dietary salt is lowered, all manner of inappropriate
physiological responses ensue--including cramps, weakness, lassitude, loss of taste sensation and severe
cardiorespiratory distress on exertion. (10) The recent contribution to this debate, describing various
American Indian methods for using salty blood in the preparation of their meat, supports our contention that
Paleolithic diets contained sodium chloride. Salty animal blood and urine form an important part of the diet
in salt-poor Africa. The concentration of population, and the rise and fall of civilizations throughout the
world, can be positively correlated with the availability of salt. (11)
To summarize, the hypothesis that modern chronic diseases like CHD and cancer are due to consumption of
saturated fats, red meat, milk products and salt does not stand up to careful scrutiny. These have been in the
diets of healthy population groups for millennia. Media denigration of such traditional foods is a distraction
that diverts the attention of both the public and the scientific community from the real culprits--modern
farming techniques, inappropriate processing, refined carbohydrates, commercial vegetable oils, food
additives and rancid & altered fats.
P.S. The rest of citation #2 is Coronary Heart Disease: The Dietary Sense and Nonsense, George V Mann,
ed, Janus Publishing, 1993, available from the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (619) 574-7763. Mann's
involvement with the Framingham Study, and his studies of the Masai, whose diet is high in saturated fat but
who do not suffer from CHD, led him to the following conclusion: "The diet-heart hypothesis has been
repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons or pride, profit and prejudice, the hypothesis
continues to be exploited by scientists, fund-raising enterprises, food companies and even governmental
agencies. The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century." Confirmation of Mann's
statement comes from none other than William Castelli, Director of the Framingham Study, who stated, "In
Framingham, Massachusetts, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories
one ate, the lower peoples serum cholesterol. . . we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate
the most saturated fat, ate the most calories weighed the lease and were the most physically active."
(Archives of Internal Medicine, 1992)
1. Price, Weston A DDS, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 1945 Keats Publishing, Price Pottenger
Nutrition Foundation (619) 574-7763
2. Fallon, Sally with Mary G Enig, PhD and Pat Connolly, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that
Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, 1996 ProMotion Publishing (800) 231-1776
3. Fallon, Sally and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Diet and Heart Disease: Not What You Think", Consumers
Research Magazine, July 1996 (615) 337-3322
4. Fallon, Sally and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Our Friend Cholesterol", Health Freedom News, April-May 1996,
National Health Federation (818) 303-0642
5. Pramod Khosla, PhD and K C Hayes, DVM, PhD "Dietary Trans-Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Negatively Impact Plasma Lipids in Humans: Critical Review of the Evidence" Journal of the American
College of Nutrition, Vol 15, No 4 3250-339 (1996)
6. Horrobin, David F, PhD, "The regulation of prostaglandin biosynthesis by manipulation of essential fatty
acid metabolism, " Reviews in Pure and Applied Pharmacological Sciences, Vol 4, 339-383, Freund
Publishing House, 1983
7. Fallon, Sally and Mary G Enig PhD, "Tripping Lightly Down the Prostaglandin Pathways", Price
Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal, Vol 20, No 3 Fall 1996 25-29.
8. Huang, William Y, Akinori Kamio, S-J C Yeh and Fred A Kummerow, "The Influence of Vitamin D on
Plasma and Tissue Lipids and Atherosclerosis in Swine", Artery 3(5):439-455 (1977)
9. Garg, M L et al, FASEB Journal 2:4:A852 (1988)
10. McCance, R A, "Experimental Sodium Chloride Deficiency in Man", Nutrition Reviews, Vol 48, 145147 (Mar 1990)
11. Bloch, M R, "The Social Influence of Salt", Scientific American 121-129 (July 1963)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Stearic Acid and Blood Lipids
From: Robert Crayhon
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

164/298 (1997)

Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 00:03:37 -0400


Dear Dr. Enig and Sally Fallon,
You said in your very interesting response to Dr. Cordain that stearic acid (18:0) raises cholesterol in some
studies--did you mean lower it? From what literature I have read, it would seem to lower it, which seemed to
fit the drift of your argument more.
Also, can you comment on the difference between studying saturated fatty acids in the context of the diet and
foods they come in, versus the animal studies that often examine them in a purified form? Thank you.
By the way, as a practicing nutritionist, I have files filled with clients whose blood cholesterol came DOWN
on a diet with plenty of eggs, meat, and other animal products once sugar, margarine, and excessive
consumption of grains, fruits and fruit juices was decreased. HDL goes up, total cholesterol goes down,
triglycerides plummet. Most important, the clients FEEL better. I have seen this with over 200
hyperlipidemic clients over the past 12 years.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Followup questions for Fallon & Enig
From: Dean Esmay
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 1997 16:48:17 -0400
I would like to see specific documentation for the following assertions:
1) The claim that Americans' fat intake was constant betweeen 1935 and 1974.
2) The claim that saturated fats have been shown to reduce Lp(a) levels. (I've checked Medline and I cannot
find the Promod/Hayes reference.)
3) The claim that HDL/LDL cholesterol levels have no meaningful correlation with heart disease.
I understand that #3 may be a great deal of effort to document, and I don't expect to see mountains moved,
but a brief summary with a few specific references would be helpful.
In general I am sympathetic to Enig and Fallon's view that warnings about the dangers of fat are bogus and
quite possibly dangerous; my opinions on this are best summarized by an article I wrote which appears at
http://www.syndicomm.com/lowfat.html -- I invite any criticism or comment on this article from anyone on
this list, including Enig or Fallon (in fact Dr. Enig is briefly quoted in the article so she may want to have a
look for that reason alone. ;-).

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Corrected reposting of Fallon & Enig article
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 19:54:49 -0400
Sally Fallon asked me to re-post this article, correcting some problems with punctuation codes caused by
transmission errors (and my carelessness) the first time, and also correcting an error regarding calcium. Here
it is again; I'll try to remember to re-do the archives to fix this.
To: Dr. Cordain and members of the Paleodiet Group Re: Answers to questions of May 26, 1997
First, many apologies for taking so long to respond to your excellent questions and comments of May 26.
Our replies follow:
1. You now have the reference for Voegtlin's book. As you point out, Voegtlin errs in asserting that plant
foods are needed to prevent scurvy. Uncooked or minimally cooked flesh of organs of animals contain either
vitamin C or a vitamin-C-like substance that prevents scurvy. Dr. Weston Price made this discovery when
studying the Indians of Northern Canada. (1) When they killed an animal, the Indians immediately divided
up the adrenal glands and gave a piece--raw--to every member of the tribe, and they understood that this
would prevent scurvy. Dr. Voegtlin is also wrong about vitamin K, which is found in butter and animal fats.
So it can be said that all the known vitamins, minerals and needed macronutrients can be obtained from
animal foods. However, we should not rule out the possibility that the various phyto-chemicals, alkaloids,
etc. found in plant foods, while not classified as vitamins, are necessary for optimal health, at least to some
individuals.
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

165/298 (1997)

2. We have consistently argued that the current high levels of CHD have nothing to do with the consumption
of saturated fat from animal sources, (2, 3, 4) but rather are due to foods relatively new to the human diet-particularly excess polyunsaturates, hydrogenated oils and refined carbohydrates. The anti-cholesterol, antianimal-fat campaign is a phoney issue invented and promulgated by the vegetable oil and fabricated food
industries during the 50s and 60s in order to get the upper hand in marketing their products. It amounts to
propaganda designed to denigrate nutritious traditional foods so that the consumer will buy highly refined
and processed food items instead. The amount of saturated fat in the American diet remained the same
between 1935 and 1974--the period of greatest increase in heart disease.
3. The LDL/HDL issue is also phoney and does not stand up to rigorous scrutiny. LDL is necessary to carry
cholesterol from the liver to the cells, particularly to the brain cells, which unlike other cells in the human
body, do not manufacture cholesterol. However, it is true that oxidized LDL is a problem, and does initiate
foam cells in the arteries. Oxidized cholesterol is found in products that have been heated to very high
temperatures in the presence of oxygen, such as powdered eggs and milk. Powdered eggs are added to many
processed foods and powdered milk is added to 1% and 2% milk to give it body. People drinking reduced fat
milk in order to "avoid heart disease" are actually taking in large quantities of oxidized cholesterol which is a
causative factor. You are also right in pointing out that high levels of commercial polyunsaturated oils
(virtually all of which have a high N6 to N3 ratio) increase LDL oxidizability. It is the excess of
polyunsaturated oils that cause the problem--not the saturated fats, whether in the modern diet or in
traditional cuisines. In fact, SFAs have been shown to lower Lp(a) which, unlike total serum cholesterol,
HDL or LDL, is a very good marker for increased risk of CHD. (5)
4. We believe that the amount of protein in the diet as related to CHD is another phony issue. One can point
to populations with relatively high protein consumption (30-40%) with little or no CHD, and to populations
with relatively low protein consumption (15-20%) with little or no CHD. In any event, we have no way of
knowing the exact ratios of macronutrients in the Paleolithic diet, and in fact, there probably was a lot of
variation depending on season, locality and tribal custom. The danger lies, as we pointed out in our article, in
diets high in animal protein but low in fat. This seems to have been generally recognized by the huntergatherer.
5. We would like to know what kind of fat combined with carbohydrates exacerbate the postprandial lipemic
excursions. We can well believe that excess polyunsaturated or trans fats would do this. We know that fats
taken with carbohydrates, especially traditional fats such as butter or any of the tropical oils, lower the
glycemic index, thereby preventing blood sugar swings. We are not aware of any studies showing
carbohydrates were eaten separately in pre-industrial societies. American Indians made pemmican from meat
or fish, fat, maple syrup and cranberries; succatash was made from meat, fat, beans and corn. Orthodox
dieticians/nutritionists contend that high carbohydrate diets improve blood lipid profiles. All this emphasis
on protein and carbohydrate content is, we believe, misplaced. The real issue is the kind and quality of the
macronutrients--how they are produced, processed and prepared.
6. We look forward to seeing your research and intriguing findings about the varying lengths of SFAs in wild
and domesticated animals. Stearic acid (18:0) has been shown to raise cholesterol in some studies--and in
any event, the whole cholesterol issue is bogus. There may be differences in the N6/N3 ratios in wild and
domesticated ruminant adipose tissue, but in both overall total PUFA is low. The real imbalances come with
modern farming methods (for eggs, fish, vegetables, etc.) and with the introduction of high N6 oils into the
diet. Excess N6/N3 ratios result in profound imbalances at the cellular level that can lead to MI, cancer and
many other diseases. (6, 7) We certainly do agree that high levels of N6 in the diet are a problem, but the
source of excess N6 is not domesticated beef and lamb.

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

166/298 (1997)

7. We do not know when milk product consumption became general, but it is fair to assume that the adoption
of a nomadic/herder life-style--and therefore the domestication of animals--preceded agriculture. We cannot
understand how dairy products per se can be blamed for the CHD epidemic. Counter examples include
France (low CHD, high consumption of butter and cheese); Soviet Georgia (famed for longevity, high
consumption of whole milk products); the Masai (high consumption of whole milk products, no CHD);
Switzerland and Austria (life span almost as long as Japan, diet rich in butterfat and whole milk products)
and America at the turn of the century (diet loaded with butterfat and whole milk products, very little CHD.)
If CHD is associated with milk consumption within individual countries, the finger must be pointed at
modern production methods (inappropriate feed for the cows, cows bred to have a low butterfat content)
processing (pasteurization, homogenization) and additives (powdered skim milk containing oxidized
cholesterol and synthetic vitamin D2 or D3. Synthetic D2 has been very conclusively shown to cause
calcification of the soft tissues including the arteries, and large amounts of synthetic D3, which has largely
replaced D2 as an additive to milk, have been implicated as a causative factor in the initiation of pathogenic
lesion development in the arteries. (8) The N6-N3 ratio of the small amounts of PUFAs in bovine milk fat is
excellent--about 2/1--whereas total N6/N3 in the modern diet exceeds 20/1. So once again, while we agree
that high levels of N6 in the diet are a problem, the source of excess N6 is not butterfat. Dietary saturated fats
contribute to improved assimilation of EFAs. (9) In other words, we need less of the EFAs when there are
enough SFAs in the diet. Magnesium does seem to protect against CHD. The fault lies not with high levels of
calcium from milk products, but with the deficiency of magnesium in modern diets. Weston Price found that
the diets of healthy "primitives" contained at least four times the amount of calcium as the American diet of
his day (and ten times the fat-soluble vitamins A and D!) (1) Sources of magnesium include nuts, meat and
grains such as buckwheat.
8. As we stated earlier, modern man is not consuming high levels of SFAs compared to pre-agricultural man.
The blame for inactivity should be placed on the lower nutrient content of the total diet, composed as it is of
high levels of refined and devitalized foods. When the diet supplies all the needed factors, humans need no
incentives to exercise.
9. Finally, on the question of salt, a distinction must be made between processed salt, which contains many
problematic chemicals including aluminium, and from which the magnesium salts and all the valuable trace
minerals have been removed. Modern salt comes attached to modern food products, which are invariably
refined, rancid and laced with additives; and it is difficult to separate salt from these other variables in
dietary research surveys. Some studies have shown that with low salt diets, hypertension becomes worse. In
the 1930s, researcher McCance demonstrated that when dietary salt is lowered, all manner of inappropriate
physiological responses ensue--including cramps, weakness, lassitude, loss of taste sensation and severe
cardiorespiratory distress on exertion. (10) The recent contribution to this debate, describing various
American Indian methods for using salty blood in the preparation of their meat, supports our contention that
Paleolithic diets contained sodium chloride. Salty animal blood and urine form an important part of the diet
in salt-poor Africa. The concentration of population, and the rise and fall of civilizations throughout the
world, can be positively correlated with the availability of salt. (11)
To summarize, the hypothesis that modern chronic diseases like CHD and cancer are due to consumption of
saturated fats, red meat, milk products and salt does not stand up to careful scrutiny. These have been in the
diets of healthy population groups for millennia. Media denigration of such traditional foods is a distraction
that diverts the attention of both the public and the scientific community from the real culprits--modern
farming techniques, inappropriate processing, refined carbohydrates, commercial vegetable oils, food
additives and rancid & altered fats.
P.S. The rest of citation #2 is Coronary Heart Disease: The Dietary Sense and Nonsense, George V Mann,
ed, Janus Publishing, 1993, available from the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation (619) 574-7763. Mann's
involvement with the Framingham Study, and his studies of the Masai, whose diet is high in saturated fat but
who do not suffer from CHD, led him to the following conclusion: "The diet-heart hypothesis has been
repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons or pride, profit and prejudice, the hypothesis
continues to be exploited by scientists, fund-raising enterprises, food companies and even governmental
agencies. The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century." Confirmation of Mann's
statement comes from none other than William Castelli, Director of the Framingham Study, who stated, "In
Framingham, Massachusetts, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories
one ate, the lower peoples serum cholesterol. . . we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate
the most saturated fat, ate the most calories weighed the lease and were the most physically active."
(Archives of Internal Medicine, 1992)

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

167/298 (1997)

1. Price, Weston A DDS, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 1945 Keats Publishing, Price Pottenger
Nutrition Foundation (619) 574-7763
2. Fallon, Sally with Mary G Enig, PhD and Pat Connolly, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that
Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, 1996 ProMotion Publishing (800) 231-1776
3. Fallon, Sally and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Diet and Heart Disease: Not What You Think", Consumers
Research Magazine, July 1996 (615) 337-3322
4. Fallon, Sally and Mary G Enig, PhD, "Our Friend Cholesterol", Health Freedom News, April-May 1996,
National Health Federation (818) 303-0642
5. Pramod Khosla, PhD and K C Hayes, DVM, PhD "Dietary Trans-Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Negatively Impact Plasma Lipids in Humans: Critical Review of the Evidence" Journal of the American
College of Nutrition, Vol 15, No 4 3250-339 (1996)
6. Horrobin, David F, PhD, "The regulation of prostaglandin biosynthesis by manipulation of essential fatty
acid metabolism, " Reviews in Pure and Applied Pharmacological Sciences, Vol 4, 339-383, Freund
Publishing House, 1983
7. Fallon, Sally and Mary G Enig PhD, "Tripping Lightly Down the Prostaglandin Pathways", Price
Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal, Vol 20, No 3 Fall 1996 25-29.
8. Huang, William Y, Akinori Kamio, S-J C Yeh and Fred A Kummerow, "The Influence of Vitamin D on
Plasma and Tissue Lipids and Atherosclerosis in Swine", Artery 3(5):439-455 (1977)
9. Garg, M L et al, FASEB Journal 2:4:A852 (1988)
10. McCance, R A, "Experimental Sodium Chloride Deficiency in Man", Nutrition Reviews, Vol 48, 145147 (Mar 1990)
11. Bloch, M R, "The Social Influence of Salt", Scientific American 121-129 (July 1963)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fat, milk and salt
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 22:23:31 +0100
Mary Enig and Sally Fallon, in two postings rich in statements but poor in references, have written:
> From the Eskimo of Alaska to the hardy Alpiner, from Gaelic villager to African tribesman, Price
> discovered that all healthy indigenous people had a plentiful source of animal fat in the diet.
I do not know how Price defined healthy, but there have been many traditional populations with a low intake
of animal fat (including dairy products and fat from meat) who also have had low rates of cardiovascular
disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes prior to westernization [1-102].
> We cannot understand how dairy products per se can be blamed for the CHD epidemic.
But I can. Per capita intake of milk is the single environmental factor which is most strongly related to
international ischaemic heart disease death rates [103], and for males of 19 OECD countries the negative
relation between mortality from ischaemic heart disease and wine or alcohol intake was reduced to nonsignificance by controlling for dairy products [104]. But epidemiology can never prove causality. The cause
could be some undiscovered lifestyle factor which is related to milk intake.

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168/298 (1997)

Or it could be something else in the milk than saturated fat. Dr Jeffrey Segall has suggested that it is lactose
[105] and recently argued that 'International data show stronger correlations of mortality from ischaemic
heart disease with per capita supply of dairy products excluding fat than with dairy fat, and of estimated
lactose than with dairy fat or margarine and other processed fats (positively) and vegetable oils and fats, fat
of fish or wine (negatively). Butter and cheese, which have a low content of lactose, show moderate and zero
correlations, respectively. Populations with low or intermediate prevalence of adult lactose absorbers have a
lower supply of dairy products excluding butter (and therefore of lactose), and a lower mortality from
ischaemic heart disease, than populations with a high prevalence of absorbers. Specific national and ethnic
data suggest that a diet low or relatively low in lactose, in populations with low or relatively low prevalence
of lactose absorbers, is more consistently associated with protection against ischaemic heart disease than are
high intakes of unsaturated fatty acids, wine, alcohol or dietary fibre. In seven countries with a high
consumption of dairy products (six at least with a high prevalence of lactose absorbers), trends in ischaemic
heart disease mortality appear to have reflected changes in the supply of milk (and therefore of lactose), but
not consistently of butter or inversely of unsaturated fatty acids. The findings reviewed in this paper call for
further investigation of the subject, epidemiologically and biochemically' [106].
In order to be absorbed, lactose is split by the intestinal enzyme lactase into glucose and galactose.
Paleolithic human adults did not drink milk and were probably, like most adults of the world today,
incapable of absorbing lactose [107]. Accordingly, galactose is one of the few nutrients that did not enter the
metabolic system of adults during human evolution.
> ...the Masai (high consumption of whole milk products, no CHD)...
Segall states that, among the Masai, 'the milk is consumed largely lactose-fermented, and the prevalence of
lactose absorbers in adults can be assumed to be low because that in children aged 5-14 years is estimated to
be 38 per cent [108]' [106].
This is crucial. Does anyone else know whether the Masai really ferment(ed) their milk?
> Assuming that man's tastebuds are not superfluous, but nature's way of guiding him to the food he
> needs, let us examine the notion that the cave man diet satisfied only the bitter, sour or pungent
> portion of his tasting apparatus, and not the salty or sweet.
Obviously our tastebuds lead us to the sweet, but sweet foods during evolution differed dramatically from
most sweet foods today regarding nutrient density. Personally I would be at least 25 kg heavier if I had let
my tastebuds guide me through the supermarket.
> It is hard to imagine that he would have neglected his taste for salt. It occurs naturally in meat
> and blood and, as animals seek out natural salt licks, so our sensible cave man would have done
> the same.
Yes of course, we are all very similar. But meat and blood are low salt foods and substantial evidence
suggests that, since nature has not prepared the cave man and his woman for excess salt, increasing their salt
intake to western standards would increase their risk of hypertension, stroke, heart failure, esophageal and
gastric cancer, kidney stones and osteoporosis [109]. Hunter-gatherers by the sea may have added sea water
or even sea salt to their foods. But sea salt is only 65 per cent sodium chloride, the rest is potassium chloride
and magnesium sulphate, and in any case the sodium to potassium ratio would not have been as high as for
westerners.
> It is reported that the members of the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon basin do not take in any added
> salt. In an apparant adoptive measure, they also excrete almost no salt in the urine.
Yes, they excrete 1 mmol per 24 hours, which corresponds well with their intake [110]. But this is not
specific for them, all human are capable of adopting to a low-salt diet [111]. Last time I checked my urinary
excretion of sodium it was 14 mmol per 24 hours compared to 150-300 in the West.
> Milk is salty because mammals need salt for the production of hydrochloric acid and for the
> development of the brain and nervous system. Without dietary salt, the human mind does not fully
> develop and man must live, not by his wits like the ingenious cave man from the dawn of time, but
> as a brute, even if he happens to be born in this modern age.
I am not aware of any evidence that that we do not get more salt than we need from unsalted meat, fruit and
saturating vegetables [111]. If Enig and Fallon have references please share them with us. I have several
thousand colleagues here in Sweden who would be very happy to find arguments for giving pills in stead of
dietary advice to patients with high blood pressure (although the effect of pills on their health is lousy [112114]).
> Some studies have shown that with low salt diets, hypertension becomes worse.

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But the bulk of evidence suggests the contrary [115]. Any cause-effect relationship will by chance be
'reversed' in one or two studies out of many, and readers who pick out such single studies are possibly in love
with some hypothesis.
But who is not? :-)

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Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992: 363-72.

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92. Truswell AS, Kennelly BM, Hansen JD, Lee RB. Blood pressures of Kung bushmen in Northern
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Toyer MG, Keller P, Pimstone BL. Metabolic responses to oral glucose in the Kalahari Bushmen. B M J
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heart disease in relation to alcohol and milk consumption. Med Hypotheses 1983; 12: 321-9. 105. Segall JJ.
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stroke but not myocardial infarction? Lancet 1987; ii: 658-61. 114. Berglund G. Does antihypertensive
treatment precipitate myocardial infarctions? [editorial]. Acta Med Scand 1987; 222: 193-4. 115. Beilin LJ.
Non-pharmacological management of hypertension. In: Swales JD, ed. Textbook of Hypertension. Oxford:
Blackwell, 1994: 1165-77.
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~paleodiet/lindeberg/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fat, milk and salt
From: Pamela Davis
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 16:30:35 -0400
Staffan Lindeberg writes:
> Per capita intake of milk is the single environmental factor which is most strongly related to
> international ischaemic heart disease death rates [103], and for males of 19 OECD countries the
> negative relation between mortality from ischaemic heart disease and wine or alcohol intake was
> reduced to non-significance by controlling for dairy products [104].
This is a naive question but why would we exclusively consume one food for the first 2-4 years of our lives
and then abandon it altogether?

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Milk and the Masai
From: Ward Nicholson
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 17:59:53 -0500
I very much enjoyed Mary Enig and Sally Fallon's posting; however, I have a question regarding the
following two passages in which the Masai (who are large milk-drinkers) are mentioned:
> 7. We do not know when milk product consumption became general, but it is fair to assume that the
> adoption of a nomadic/herder life-style--and therefore the domestication of animals--preceded
> agriculture. We cannot understand how dairy products per se can be blamed for the CHD epidemic.
> Counter examples include France (low CHD, high consumption of butter and cheese); Soviet Georgia
> (famed for longevity, high consumption of whole milk products); the Masai (high consumption of
> whole milk products, no CHD); P.S. The rest of citation #2 is Coronary Heart Disease: The Dietary
> Sense and Nonsense, George V Mann, ed, Janus Publishing, 1993, available from the Price-Pottenger
> Nutrition Foundation (619) 574-7763. Mann's involvement with the Framingham Study, and his studies
> of the Masai, whose diet is high in saturated fat but who do not suffer from CHD.
The above comments about the Masai having no CHD, apparently based in part on George Mann's 1993
paper, seems to conflict with an earlier study of Mann's which reports on their significant levels of
atherosclerosis. Let me just here condense and rephrase something I posted to the Paleofood list a few weeks
ago on this Subject: While it is true that the Masai are (or were) athletic and could be considered to be in
good health compared to Westerners, the Masai have been shown to have significant levels of
atherosclerosis.
My limited knowledge of the situation is that there may be some confusion about studies of the Masai, which
probably got its start from field studies of them in the 1960s done by George Mann (mentioned above by
Enig and Fallon), published in his paper, "Physical fitness and immunity to heart disease in the Masai, "
Lancet, 12/25/65, p.308]. However, Lee Hitchcox points out in his book Long Life Now (1996, Celestial
Arts, p.161), that this early study by Mann depicting the Masai as free of heart disease was funded by a
vested interest in how the study turned out: the National Livestock and Meat Board.
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When Mann did later independent studies of the Masai, his published findings were curiously different:
Autopsies showed the Masai to have significant levels of atherosclerosis. These levels of atherosclerosis
were present even in the face of low blood lipids--exemplified in the Masai by cholesterol levels in the range
of 115 to 145 [Mann G. et al 1972, "Atherosclerosis in the Masai, " American Journal of Epidemiology,
95:1, Jan. 1972, pp. 26-37]. I mention this because if true, it would be interesting to know what the
mechanism for the atherosclerosis would be given their low blood cholesterol levels.
If I am remembering Mann's research correctly, one interesting point in the later study (which again may be
responsible for some of the differing interpretations of the Masai's health) was that the Masai were spared
many of the repercussions from atherosclerosis that might affect Westerners for the reason that the diameters
of their arteries were much larger than average, presumably due to the effect of their superior cardiovascular
fitness from high levels of physical activity. In other words, they still had enough arterial volume despite the
atherosclerosis to support good blood flow. I am not clear on the what the clinical definition of CHD is and
whether it includes atherosclerosis itself, or subsequent symptoms usually caused by it, which were
(apparently) absent in the Masai.
If the 1993 Mann reference that Mary and Sally cite has information that would supersede Mann's
conclusions from his earlier 1972 study which they could explain in further detail here on the list, I would
find them helpful in the interest of clearing up these issues about the Masai.
--Ward Nicholson

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: New genetic research dates dogs' origins to 100, 000 years ago
From: Ward Nicholson
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 18:40:04 -0500
I just received the latest Science News (6/28/97 issue) which contains a very interesting article on a new
genetic clock study dating the early lineage of dogs. The information may prove of interest here in light of
Ray Audette's observation on the listgroup some weeks ago that small bands of hunters armed only with
atlatls and aided by dogs could be fearsome hunters capable of taking down the largest of mammals. I'll just
summarize the basic points here.
Titled, "Stalking the Ancient Dog: Man's Best Friend May Go Way Back, " the results of the new
mitochondrial DNA studies (widely used in genetic dating, though still controversial) indicate that the origin
of the dog goes back much further than previous estimates of 10, 000-20, 000 years ago--perhaps to well
beyond 100, 000 years ago. The studies weren't able to determine the original geographic origin of dogs but
they did eliminate from consideration any parent species other than the wolf (which has long been
suspected). They also suggest that dogs may have evolved from wolves, not once, but several different times,
as well as the possibility that dogs may have interbred with wolves from time to time.
The study, published in the 6/13/97 issue of Science (no refs given) by Robert K. Wayne et al of UCLA,
looked at DNA from 162 wolves taken from 27 populations in Europe, Asia, and North America, and
compared it with DNA from 140 modern dogs from 67 different breeds around the world. There was such a
wide range of variability between modern dogs and wolves that researchers close to the case say it is
impossible for the genetic variability observed to have evolved in the traditional assumed timeframe of just
10 to 20 thousand years. (This interpretation assumes of course that the molecular-clock dating technique,
which is still controversial, holds up.)
The more ancient timeframe for the origin of the dog can be explained, say the researchers, because even
though the fossil record for dogs is obscure beyond about 14, 000 years ago (after which dog bones are often
found in association with human bones), it has been overlooked until now that wolf bones can be found in
association with human bones going back beyond the 100, 000-year horizon. Thus what were formely
considered "wolves" may in fact have been "dogs-in-process." If wolves and humans were indeed associating
with each other this early in symbiotic fashion, it suggests that we may be looking at a different type of
mutually beneficial relationship than the traditional assumption of "domestication." In other words, 100, 000
years ago or before, wolves might have been "tamed" in some way that did not lead to changes that would
show up in the fossil record. Then with the impending advent of agriculture, late mesolithic or early neolithic
peoples might have begun actually breeding dogs selectively to become different kinds of hunters than
before, or into herders, guards, etc.
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Says Elaine Ostrander, a molecular biologist collaborating on a study of the dog genome who works at the
Fred Hutchsinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, "When we became an agricultural society, what we
needed dogs for changed enormously, and a further and irrevocable division occurred at that point. That may
be the point--at which dogs and wolves were noticeably different physically--that stands out in the fossil
record."
--Ward Nicholson

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fat, milk and salt
From: Ron Hoggan
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 18:51:53 -0600
First, I would like to thank Staffan for his very interesting and instructive post.
> From: Staffan Lindeberg Subject: Fat, milk and salt
> We cannot understand how dairy products per se can be blamed for the CHD epidemic. But I can. Per
> capita intake of milk is the single environmental factor which is most strongly related to
> international ischaemic heart disease death rates [103], and for males of 19 OECD countries the
> negative relation between mortality from ischaemic heart disease and wine or alcohol intake was
> reduced to non-significance by controlling for dairy products [104]. But epidemiology can never
> prove causality. The cause could be some undiscovered lifestyle factor which is related to milk intake.
Or it could be associated with an autoimmune response to alpha casein. Attachment of milk-derived proteins
to vascular walls could incite a lymphocyte attack that would result in vascular leakage, increased fibrinogen,
and consequent plaquing of the vascular walls. It is a concept I have previously voiced suggesting a gliadininduced autoimmune attack on the vascular walls. But perhaps the facts support a milk-derived protein as the
primary major pathogen in much CHD.
> Or it could be something else in the milk than saturated fat. Dr Jeffrey Segall has suggested that
> it is lactose [105] and recently argued that 'International data show stronger correlations of
> mortality from ischaemic heart disease with per capita supply of dairy products excluding fat than
> with dairy fat, and of estimated lactose than with dairy fat or margarine and other processed fats
> (positively) and vegetable oils and fats, fat of fish or wine (negatively). Butter and cheese,
> which have a low content of lactose, show moderate and zero correlations, respectively.
These might equally be interpreted as suggestive of causation by milk-derived proteins. But, as you said, a
correlation does not constitute causation. Can anyone instruct me as to the content of intact milk protein in
cheese?
> Populations with low or intermediate prevalence of adult lactose absorbers have a lower supply of
> dairy products excluding butter (and therefore of lactose), and a lower mortality from ischaemic
> heart disease, than populations with a high prevalence of absorbers.
Again, the hypothesis of a protein-driven autoimmune attack on vascular walls might find considerable
support in this correlation.
> Specific national and ethnic data suggest that a diet low or relatively low in lactose, in
> populations with low or relatively low prevalence of lactose absorbers, is more consistently
> associated with protection against ischaemic heart disease than are high intakes of unsaturated
> fatty acids, wine, alcohol or dietary fibre.
> In seven countries with a high consumption of dairy products (six at least with a high prevalence
> of lactose absorbers), trends in ischaemic heart disease mortality appear to have reflected
> changes in the supply of milk (and therefore of lactose), but not consistently of butter or
> inversely of unsaturated fatty acids.
What is the protein content of butter?
> The findings reviewed in this paper call for further investigation of the subject,
> epidemiologically and biochemically' [106].
Thanks to previous posts from Staffan, I am aware that a great deal of antibody testing has been done in
association with atherosclerosis. Is anyone aware of any specific anti-casein testing? What about antiendomysium? Anti-reticulin? anti-gliadin?
I would be very grateful for information along these lines.
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> In order to be absorbed, lactose is split by the intestinal enzyme lactase into glucose and
> galactose. Paleolithic human adults did not drink milk and were probably, like most adults of the
> world today, incapable of absorbing lactose [107]. Accordingly, galactose is one of the few
> nutrients that did not enter the metabolic system of adults during human evolution.
Did lactase develop in some populations, in response to some other evolutionary pressure or accident? Does
it serve some other dietary function besides splitting lactose?
> ...the Masai (high consumption of whole milk products, no CHD)...
As the traditional Masai diet does NOT include gluten, perhaps they lack the intestinal permeability
necessary for the absorption of intact milk-derived proteins. Perhaps the multifactorial cultural mix of a
highly glutenous diet, to induce the intestinal permeability, in combination with milk consumption, and
perhaps other factors, are all necessary to the current epidemic of CHD.
> Segall states that, among the Masai, 'the milk is consumed largely lactose-fermented, and the
> prevalence of lactose absorbers in adults can be assumed to be low because that in children aged
> 5-14 years is estimated to be 38 per cent [108]' [106]. This is crucial. Does anyone else know
> whether the Masai really ferment(ed) their milk?
It is only crucial if you are looking at the sugars, not the combination of proteins.
> Assuming that man's tastebuds are not superfluous, but nature's way of guiding him to the food he
> needs, let us examine the notion that the cave man diet satisfied only the bitter, sour or pungent
> portion of his tasting apparatus, and not the salty or sweet. Obviously our tastebuds lead us to
> the sweet, but sweet foods during evolution differed dramatically from most sweet foods today
> regarding nutrient density. Personally I would be at least 25 kg heavier if I had let my tastebuds
> guide me through the supermarket.
Or, perhaps, we evolved eating a great deal of fats and meats, and in their current dietary paucity, we have
learned to substitute those foods which are sweet and energize us. As a celiac, I have experienced dramatic
changes in my taste for sweets.
> Yes of course, we are all very similar. But meat and blood are low salt foods and substantial
> evidence suggests that, since nature has not prepared the cave man and his woman for excess salt,
> increasing their salt intake to western standards would increase their risk of hypertension,
> stroke, heart failure, esophageal and gastric cancer, kidney stones and osteoporosis [109].
> Hunter-gatherers by the sea may have added sea water or even sea salt to their foods. But sea salt
> is only 65 per cent sodium chloride, the rest is potassium chloride and magnesium sulphate, and in
> any case the sodium to potassium ratio would not have been as high as for westerners.
Loren Cordain has also asserted a connection between gastric cancer and salt consumption, but I'm afraid I
lack the biochemical background to grasp the concept. Could someone suggest a resource that would bring
me up to speed on that point?
> I am not aware of any evidence that that we do not get more salt than we need from unsalted meat,
> fruit and saturating vegetables [111]. If Enig and =46allon have references please share them with
> us. I have several thousand colleagues here in Sweden who would be very happy to find arguments
> for giving pills in stead of dietary advice to patients with high blood pressure (although the
> effect of pills on their health is lousy [112-114]).
Salt cravings are very common among celiac patients. And, given recent postings on the celiac listserv,
reduced HCL is also a common problem among celiacs. Would any one be willing to speculate on this issue?
> Some studies have shown that with low salt diets, hypertension becomes worse.
I would be very interested in citations supporting this claim. If these reports included other dietary
information, they might hold some very valuable clues to an enhanced understanding of the underlying
pathology.
For instance, if the dietary gluten or casein intake is high, in these rogue investigations that show increased
hypertension on low salt, then there is support for the notion of an underlying autoimmunity. If, conversely,
magnesium is low, the hypertension may reflect dietary deficiencies in minerals and vitamins.
Some very interesting work is currently demonstrating that some vitamins aid some cancer patients in their
battles against malignancy. But that is another story.
Again, I am always grateful to Staffan (along with many other list members) for his very informative posts.
Best Wishes, Ron Hoggan Calgary, Alberta, Canada http://www.panix.com/~donwiss/hoggan/

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Fat, milk and salt
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From: Staffan Lindeberg


Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 1997 00:00:05 +0100
At 01.51 97-07-04, Ron Hoggan wrote:
> Or [coronary heart disease] could be associated with an autoimmune response to alpha casein.
Which, like galactose, is another of the few substances for which the adult human metabolic system was not
designed.
> What is the protein content of butter?
According to Swedish food composition tables it is 0.6 mg per 100 g or 0.2 g per MJ (megajoule).
> Loren Cordain has also asserted a connection between gastric cancer and salt consumption, but I'm
> afraid I lack the biochemical background to grasp the concept. Could someone suggest a resource
> that would bring me up to speed on that point?
Case-control studies: Tuyns A. Salt and gastrointestinal cancer. Nutr Cancer 1988; 11: 229-32. Haenszel W
et al. Stomach cancer among Japanese in Hawaii. J Natl Cancer Inst 1972; 49: 969-88. Coggon D et al.
Stomach cancer and food storage. J Natl Cancer Inst 1989; 81: 1178-82. Graham S et al. Diet in the
epidemiology of gastric cancer. Nutr Cancer 1990; 13: 19-34. Hu J et al. Diet and cancer of the stomach: a
case-control study in China. Int J Cancer 1988; 41: 331-5.
Epidemiology and reviews: Howson CP et al. The decline in gastric cancer: epidemiology of an unplanned
triumph. Epidemiol Rev 1986; 8: 1-27. Cordle F. The use of epidemiology, scientific data, and regulatory
authority to determine risk factors in cancers of some organs of the digestive system. 5. Stomach cancer.
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 1986; 6: 171-80. Joosens JV, Geboers J. Dietary salt and risks to health. Am J Clin
Nutr 1987; 45: 1277-88.
Experimental studies in rats: Shirai T et al. Effects of butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene,
and NaCl on gastric carcinogenesis initiated with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in F344 rats. J Natl
Cancer Inst 1984; 72: 1189-98. Takahashi M et al. Effects of sodium chloride, saccharin, phenobarbital and
aspirin on gastric carcinogenesis with N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine. Gann 1984; 75: 494-501. Kim
JP et al. Co-carcinogenic effects of several Korean foods on gastric cancer induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-Nnitrosoguanidine in rats. Jpn J Surg 1985; 15: 427-37. Tatematsu M et al. Effects in rats of sodium chloride
on experimental gastric cancers induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine or 4-nitroquinoline-1oxide. J Natl Cancer Inst 1975; 55: 101-6.
> Some studies have shown that with low salt diets, hypertension becomes worse.
> I would be very interested in citations supporting this claim. If these reports included other
> dietary information, they might hold some very valuable clues to an enhanced understanding of the
> underlying pathology.
I am only aware of one such study. It showed unaltered blood pressure but worsened serum total and HDL
cholesterol in patients with non insulin-dependent diabetes (del Rio A, Rodriguez-Villamil JL. Metabolic
effects of strict salt restriction in essential hypertensive patients. J Intern Med 1993; 233: 409-14):
OBJECTIVE. Some observations suggest that a strict low-salt diet may induce unfavourable metabolic sideeffects. The main aim of this study was to analyse the possible consequences of severe salt restriction in
mildly hypertensive patients. DESIGN. The study was carried out through a randomized double-blind
protocol. SUBJECTS. Forty-seven ambulatory patients proceeding from the hypertension unit were initially
admitted: 17 were lost, and 30 non-diabetic mildly hypertensives (DBP 90-104 mmHg) with normal renal
function completed the protocol. INTERVENTION. After a wash-out period, patients were maintained on a
low-salt intake (2.8 +/- 1.0 g day-1 of NaCl) and placebo for 2 weeks, and the same diet and salt supplements
(11.7 +/- 2.5 g day-1 of NaCl) for another 2 weeks, separated by a second wash-out period. MEASURES. At
the end of each dietary period, blood pressure (BP) and body weight were measured, and a blood sample was
taken for determination of routine serum chemistries, plasma lipid and apolipoprotein concentrations,
immunoreactive insulin (IRI), and plasma renin activity (PRA). Urinary 24 h excretion of sodium and
potassium were measured. RESULTS. During the salt restriction period BP did not change, weight lowered,
and PRA raised. There was a significant increase in serum level of creatinine, uric acid, IRI, total cholesterol
and apo B, and a decrease in HDL cholesterol and apo A-I. CONCLUSION. As previously suggested, these
observations seem to indicate that strict salt restriction may cause, at least in the short-term, adverse
metabolic changes in hypertensive patients".

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In a recent (1994) textbook of hypertension (1328 pages), edited by JD Swales who is a well known critic of
salt restriction in hypertension, there are are two chapters dealing with salt. I can not find one single study
there (out of many) which suggests that blood pressure would increase by a decreased intake of salt. What
they did show was either a decrease or no effect.
Cheers,
Staffan
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~paleodiet/lindeberg/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fat, milk, and salt
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 1997 12:05:49 -0400
To the best of my knowledge, there is no animal which consumes milk outside of infancy--except man.
To the best of my knowledge, there is also no animal which consumes the milk of -other species- in any
significant quantity--except man.
Moreover, it would be wrong to say that man regularly consumes milk, because most humans do not. It is
only in the West (and some limited parts of Africa) that people eat dairy on a regular basis. In most of the
world, regular consumption of the milk of animals would be considered either disgusting or simply a bizarre
aberration of white Westerners.
Both the carbohydrates (especially lactose) and the proteins (such as casein and lactoglubulin) are quite
different in character than the proteins or carbohydrates humans normally encounter in their other foods.
It's not clear to me when humans started the practice of herding animals in order to drink their milk. Perhaps
some more knowledgeable member of the list can share with us some thoughts on that?

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Answers to questions concerning our latest contribution
From: Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 1997 19:09:44 -0400
Thank you all for the lively debate. Following are answers to queries that have come in.
A. Replies to Dean Esmay:
1. Our figures come from the USDA. We stated that SATURATED fat intake remained the same between
1935 and 1974--total fat consumption rose between 1935 and 1974 (from about 150 grams/capita/day to
about 170 g/c/d.) Animal fat consumption actually declined (from 100 g/c/d to about 90 g/c/d) but there was
an increase in consumption of vegetable oils (from just over 50 g/c/d to over 80 g/c/d.) We cannot say,
however, that saturated fat intake declined during this period, because vegetable oils contain some SFAs.
2. The authors of the reference about SFAs reducing Lp(a) are Khosla and Hayes. Please let us know if you
cannot find this on Medline. You should also be able to find it on Agricola. As the abstract of this review
article does not mention the effect of SFAs on Lp(a), we will quote directly from the relevant passage on
page 330: A subsequent analysis of frozen plasma from this study revealed that the trans diet also resulted in
significantly higher concentrations of Lp(a) than those resulting from the oleic acid-rich diet. However, a
surprising, but unheralded, aspect of the Lp(a) analysis was that the saturated fatty acid-rich diet produced
significantly lower Lp(a) concentrations than the oleic acid-rich diet.

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3. The whole HDL/LDL hypothesis comes from the Framingham study, whose coordinators utilized
questionable methodologies and made many omissions in reporting the data. For an excellent discussion of
this issue see Smith, Russell, L "Diet, Blood Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease: A Critical Review of
the Literature" (1991) Volume 2, pp 3-78 to 3-100. Smith concludes: "In 40 years of several hundred
Framingham reports, this writer has found neither an actual correlation coefficient published for either total
or LDL cholesterol nor a figure showing the CHD mortality and/or morbidity rate as a function of LDL level
. . . Examination of published Framingham data. . . indicate that the correlation between CHD and total or
LDL cholesterol is probably under 0.3. The objective and statistically sophisticated scientist would consider
these correlations as unrepresentative of cause and effect relationships and would analyze the associated data
base to find reasons why the observed correlations occurred at all." (pp1-2 to 1-3) An interesting sidelight to
this issue is an item reported in a recent newsletter from Dr. Atkins, who states that high HDL levels are
indicative of an underactive thyroid. If this is the case, then the logical conclusion is that high HDL
predisposes to CHD, and not the reverse.
4. Regarding your most recent contribution about milk consumption, one could also say that man is the only
animal that uses tools, lives in houses, wears clothes, speaks and writes books--and uses milk products. Is the
use of milk products thus one of those attributes that sets man apart from the beasts? We reiterate that the use
of milk produsts is associated with long and healthy life in many parts of the world--Soviet Georgia, Hunza,
Vilcabamba in Equador, and the supremely healthy Swiss villagers studied by Weston Price in the 1930s.
B. To Robert Crayhon:
4. Regarding stearic acid, we do mean that some studies have shown stearic to raise blood cholesterol--some
studies show it to be neutral and some studies show 18:0 to lower cholesterol. Thus nothing can be
concluded about the effect of stearic acid on cholesterol levels. However, Dr. Cordain was arguing that
modern beef feeding methods lowered components that lower cholesterol (stearic acid) and raised
components that raise cholesterol (16:0 and 14:0). We were merely demonstrating that no real conclusions
can be drawn about the differences between wild and domesticated meat in regards to its effect on serum
cholesterol levels.
5. Without giving specific references, we think it is a given that the different fatty acids given in pure form
would not have the same effect as those fatty acids given as components of whole foods--this certainly is the
case with amino acids. Remember also, that in many of the animal experiments, animal fats were given to
vegetarian animals (such as rabbits) which of course led to pathological responses.
6. We hope you will publish the results you have had with hyperlipidemic clients using eggs, meat and other
animal products while eliminating the fabricated foods and refined carbohydrates. We need to have more
citations in the literature about these kinds of real-world results. What you have here is a healthy lowering of
cholesterol levels because the body does not need to have as much cholesterol to serve as an antioxidant and
protective mechanism against rancid vegetable oils; rather than the kind of pathological reduction that often
temporarily occurs when individuals are put on a high-PUFA diet. This latter situation forces cholesterol into
the tissues to give them body and stability in the absence of sufficient SFAs.
C. To Don Weiss and Dean Esmay:
Regarding the study by Kaneko et al. The abstract is very clear. When 27-year-old females ate meat, they
absorbed more calcium. Since they were evidently in calcium balance, they excreted more calcium, i.e. the
excess that they did not need. They also excreted the extra sulfur from the sulfur-containing amino acids
which are found in abundance in meat, but are deficient in soy proteins (soy formula for infants must have
added methionine to overcome this deficiency.) The results of the added meat is as would be expected in
normal homeostasis. We would expect someone in appropriate calcium balance to do just that. When the soy
protein was fed, there was no increased absorption and excretion of calcium; this too is as expected since the
soy contains components that inhibit uptake of calcium. We do not have the actual paper so do not know if in
fact the soy might have caused a negative balance in some of the subjects.
Correctly interpreted, the abstract does not show that eating meat causes a loss of calcium. For further
research on this subject, see the careful studies of Herta Spencer, who did not find that eating meat caused
calcium loss. (Spencer, et al "Effect of a high protein (meat) intake on calcium metabolism in man" Am J
Clin Nutr 31 (12):2167-2180 (Dec 1978); and Spencer et al, "Further studies of the effect of a high protein
diet as meat on calcium metabolism" Am J Clin Nutr 37 (6):924-929 (Jun 1983.)

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Answers to questions concerning our latest contribution
From: Dean Esmay
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

180/298 (1997)

Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 1997 20:41:00 -0400
Fallon & Enig write, in response to my recent generalizations about dairy:
> Regarding your most recent contribution about milk consumption, one could also say that man is the
> only animal that uses tools, lives in houses, wears clothes, speaks and writes books--and uses
> milk products. Is the use of milk products thus one of those attributes that sets man apart from
> the beasts?
I chuckled when I read this, but I must emphasize that when I pointed out that man appears to be the only
animal on the planet that regularly consumes milk, I was answering the point of a person who had inquired,
"why would we exclusively consume one food for the first 2-4 years of our lives and then abandon it
altogether?" My response to this question was rhetorical and meant to point out the obvious: cow and goat
milk are nature's way of feeding infant cows and goats, not adult humans, and there's no animal on the planet
that requires its own milk outside of adulthood, let alone that of a different species.
Now I'll ad a tongue-in-cheek response to Enig & Fallon: It is difficult to imagine what metabolic
pathologies might be caused by daily consumption of tools, houses, or books, but I hope you will grant the
possibility that if we all started chewing on hammers, huts, and Hawthorne, we might get sick. ;-)
More seriously, my point was that there I no reason to suggest that there is any NEED for dairy outside of
infancy. I know of no evidence that adults who drink milk are healthier than adults who do not. Most
humans, in fact, are lactose-intolerant, and even that minority which continues to secrete lactase into
adulthood frequently lose this ability later in life (references available upon request). Casien and
lactoglobulin, the primary proteins in cow's milk, are both rather different from the proteins found in meats,
eggs, and nuts, and a number of people are allergic to one or both. There are even studies suggesting a link
between casein and the development of autism in children, with some interesting and promising studies
going on right now with treating autistic people with dairy-free diets (references for this also available upon
request; in fact I hope to get more information from researchers working on this in the near future). I'm not
sure what to make of the assertions Enig & Fallon make versus the countering data provided by Lindeberg;
both clearly require some contemplation.
By the way, for an interesting analysis of the difference between human and cow milk (which I'm sure Fallon
& Enig are entirely aware of, but which others on the list may want to look at out of simple curiosity), have a
look at http://classes.aces.uiuc.edu/AnSci308/HumanLact.html#Macro -- the differences are quite
substantial.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Origins of milk-drinking / problems of milk
From: Ward Nicholson
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 1997 11:02:53 -0500
Dean Esmay asked about the timescale of the origins of milk-drinking. Here is some information from a
paper by Frederick J. Simoons (1988) "The Determinants of Dairying and Milk Use in The Old World:
Ecological, Physiological, and Cultural, " In JRK Robson (ed.), Food, Ecology and Culture: Readings in the
Anthropology of Dietary Practices. New York: Gordon and Breach. (pp. 83-91)
First a few statistics about modern milk tolerance:
- 70% of the world's population is lactose-intolerant. This figure includes: - 90-100% of Asians. - 75% of
African-Americans. - 80% of Native Americans. - 50% of Hispanics worldwide. - 20% of CaucasionAmericans.
[taken from: Mogelonsky, Marcia (1995) "Milk Doesn't Always Do a Body Good, " American
Demographics, Jan. 1995 issue.]
Babies are born with the capacity to digest the lactose in milk via production of the digestive enzyme lactase.
Starting around 3-4 years old, however (if I am remembering correctly), this capacity is normally lost. This
would have been the baseline *normal* state of affairs prior to the advent of agriculture.

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The 30% of the world's population that does not exhibit adult lactose intolerance can trace its heritage very
closely to the earliest populations of humans that began the practice of herding animals for their milk. The
earliest milking populations in Europe, Asia, and Africa began the practice probably around 4, 000 BC.
Simoons says:
"The distributional pattern and historical record of milking and nonmilking in the Old World suggests that
the milking habit developed somewhere within the Eurasian-African landmass and spread outward. The
earliest convincing evidence we now have of milking is for the Sahara Desert, during the middle of the socalled Pastoral Period (circa 5500-2000 BC) of the Neolithic. [Elsewhere Simoons puts the best-estimate
date at approx. 4000 BC.] At that time the desert was somewhat rainier and able to support pastoralists,
whose most prominent animals were common cattle. The pastoralists' abundant, naturalistic rock drawings,
reminiscent of Lascaux and Altamira in Europe, include clear milking scenes. We cannot, however, be
certain that the milking habit originated in the Sahara; whether, as many scholars suspect, it originated
somewhere in Southwest Asia, or whether it developed elsewhere."
Simoons goes on to delineate the world's lactose-intolerant populations today, saying:
"Of special significance are the world patterns of high and low incidence of primar adult lactose
malabsorption, for these bear a considerable similarity to the traditional patterns of milking and nonmilking
sketched previously. For example, many groups with a high prevalence of such malabsorption, have
traditionally been nonmilking. These include Greenland Eskimos, various American Indian tribes, Americanborn Negroes and Orientals, Yoruba and Ibo in Southern Nigeria, Bantu agriculturalists of the Congo,
Bushmen, Chinese, Japanese, Thais, Indonesians, Filipinos, native Fijians, Australian aborigines, and natives
of New Guinea. Indeed, all groups tested so far whose origins lie in the traditional zone of nonmilking have
high prevalences of primary adult lactose malabsorption. Of the groups found to have low prevalences of
such malabsorption, moreover, all seem to come from long backgrounds of consuming abundant dairy
products in lactose-rich forms. These include Danes and certain other northwest Europeans, their overseas
decendants in the Americas and Australia, the pastoral Fulani of Nigeria, the Hima and Tussi of East Africa,
Bedouin and other Saudi Arabs, and various groups in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent. Differences
in the prevalence of primary adult lactose malabsorption are particularly striking in the United States, whose
people are quite varied in the ethnic and racial origins."
After a lengthy analysis, Simoons concludes, "The strong suggestion is that we are dealing with a genetic
condition, that primary adult lactose malabsorption is the normal state in animals and man, and that selection
for high group prevalence of absorption has developed during a long history of using lactose-rich dairy
products." [i.e., only in those populations with a history of it]
One estimate of the time needed for lactose tolerance to become the norm rather than the exception in a
population where milk-drinking is regular is that it could occur in as little as 1, 150 years in populations with
sufficiently strong cultural pressures for it [Cavalli-Sforza et al 1994 "The History and Geography of Human
Genes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. p.13]. For Northern Europeans, there is research showing the
prevalence of lactose tolerance developing from 5% to approx. 70% in about 250 generations (roughly 5000
years). [Aoki K. (1991) "Time required for gene frequency change in a deterministic model of gene culture
coevolution, with special reference to the lactose absorption problem. Theoretical Population Biology vol.
40, pp.354-68.] (Thanks to Loren Cordain for pointing out this latter reference to me.)
However, lactose tolerance is probably only one among a number of adaptations that would have to occur for
full adaptation to the consumption of other animals' milk products to take place without health repercussions.
(Dean mentions the casein and lactoglobulins in animals milk differ substantially from human milk, for
example.)
Perhaps Loren might expand on other troubles with milk, prominent among them, the calcium/magnesium
ratio, I believe, which he mentioned to me briefly in a separate conversation. Basically the situation as I
recall it is that in the Paleolithic diet the Ca:Mg ratio is approx. 1.0. In milk and dairy products the ratio is
12.0, and can skew the overall dietary ratio to 4.0 when added to the usual American diet. (How it would
affect the overall ratio in an otherwise Paleolithic diet I am not sure.) Loren, perhaps you could go into the
health repercussion of excessive calcium relative to magnesium?
I might add here that an interesting side-question I have not seen answered to my satisfaction is whether
despite such problems, dairy products in moderation might prove of some help in other ways to those who
eschew meat (i.e., vegetarians) and serve as something of a poor-second-cousin meat substitute. Having run a
newsletter in the past for vegetarians, it seemed to be the case that those who were having troubles on a
vegetarian diet diet often improved when they included animal by-products such as dairy and/or eggs, if they
completely ruled out any meat (as they almost inevitably did, of course). The potential negative long-term
consequences of doing so, however, and whether they would be worth any positives, would be the issue here.
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--Ward Nicholson
P.S. Mary and Sally: In your Saturday post addressing questions to your previous post, I did not see any
commentary regarding my question about George Mann's research on atherosclerosis in the Masai (large
milk-drinkers). (Perhaps my question was overlooked due to a subject line not tied to your original post?)
Would be most interested in any knowledge you have of later research by Mann or anyone else on the Masai.
Thanks.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Fat, milk and salt
From: Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 1997 21:30:25 -0400
Regarding Simoons assertion that milk drinking dates back only 4000 years, there was recently an exhibition
of ancient statues from Jordan at the Smithsonian Institution here in Washington DC. The site from which
the statues were excavated dates back to 7200 BC. We quote from the brochure: "The people of Ain Ghazal
lived year-round at the site, relying for their subsitence on hunting, herding and farming. They ate meat and
milk products from the goats they herded and grew wheat, barley, lentils, peas and chickpeas. . . " So milk
drinking dates back at least 9000 years. (By the way, we have the upmost respect for Simoons whose book
Food In China should be read by all.)
When we consider how milk products are processed in traditional societies, the debate over lactose
intolerance becomes moot. The fermenting of milk into yoghurt, cheese or any one of the myriad of
fermented milk products found throughout the world, partially or fully digests the lactose and makes milk
products tolerable to the vast majority, even the lactose intolerant. On the other hand, even those with a high
tolerance for milk products may have a hard time digesting modern supermarket milk which is pasteurized,
has a low milk fat content and comes from freak pituitary cows eating inappropriate feed.
To Ward Nicholson: We missed your question on the Masai--could you repost?
Sally and Mary

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: PALEODIET Digest - 6 Jul 1997 to 7 Jul 1997
From: Niccolo Caldararo
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 01:31:19 -0400
Dear Sally and Mary:
Your post contains quite a number of assertions supported by no evidence. Beginning with the 7, 200 B.C.
milk use statement, one would expect a better citation than a Smithsonian brochure (I have the utmost
respect for the Smithsonian, but really....). It is interesting to hear that there is only one kind of lactoseintolerance and that all the world's people respond to yogurt the same as well as to "supermarket milk".
Niccolo Caldararo

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: More from Sally and Mary
From: Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 12:04:53 -0400
Re: Ward Nicholsons queries about the Masai and Lactose intolerance

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In the introduction to his book "Coronary Heart Disease" (available from Price-Pottenger Nutrition
Foundation 619-574-7763) Mann states on page 7: "In the 1960s we examined about 1500 Masai subjects in
Kenya and Tanzania. The Masai are a pastoral, nomadic people who consume mainly milk and meat, and in
large quantities since they are active people. We found them to have cholesterol levels below 170 mg/dl and
our autopsies of 50 adult males showed little evidence of atheroma. . . The coronary vessels often showed
fibrotic scarring, but the subjects coronary arteries enlarge in lumenal dimensions with increasing age. Thus,
these animal fat eaters show neither hypercholesteremia, nor atheroma, nor heart attacks."
Fibrotic "scarring" is a phenomenon that occurs universally at certain locations in the blood vessels in
response to pressure gradients. This phenomenon is discussed in a chapter by the pathologist Meyer Texon in
the same volume. The gradual buildup of such lesions is a protective device, and not the same as
atherosclerosis which involves pathogenic plaques that may occlude the arteries. These contain large
amounts of calcium and fatty material that is oxidized and polymerized. By the way, the International
Atherosclerosis Project, in which 31, 000 autopsies from 15 different countries were examined, determined
that vegetarians have just as much atherosclerosis as meat eaters, and there was no correlation between
amount of fat in the diet nor the level of serum cholesterol with the amount or degree of atherosclerosis. (Lab
Invest 1986 18:465)
Continuing the debate on milk products, we are arguing that even those with adult lactase deficiency can
tolerate fermented milk products in which the lactose has been wholly or partially converted. See "Modern
Nutrition in Health and Disease" 8th Edition 1994, page 40, from which we quote: "Adult lactase deficiency
is the most common of all enzyme deficiencies; well over half the worlds adults are lactose intolerant. Small
quantities of lactose can be tolerated, however, and most individuals can tolerate up to 100 ml of milk (5 g
lactose) without any symptoms."
Geographic areas where the inhabitants traditionally consumed milk products include the most of Europe,
Middle Europe and Russia, the entire Mediterranean basin, Asia Minor, northern Africa, parts of central
Africa, Ethiopia and some areas on the east African coast, all areas inhabited by Arab groups, all of India and
the Himalayas, Southeast Asia and northern China.
To sum up: Milk products have been around a long time, and have been consumed by many population
groups. Most people can consume them to advantage provided they have been properly produced and
processed. In fact, consumption of milk products is associated with longevity and good health in several
traditional societies. Such products provide many important nutrients including saturated fats, fat soluble
vitamins, protein, calcium and many other minerals. The fact that modern milk products are so poorly
tolerated, and associated with a number of diseases, should serve as a warning against the kind of factory
farming, genetic manipulation, inappropriate feeding and industrial processing that dominates today's milk
industry.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Chinle Dialysis Center
From: Art De Vany
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 12:20:18 -0700
Chinle is a small town in Northern Arizona that is the gateway to Canyon de Chelly, a smaller and lesser
know competitor to the Grand Canyon. Chelly's intense, pure, iron oxide reds, narrow span, and sheer, even
concave, rocky cliffs and stark towers of rock are a sharp contrast to the broader vistas, mixed colors, and
sloping walls of the Grand Canyon. Some think it is more beautiful even than the Grand Canyon.
The town is deep in Navajo country, but the signs are subtle. It looks like any rural town that is just getting
by; there are no pueblos, or adobe dwellings, just the same kind of run down houses and gas stations that you
could find anywhere in America's backcountry. The houses and garages are littered with the kind of rural
junk --- dead cars and tires and farm machinery, discarded refrigerators and household detritus --- that seems
to infect rural America where ever you go.
The first tell-tale sign that this is indian country are the blighted, government-issue, housing projects that
have replaced the beautiful, traditional indian pueblos and adobe dwellings in much of Navajo country. (Can
you write a government spec for adobe? Probably not, so you have to build these wretched little boxes about
two feet apart and put them behind chain link.)

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The second tell-tale sign is the absence of liquor stores. These carbohydrate intolerant, insulin-resistant
peoples have tried strictly to limit the presence of liquor stores, or prohibited them outright, on lands they
control. A correlated sign that the nearest liquor store is some distance down the highway are the twisted
remains of horrific traffic accidents --- most of them head-on collisions --- scattered along the backlots of the
town's gas stations and garages. Some distance out of town, I saw an industrial strength liquor store
surpassing even Tony's at Westwood and Santa Monica in West LA. A drive up window, huge steel doors
that could be pulled over the automatic glass entry to block late-night entry (the building also was steel),
pallets of beer stacked to the ceilings, whiskey bottles of every size (some larger than I have ever seen
before), and no floor or refrigerator space wasted on GatorAde or magazines.
The most chilling sign that we were in Indian country was the dialysis center. Chinle is a small town for a
dialysis center, we thought, but this pattern repeated itself in many of the small settlements we passed
through on our way to Santa Fe. My wife is (juvenile onset) diabetic and we know all too well what a
dialysis center signifies: near epidemic levels of adult-onset non-insulin dependent diabetes among the
Amerindians of all tribes, not just the Navajo, but the Zia, and Pueblo, and Pima and all the other tribes
throughout New Mexico and Arizona. Each settlement we passed through became a depressing search for the
dialysis center and the government issue housing, reliefed only by the beautiful country, the splendid
pueblos, and a surprising sign in Jemez, in the hills south of Los Alamos Labs, that read "Archery Range" (a
favorite recreation for indians, or a place to keep skills intact for an uprising?).
In Chinle, the dialysis center is on a dusty side road, right across the road from the swap meet. We wandered
through the swap meet, but quickly felt like intruders and left. We felt awkward standing there looking at the
frank poverty displayed on the blankets and tables and pick up truck beds where goods were offered for sale.
But, a deeper, starker irony was this: if you looked around the ring of displays, at regular intervals you saw
huge colorful bottles of sweet syrups on large tables. They were there to flavor the ice cones the children
were eating. Nearly a quarter of all the booths were selling icy, sugary syrup, setting the kids up for the
dialysis center just across the road.
Adults were drinking sugary cokes; there was not a diet drink to be found (they may not be all that great
either, with their foreign proteins and sugary-mimicking properties). The other substance being offered at
food booths was Navajo fry bread, a tortilla-like, flat bread made of refined white flour (government issue,
straight from the subsidized, carbohydrate producing giants like Archer-Midland) and some lard.
Judging from what is for sale at the swap meet (never the best food anyway) and the convenience store,
where at least 90 per cent of the calories on the shelves are simple carbohydrates, the Navajo diet has them
on the fast track to adult-onset diabetes. You and I would have diabetes if we ate like this.
Arthur De Vany Professor http://www.socsci.uci.edu/mbs/personnel/devany/devany.html Institute for
Mathematical Behavioral Sciences 3151 Social Science Plaza Irvine, CA 92697-5100

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Paleo Art
From: Art De Vany
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 12:03:07 -0700
I have tried without success to find paleolithic art reproductions that I might hang on my office walls.
None of the graphics, or repro shops, or galleries carry cave art, here in the US or even in France. Nor can
one find listings in the catalogues the stores order from.
While there are many beautiful books containing wonderful cave art, there seem to be no life size
reproductions around.
Has anyone else out there had success in finding paleolithic art in a size and format suitable for display?
Art De Vany

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: The Cancer Connection
From: Ron Hoggan
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
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185/298 (1997)

Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 22:47:30 -0600


To those of you who are also on the celiac list, I apologize for posting it where you will see this twice. It was
actually someone on this list whose comments prompted me to write this, and as it pertains to some of the
discussion here, it seemed appropriate to post it.
Best Wishes, Ron
The Cancer Connection by Ron Hoggan
There is much evidence linking untreated celiac disease with malignancy. I have recently been notified of
publication of a report I have written on that connection, which is promised for the September, 1997 issue of
_Medical Hypotheses_ (1). In that report, I combine a review of the literature with an ouline of a possible
biochemical pathway whereby psychoactive peptides derived from the pepsin digests of wheat, rye and
barley may downregulate the activation of natural killer cells, the body's first line of defence against
malignancy. This is not a postulation that glutenous grains are carcinogenic. Humankind has been exposed to
carcinogens throughout its ~two million year evolution. But it is only in recent centuries that malgnancy has
increased exponentially, and has struck so many children and adolescents. This is clearly a counterevolutionary trend when youngsters are afflicted, because the incidence should be decreasing over time, as
these youngsters' genes are being pruned from the gene pool. There is some evidence which has come to
light since my aforementioned report, which will be of interest to celiacs and members of their families.
M.Stanislas Tanchou, a truly visionary physician, who campaigned with Napoleon Bonaparte, presented a
paper to the Paris Science Society in 1843, which was a complex statistical examination of malignancy,
offering evidence of increased malignancy with increased civilization(2). One of the prime indicators of a
civilizing trend was a diet which included cereal grains. The greater the consumption of these foods, the
greater the incidence of malignancy (3).
Dr. Chris Reading, an orthomolecular psychiatrist, in Australia, has documented the treatment of five cancer
patients for depression (4). His testing for food allergies, and subsequent treatment of depression with dietary
exclusion of cereal grains resulted in total remission of the cancers (which were also given conventional
treatments) in all five patients he reports treating. One of these patients did die, but that was from the cancer
treatment.
There are also two reports in the _Journal of Clinical Gastroenterol_(5) _Lancet_ (6) which I cite in my
_Medical Hypotheses_ article. These reveal a total remission of malignancy in each patient. One report then
recants the original diagnosis, and identifies the correct diagnosis as lymphadenopathy. In the other report,
which spurs a heated debate, the original diagnosis is supported by a resected section of malignant bowel,
and there can be no doubt as to the correct diagnosis.
Further, in a 1977 report, in _Nutrition and Cancer_ (8), from Stanford University, *all* the children
suffering from radiation and chemotherapy damage to the small bowel recovered fully from their chronic
enteritis, and suffered *no* relapse of either the bowel obstruction or the disease. The treatment they were
given was a gluten-free, dairy-free, low fat, low residue diet.
In an obscure Czech journal, a report has recently indicated that one or more of the gliadins, a sub-set of
proteins in gluten, may also interfere with natural killer cell activation in peripheral blood (9). They tested
the levels of natural killer cell activation in normals, and in treated celiacs, and found no significant
difference. BUT, after 30 minutes' exposure of the celiacs' blood to gliadin, there was a reduced activation of
natual killer cells.
For the last hundred years, billions of dollars have been spent identifying carcinogens. Most of what we
encounter in our environment appears to have some measure of carcinogenic potential. Unfortunately, we
have failed to recon that Humanity has been exposed to most of these carcinogens throughout its evolution.
Conventional wisdom has pointed to the the increasing levels of chemical pollution and environmental
damage. And I do not doubt that these factors are contributing to the current epidemic of malignacy. What I
do doubt is that segment of the population, variously reported at 20% to 30%, which has the HLA factors
which predispose to celiac disease and many other autoimmune diseases, can mount an adequate immune
response, with natural killer cells, against malignancy.
Sources:
1. Hoggan R, "Considering Wheat, Rye, and Barley Proteins as Aids to Carcinogens" in press _Medical
Hypotheses_ ;1997
2. Tanchou S, "Statistics of Cancer" _London Lancet_ 1843; Aug 5, 593
3. Audette R, personal communication
4. Reading C, Meillon R, _Your Family Tree Connection_ Keats; New Canaan, Conn.: 1988

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5. Wink A, et. al. "Disappearance of Mesenteric Lymphadenopathy with Gluten-Free Deit in Celiac Sprue"
_J. Clin. Gastroenterol_1993; 16(4): 317-319
6. Wright DH, et. al. "Coeliac disease and Lymphoma" _Lancet_ 1991; 337:1373
7. Wright DH, et. al. letter _Lancet_ 1991; 338: 318-319
8. Donaldson SS, "Effect of Nutrition as Related to Radiation and Chemotherapy" _Nutrition and Cancer_
Winick ed. 1977; Wiley & Sons, New York, 137153
9. Castany M, Nguyen H, Pospisil M, Fric P, Tlaskalova-Hogenova H, "Natural killer cell activity in coeliac
disease: effect of in vitro treatment on effector lymphocytes and/or target lymphoblastoid, myeloid and
epithelial cell lines with gliadin" _Folia Microbiol_ 1995 (Praha) 40; 6: 615-620
* Posters are asked to summarize private replies back to the List *

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Peter D'Adamo's Eat Right 4 Your Type
From: "John P. Hughes"
Reply-To:
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 10:31:15 -0400
Peter D'Adamo, in his book Eat Right 4 Your Type, posits that no diet is right for everyone. His argument
centers around the body's response to lectins as determined by blood type. I'm interested in opinions
regarding his work.
*********************************************
John Hughes Jr.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Neanderthal DNA
From: Ray Audette
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 00:08:24 -0700
A recent analysis of DNA extracted from a single Neanderthal bone has led some to speculate that they were
not our direct ancestor because the split seems to occured much longer ago than the fossil record would
indicate.
NeanderThin comes from the gracile form of Neanderthal. In structure, a modern human is a slender form of
Neanderthal, one having less muscle mass and a smaller head (and brain). Many examples of gracile forms
of wild animals becoming our domestic animals through neoteny exist including the dog and the horse.
Just as the bones of Neanderthal indicate that this split occured only 60, 000 years ago and the DNA sugests
600, 000 years ago, so bones recognizable as dogs appear only 14, 000 years ago even though DNA suggest
the split from wolves occured 135, 000 years ago. The similarity in ratios may tell us something about
neoteny and the evolutionary time scale necesarry to achieve it through enviromental presures.
These presures may have included the earlier beginings of the ice age on the tropical homidid and the later
warming of the earth for the temperate/arctic wolf. It is only when both species underwent a significant
amount of this process and existed in the same enviroment that domestication appeared.
Regardless of the time scale involved, wolves are still considered to be the progenitors of dogs and I have no
doubt that Neanderthals are the progenitors of NeanderThins. The complexities of the processes involved are
not fully understood yet to say otherwise. Isolated popultions of wolves still exist despite dedicated efforts to
wipe them out and the vastly higher population of dogs, making the premise stated by these scientists based
on only one sample somewhat suspect. If we could mate with Neanderthals and produce fertile offsprings, as
wolves do with dogs (thus being the same species) is not answered by this experiment on only one sample.
Ray Audette Author "NeanderThin:A Caveman's Guide to Nutrition" http://www.sofdesign.com/neander

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: PALEODIET Digest - 18 Jul 1997 to 19 Jul 1997
From: Andrew Millard
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

187/298 (1997)

Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 23 Jul 1997 14:30:01 +0100
Ray Audette wrote:
> A recent analysis of DNA extracted from a single Neanderthal bone has led some to speculate that
> they were not our direct ancestor because the split seems to occured much longer ago than the
> fossil record would indicate. NeanderThin comes from the gracile form of Neanderthal. In
> structure, a modern human is a slender form of Neanderthal, one having less muscle mass and a
> smaller head (and brain). Many examples of gracile forms of wild animals becoming our domestic
> animals through neoteny exist including the dog and the horse.
The modern human form is not simply a gracile or neotonous form of the Neanderthal form. We do have a
smaller head and brain but realitve to our bodysize they are larger. The few Neanderthal juveniles whixch
have been studied have many of the features (e.g. browridges) which distinguish hth two species (or subspecies depending on your point of view).
> Just as the bones of Neanderthal indicate that this split occured only 60, 000 years ago and the
> DNA sugests 600, 000 years ago, so bones recognizable as dogs appear only 14, 000 years ago even
> though DNA suggest the split from wolves occured 135, 000 years ago. The similarity in ratios may
> tell us something about neoteny and the evolutionary time scale necesarry to achieve it through
> enviromental presures.
We have 100ka modern humans at Qafzeh and Skhul in Israel and also in of similar age. Neanderthals
existed from 2-300ka through to 27ka. Therefore we cannot place a divergence at 60ka: the late
Neanderthals, including the Neander Valley 1 specimen analysed for mtDNA must have diverged from
modern humans at a minimum of 100ka if there was any descent from Neanderthals to modern humans and
possibly before 200ka if Neanderthals and modern humans share their most recent common ancestry in homo
erectus. Can you give a reference for the dog domestication genetics please?
> These presures may have included the earlier beginings of the ice age on the tropical homidid and
> the later warming of the earth for the temperate/arctic wolf. It is only when both species
> underwent a significant amount of this process and existed in the same enviroment that
> domestication appeared. Regardless of the time scale involved, wolves are still considered to be
> the progenitors of dogs and I have no doubt that Neanderthals are the progenitors of NeanderThins.
Who then are NeanderThins? The Neanderthals only occupied Europe and the western part of Asia, and it is
clear that if modern humans descend from them, then modern humans derive from a number of ancient
populations around the world of which Neanderthals as the ancestors of Europeans were but one race or subspecies. This is the multi-regional hypothesis of modern human origins in its extreme form. In any more
moderate statement Neanderthals are the population of ancient hominids least likely to have contributed to
the modern gene pool, due to the temporal overlap described above.
> The complexities of the processes involved are not fully understood yet to say otherwise. Isolated
> popultions of wolves still exist despite dedicated efforts to wipe them out and the vastly higher
> population of dogs, making the premise stated by these scientists based on only one sample
> somewhat suspect. If we could mate with Neanderthals and produce fertile offsprings, as wolves do
> with dogs (thus being the same species) is not answered by this experiment on only one sample.
The question of interbreeding will never be answered by DNA studies. Genetic studies alone might lead one
to believe that a Great Dane could mate with a Chihuahua, but it is actually a physical impossibility. We will
never know just what the Neanderthal softparts were like and so the question of interbreeding will never be
answered. In thye same way if wolves were extinct we would never know whether they could interbreed with
dogs, but we could still make the deduction that the two populations (whether the same species or not) had a
last common ancestor at 135ka, and that the groups of ancient canids which gave rise to wolves and dogs
have been diverging from that point, even if they have not yet reached the point of speciation. A wolf subspecies which has arisen in the last 135ka will not be ancestral to the domesticated dog although it is related.
For humans the situation is similar but different: we have a last common hominid ancestor for Neanderthals
and modern humans at 600ka, which is before the known appearance time of both of them and thus shows
that the Neanderthals were not the ancestors of modern humans.
Andrew Millard
Reference Stringer, C & Gamble, C "In Search of the Neanderthals" Thames & Hudson 1993

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========================================================================= Dr.
Andrew Millard Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, Tel: +44 191 374 4757 South Road,
Durham. DH1 3LE. United Kingdom. Fax: +44 191 374 3619 http://www.dur.ac.uk/~drk0arm/
=========================================================================

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Glucose sparing
From: Jennie Brand Miller
Reply-To:
Jennie Brand Miller
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 1997 11:56:53 +1000
Dear Everyone,
In Arthur de Vany's last posting, he talked about the rationale for insulin resistance being a mechanism that
spares glucose for the brain in an environment where dietary CHO is scarce. To my knowledge, we were the
first to put this hypothesis forward in our paper 'The carnivore connection: dietary carbohydrate in the
evolution of NIDDM' in Diabetogia, 1994; 37: 1280-86.
We postulated that the ice ages (over the last 2 million years of human evolution) resulted in a diet for many
human groups dominated by game and marine animals with very few plants and therefore high in protein and
fat and low in carbohydrate. We believe this diet would select for more insulin resistant genotypes.
We are in the process are obtaining more support for this hypothesis. We have shown that the plasma glucose
profile after protein feeding is more favourable (ie higher) in insulin-resistant people compared with insulin
sensitive ones (the latter show a decline in blood glucose). We've published this in abstract form only
(Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia (1994, full details on request) and are about to submit the
full paper.
It is also interesting to note that acute exercise has exactly the same effect on glucose metabolism at the
cellular level as a pulse of insulin ie it promotes glucose uptake into the muscle cells. Thus relative insulin
resistance would not compromise exercise performance (fight or flight!). I can give you the ref details on
request.
Best wishes Jennie
PS I thought Sarah Mason's points were very good ones.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Low salt diet for all?
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 14:12:26 +0100
> Dr. Alderman said a low salt diet doesn't look like a good idea and before you go mucking about in
> the lives of 250 million Americans, you have to have evidencae that it improves lives. His
> researach showed that those who ate the least salt, had the most heart attacks. (Don Wiss read and
> forwarded this message.)
Yes, Michael Alderman and colleagues found that among 1, 900 men with hypertension who were all on
medication, urinary sodium excretion was gradually inversely related to the risk of myocardial infarction
(heart attack) during an average follow-up of 3.8 years [Alderman M et al. Urinary sodium excretion and
myocardial infarction in hypertensive: a prospective cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr 1997; 65(suppl): 682S6S]. In the four equally large groups excreting less than 89, 89-126, 127-174 and more than 174 mmol/day
there were, respectively, 22, 10, 10 and 4 cases of myocardial infarction. It is therefore concievable, but far
from certain, that salt restriction is dangerous in such patients, and if so I would start looking at whether the
danger is to combine antihypertensive medication and salt restriction. I would also suggest such patients to
discuss their lifestyle changes with their doctor, although he may unfortunately not know enough about these
things (but who does?). In the future it may furthermore be possible to find subgroups of patients who can
lower their salt intake safely (remember there are other potential health risks with too much salt).

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Obviously a very low salt intake was without risks during human evolution, and the Yanomamo indians of
the Amazone safely eat only 1 (one) mmol/day. However, this does not necessarily apply to all contemporary
humans, depending on medication and other lifestyle factors. We must keep in mind that none of our
medicines have been tested in humans eating a paleolithic diet. Accordingly, much more research is needed,
and this was the official conclusion drawn by Alderman in his article although he may act differently in other
circumstances.
The information I (presently) give to my own hypertensive patients is that if they cannot change their
lifestyle (less empty calories, more exercise, weight reduction and so on) radically enough to get rid of their
antihypertensive medication (which many of them theoretically can), it may not be without risk to restrict
their sodium intake below, say 100 mmol/day.
Anyone who is interested in the possible adverse effects of salt restriction should read parts of the February
issue of Am J Clin Nutr or, if the language is to technical, suggest it to be read by someone else.
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~paleodiet/lindeberg/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: A new perspective on the spread of agriculture in Europe
From: Art De Vany
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 15:52:07 -0700
Those may well be the attributes of a conquering people if the diseases they brought with them killed the
indigenous population. The agriculturalists may have adapted to the plague, cholera, and smallpox that
accompanied sedentary agriculture; diseases to which the indigenous hgs may have had no immunity.
If the evolutionary record shows a wave of extinctions, followed by a decline in stature and evidence of
anemia, that would be consistent with the extinction by imported disease hypothesis.
If the conquest of the Incan empire were to have occured in prehistory, I imagine the skeletal remains would
tell a story like this.
Art De Vany

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: A new perspective on the spread of agriculture in Europe
From: Don Wiss
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 18:55:40 -0400
Ron Hoggan wrote:
> I just read an article in the July 5/97 issue of _New Scientist_ beginning on page 32, that offers
> a rather revolutionary view of the spread of agriculture in Europe.
The entire article can be found on the web at:
http://www.newscientist.com/ns/970705/features.html
Don.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: A new perspective on the spread of agriculture in Europe
From: Ron Hoggan
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 16:40:10 -0600
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Hi All, This may be old news to many on this list, but I just read an article in the July 5/97 issue of _New
Scientist_ beginning on page 32, that offers a rather revolutionary view of the spread of agriculture in
Europe.
It runs directly contrary to the Cavalli-Svorza work with Rh factors. This latter, of course, is suggestive of
the spread of an agricultural People who displace the previous inhabitants as they move in with their new
technology.
Bryan Sykes, et. al., at Oxford's Institute of Molecular Medicine, are offering a new perspective, but it all
hinges on the constancy of the rate of mutation of mitochondral DNA.
Sykes hints that currently ongoing DNA testing of pre-Neolithic bones is supportive of his group's
hypothesis, but no definite statement is offered.
The Oxford results are highly supportive of both my common sense notion that the hunter-gatherers would
not just vacate their homes peacefully, and allow the cultivators to supplant them, and my understanding that
the transition to agriculture would be accompanied by reduced stature, bone quality, and the onset of anemia.
These latter are not the physical characteristics I would associate with a conquering people. On the other
hand, agriculture did spread throughout Europe, so alternative explanations appeal to me.
I would welcome instruction on these issues.
Best Wishes, Ron Hoggan

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Osteoporosis in Eskimos
From: Staffan Lindeberg
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 21:36:46 +0100
Dear friends,
(cross posted)
I. OSTEOPOROSIS IN 20TH CENTURY ESKIMOS Ward Nicholson started a thread in PALEOFOOD
(which I occasionally read):
One study of the Eskimos showed them to have high rates of osteoporosis. [1] ... I believe this study was of
Eskimos prior to acculturation, eating their traditional diet.
This has been found in several studies. From the late 1960s to the late 1970s, Eskimos of Northern Alaska
and Canada have been investigated regarding osteoporosis by use of forearm dual energy absorptiometry
and, in one study, with radiography [1-4]. The findings are consistent and hard to dispute, although whole
body dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is a better method in the living (the best method has yet to be
determined). Bone density (i.e. the volume of bone in relation to soft tissue) is generally low compared to US
Whites, and bone loss starts at an earlier age and proceeds at a greater rate than in other populations. I am not
aware of any scientific paper which claims the opposite. Osteoporosis is expected to be a greater health
problem in the Eskimos than in other populations in the future.
---------------------------------------------------------------1. Mazess RB, Mather WE. Bone mineral content of North Alaskan Eskimos. Am J Clin Nutr 1974; 27: 916925. 2. Pawson IG. Radiographic determination of excessive bone loss in Alaskan Eskimos, Human Biology
1974; 46: 369-80. 3. Mazess RB, Mather WE. Bone mineral content in Canadian Eskimos. Human Biology
1975; 47: 45-63. 4. Harper AB, Laughlin WS, Mazess RB. Bone mineral content in St Lawrence Island
Eskimos. Human Biology 1984; 56: 63-78.
---------------------------------------------------------------> Ward believes that the first study was of Eskimos prior to acculturation, eating their traditional
> diet. which Ron Hoggan put in doubt: But this incidence is long after the Inuit had adopted the
> Western diet ...

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From what I have read, Ron seems to be close to the truth. To be more certain please check up further
references in the cited literature. The 1974 paper of Mazess [1] deals with Wainwright Eskimos in Northern
Alaska studied in 1968-69. According to the diet surveys carried out by the International Biological
Programme in 1971 and 1972 which is cited by Draper [5], Wainwright adults at that time obtained 32 per
cent of their calories from carbohydrate compared to an estimated 2 per cent in premodern Arctic Eskimos.
Native foods accounted for nearly half of the calories in Wainwright. Protein intake was 25 per cent of
calories, not much less than the estimated 32 per cent in the premodern Eskimos (12 per cent would be
typical for US or Northern European populations). The authors do not mention alcohol which provides much
of the calories today, at least in Greenland (and which adversely affects bone mass). Point Hope Eskimos a
bit south of Wainwright obtained 43 and 22 per cent of calories from carbohydrate and protein, respectively,
and had more hypertensives, 13 per cent compared to 5 in the Wainwright group. A still higher rate, 23 per
cent, was found in the southwestern sister villages of Kasigluk and Nunapitchuk, and this "was correlated
with the increased use of processed foods and the decay of the traditional life-style". In a letter in 1975 [6]
George Mann, who had studied Alaskan Eskimos in 1958 [7], commented on the Mazess study on
Wainwright Eskimos [1]. Mann stated that "the meat diet which we associate with [the Eskimos] has been
importantly diluted by these modern foods", that "Eskimo adults are [now] a sedentary people" and that "the
early loss of bone mineral is more likely attributable to physical inactivity than to high intake of phosphate,
sulphate, and other anions". Mazess replied that "meat remains a mainstay of the diet and intakes are quite
high". Berkes and Farkas provide some insight into the history of changing dietary patterns among the Inuit
of Labrador and they give some references but no figures on percentages of modern foods since their main
focus is on the James Bay Cree Indians [8]. Resource depletion started to become intense already in the
1800's due to fur trade (the Hudson Bay Company started trading fur in the late 1600's) and whaling (land
mammals like caribou and muskox, and sometimes walrus, were depleted from feeding the whalers). Berkes
and Farkas also cite Shephard and Godin who in 1976 calculated that the Igloolik Eskimos of North-west
Territories (at about the same latitude as Wainwright) obtained only about 31 per cent of the needs from wild
food energy [9]. Rode and Shephard recently presented anthropometric data on Igloolik Inuit [10] which
shows that lifestyle has been further deteriorated after 1970. Males aged 40-49 years increased their
percentage of body fat (estimated from triceps, subscapular and suprailiac skinfolds according to Durnin and
Womersley) from 11 per cent in 1970 to 17 and 23 per cent in 1980 and 1990, and corresponding figures for
females were 22, 29 and 38 per cent. I have not seen nutritional data from 1920-70 but the Eskimo lifestyle
may have changed a lot in that time period. This is a crucial question with regard to the Wainwright Eskimos
surveyed around 1970. Additionally, we must always be aware of secular trends when interpreting crosssectional surveys in a group of people who have been changing their lifestyle for some decades. If a secular
trend would explain the age-related decrease of bone mass in contemporary Eskimos (which I highly doubt)
it would mean that older persons would have lower bone mass than younger ones not because their bone
mass had decreased as they grew older but because younger persons at the time of the study had higher bone
mass than the old ones had had in their youth.
---------------------------------------------------------------5. Draper HH. The Aboriginal Eskimo diet in modern perspective. Am Anthropol 1977; 79: 309-16. 6. Mann
GV (and reply by Mazess RB). Bone mineral content of North Alaskan Eskimos. Am J Clin Nutr 1975; 28:
566-7. 7. Mann GV et al. The health and nutritional status of Alaskan Eskimos. A survey of the
Interdepartmental Committee on Nutrition for National Defense-1958. Am J Clin Nutr 1962; 11: 31-. 8.
Berkes F, Farkas CS. Eastern James Bay Cree Indians: changing patterns of wild food use and nutrition. Ecol
Food Nutr 1978; 7: 155-72. 9. Shephard RJ, Godin G. Energy balance of an Eskimo community. In:
Shephard RJ, Itoh S (eds). Circumpolar health. Univ Toronto Press, Toronto. 1976: 106-12. 10. Rode A,
Shephard RJ. Body fat distribution and other cardiac risk factors among circumpolar Inuit and nGanasan.
Arct Med Res 1995; 54: 125-33. See also Lippe-Stokes S. Eskimo story-knife tales: reflections of change in
food habits (which I have not read). In: Robson JRK (ed). Food, ecology and culture. Readings in the
anthropology of dietary practices. Gordon and Breach 1976(?): 75-82 (which I have not read).
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II. SOME PROBLEMS OF MEASURING BONE MASS IN ANCIENT POPULATIONS Studies of


osteoporosis in archaeological skeletons are problematic, and one researcher recently stated that "in
archaeological bone, studies of prosoty, density, and mineralization are almost impossible" [11]. One of the
reasons is that when bones lie in the ground for long periods they undergo changes (diagenesis) which in our
case may result in falsely low or falsely high levels of bone mass. Another problem is that estimations of age
at death are very unreliable after the age of 50 and the methods have not been standardized [12-13] (i.e. all
investigators do not do it in the same way). Subjects with estimated ages above 50 years are commonly put
in one group which seriously hampers investigations of disorders which have limited influence before that
age. Our group is starting up studies on bone mass in a fairly large population of prehistoric hunter-gatherers
by the sea from Gotland, Sweden (not Eskimos). My colleague Dr Peter Johansson, who is in charge of these
studies, suspects that dual energy absorptiometry, which mainly measures trabecular (inner) bone, may not
necessarily be the method of choice in archaeological skeletons. Possibly quantitative computerized
tomography (QCT) is better. Then you can measure cortical (outer) bone as well as trabecular. Osteoporosis
is characterized, histologically, by a decrease in cortical thickness and in the number and size of the
trabeculae (the bar-like inner structures of bone). Trabecular bone has often been overemphasized in
osteoporosis research, partly depending on the used methods of measurement. A major reason why, in the
West, bone loss is higher in women than in men is that there is a gradual thinning of cortical bone in women
[14]. This is because resorption on the inside is greater and formation on the outside is less [15].
Furthermore, the strength of a bone depends not only on bone mass and even here the importance of cortical
thickness may have been underestimated [16-17].
---------------------------------------------------------------11. Jackes M. Paleodemography: problems and techniques. In: Saunders SR, Katzenberg MA. Skeletal
biology of past peoples: research methods. Wiley-Liss, 1992: 189-224. 12. Iscan MH, Loth SR. Osteological
manifestations of age in the adult. In: Iscan MH, Kennedy KAR (eds). Reconstruction of life from the
skeleton. Wiley-Liss 1989:23-40. 13. Stout SD. Methods of determining age at death using bone
microstructure. Skeletal biology of past peoples: research methods. Wiley-Liss, 1992: 21-35. 14. Kalender
WA et al. Reference values for trabecular and cortical vertebral bone density in single and dual-energy
quantitative computed tomography. Eur J Radiol 1989; 9: 75-80. 15. Ruff CB, Hayes WC. Sex differences in
age-related remodeling of the femur and tibia. J Orthop Res 1988; 6: 886-96. 16. Mazess RB. Fracture risk: a
role for compact bone [editorial]. Calcif Tissue Int, 1990; 47: 191-3. 17. Ruff C. Biomechanical analyses of
archaeological human skeletal samples. In: Saunders SR, Katzenberg MA (eds). Skeletal biology of past
peoples: research methods. Wiley-Liss 1992: 37-58.
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III. OSTEOPOROSIS IN PREHISTORIC ESKIMOS Archaeological data suggest that even prehistoric
Eskimos were at higher age adjusted risk of osteoporosis than contemporary Westerners [18-21]. Accelerated
loss of bone mass after 50 years has been noted rather than low peak bone mass at early adulthood. Harper
[4] states that "studies based upon skeletonized ancestral-antecedent populations of Aleuts, Yupik Eskimos,
and Inupiaq Eskimos have revealed a major cline [i.e. a gradual geographic difference, my comment] in bone
cortical thickness [which] is highest in the ancestral Umnak-Kodiak homeland of the Bering Sea Mongoloids
and decreases in populations north along the Alaskan coast to the Arctic Circle, the approximate demarcation
point between Yupik and Inupiaq Eskimo. Cortical thickness values diminish even more in the Inupiaq
Eskimos extending east across north Alaska, Canada and Greenland. The difference between the terminal
isolates, Aleuts and Greenland Inupiaq Eskimos, are as great as the differnce in cortical thickness between
male and female in the same isolate. Similarly, femoral BMC [bone mineral content of the thigh-bone]
measured by direct photon absorptiometry mirrors the highly significant differences between the Aleuts, on
one hand and northern Eskimos on the other". Merbs found the extinct Sadlermuit to have a high prevalence
of spinal compression fractures (from vertical forces on the vertebral column) [22-23]. Such fractures were
present in 36 of 80 adult Eskimos. The author considers "the high incidence ... attributable primarily to riding
on a komitak, a simple platform sled lacking any form of shock absorber. As the vehicle moves rapidly over
ice roughened by pressure ridges or rocks hidden by snow, vertical forces, sometimes quite violent, are
transmitted directly to the vertebral column of the rider. The Eskimo condition is thus similar to one known
in orthopedics as 'snowmobiler's back', also characterized by vertebral compression fractures...". Thus, as
Dean suggests, the commonly expressed notion that the findings of Merbs are further evidence of
osteoporosis in Eskimos may be open for debate. In a study on the non-sledding Aleut Eskimos, cited by
Merbs, the frequency of vertebral compression fractures was 22 per cent [24]. For comparison, women aged
50 years and over from Rochester, Minnesota, had a prevalence of vertebral deformity of 25.3 per cent (95%
confidence interval 22.3-28.2) [25]. The incidence of clinically diagnosed vertebral fractures among women
in the same population was 5.3 per 1, 000 person-years, suggesting that around 30% of such deformities in
women receive clinical attention. I am sure there must be much more data on the occurence of fractures in
arcaeological Eskimo skeletons. It should be noted that the complete absence of a disease in a non-western
population not always occurs to the author as being important. He or she would nevertheless probably be
delighted to be asked about it. Try e-mail by the Worldwide list of universities at
<http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/cdemello/univ.html
---------------------------------------------------------------18. Mazess RB. Bone density in Sadlermuit Eskimos. Hum Biol 1966; 38: 42-9. 19. Thompson DD,
Gunness-Hey M. Bone mineral-osteon analysis of Yupik-Inupiaq skeletons. Am J Phys Anthropol1981; 55:
1-7. 20. Laughlin WSB et al. New approaches to the pre- and post-contact history of Arctic peoples. Am J
Phys Anthropol 1979; 51: 579-87. 21. Richman EA et al. Differences in intracortical bone remodelling in
three American aboriginal populations: possible dietary factors. Calcif Tissue Int 1979; 28: 209-14. 22.
Merbs CF. Patterns of activity-induced pathology in a Canadian Inuit population. National Museum of Man
Mercury Series, Arcaelogical Survey of Canada Paper No. 119. 23. Merbs C. Trauma. In: Iscan MH,
Kennedy KAR (eds). Reconstruction of life from the skeleton. Wiley-Liss 1989:161-89. 24. Yesner DR.
Degenerative and traumatic pathologies of the Aleut vertebral column. Arch Calif Chirop Assoc 1981; 5: 4557. 25. CooperC, O'Neill T, Silman A. The epidemiology of vertebral fractures. Bone 1993; 14 Suppl 1: S8997.
---------------------------------------------------------------It is not easy to draw conclusions about the role of diet, physical activity, sunlight and genetics for the
allegedly high risk of osteoporosis in prehistoric Eskimos. If diet is a cause I would not suspect calcium
INTAKE in the first place since absorption and losses of calcium seem to overshadow intake, at least in
westernized populations [26], and furthermore I would expect the meat and fish diet of Eskimos to provide
sufficient amounts of calcium (In fish the amount of calcium per 10 MJ averages about 1, 000 mg). Calcium
absorption would probably be high due to the absence of phytic acid from cereals (see
http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/CGI/wa.exe?A2=ind9706&L=paleodiet&O=T&P=850). The most common
nutritional explanation in the literature is the high protein intake (see below). I suppose vitamin C deficiency
would be another possibility [27].
---------------------------------------------------------------26. Nordin BEC. Bad habits and bad bones. In: Burckhardt P, Heaney RP (eds). Nutritional aspects of
osteoporosis '94. Rome, Ares-Serono Symposia 1995: 1-25. 27. New SA et al. Nutritional influences on bone
mineral density: a cross-sectional study in premenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 1997; 65: 1831-9.
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IV. BONE LOSS IN HUNTER-GATHERERS Perzigian studied bone density of the forearm by use of
photon absorptiometry in two prehistoric north American groups of hunter-gatherers, one of whom were said
to supplement its hunting and gathering with part-time agriculture [28]. He concluded that age related
trabecular bone loss in the latter group was higher than in the exclusive hunter-gatherers which had similar
bone loss as contemporary populations.
---------------------------------------------------------------28. Perzigian AJ. Osteoporotic bone loss in two prehistoric Indian populations. Am J Phys Anthropol 1973;
39: 87-96.
---------------------------------------------------------------V. PROTEIN INTAKE AND CALCIUM LOSSES Many metabolic trials and epidemiological surveys have
been performed regarding the role of dietary protein for calcium losses. Most of them show that an increased
protein intake leads to higher urinary losses of calcium, possibly because of an increased acidic load [29-33].
In epidemiological surveys, dietary protein, in particular animal protein (although some investigators do not
differ between protein from meat and milk products), has been associated with higher rates of osteoporotic
fractures across cultures [34] and among US nurses [35]. Epidemiological studies are often biased by
confounding, when a hidden cause (like smoking) is related to a variable (like yellow fingers) which in turn
is found to be related to the disease in question (like lung cancer). Therefore we need intervention studies for
proof (although in the case of smoking we got convinced without them). Such studies have to my knowledge
not been able to show that a change from low/moderate to high protein intake increases the rate of kidney
stones or bone loss in animals or humans. In one study, rats were fed a control diet (15% soy protein plus
0.2% methionine) or a high protein diet (control plus 20% lactalbumin) for 10 months [36]. Rats which were
fed the high protein diet exhibited increases in urinary calcium but no change in bone composition. In
another study, 99 persons who had calcium oxalate kidney stones for the first time were randomly assigned
to either a control diet or a low animal protein, high fiber diet and followed regularly for up to 4.5 years [37].
In the intervention group of 50 subjects, stones recurred in 12 (7.1 per 100 person-years) compared with two
(1.2 per 100 person-years) in the control group (p = 0.006), suggesting that a *low* animal protein diet
increased the risk of urinary stones. Furthermore, when Orwoll et al studied growing rats fed a diet low in
protein (5%) for 4, 6, and 8 wks (n = 10 animals/group) and compared them with animals pair-fed with a
protein-replete (18%) diet, skeletal dimensions were *reduced* in the protein-deprived rats but there were no
significant differences in bone mineral content between control and low-protein animals at 4, 6, and 8 wks
[38]. Hence, they found that dietary protein deprivation resulted in slower growth but bone mineral density
was maintained when there was a marked reduction in urinary calcium excretion.
---------------------------------------------------------------29. Kerstetter JE, Allen LH. Dietary protein increases urinary calcium. J Nutr 1989; 120: 134-6. 30. Do
protein and phosphorus cause calcium loss? J Nutr 1988; 118: 657-60. 31. Burtis WJ et al. Dietary
hypercalciuria in patients with calcium oxalate kidney stones. Am J Clin Nutr 1994; 60: 424-9. 32. Trinchieri
A et al. The influence of diet on urinary risk factors for stones in healthy subjects and idiopathic renal
calcium stone formers. Br J Urol 1991; 67: 230-6. 33. Breslau NA et al. Relationship of animal protein-rich
diet to kidney stone formation and calcium metabolism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1988; 66: 140-6. 34.
Abelow BJ, Holford TR, Insogna KL. Cross-cultural association between dietary animal protein and hip
fracture: a hypothesis. Calcif Tissue Int 1992; 15: 14-8. 35. Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz
GA. Protein consumption and bone fractures in women. Am J Epidemiol 1996; 143: 472-9. 36. Whiting SJ,
Draper HH. Effect of chronic high protein feeding on bone composition in the adult rat. J Nutr 1981; 111:
178-83. 37. Hiatt RA, Ettinger B, Caan B, Quesenberry CP Jr, Duncan D, Citron JT. Randomized controlled
trial of a low animal protein, high fiber diet in the prevention of recurrent calcium oxalate kidney stones. Am
J Epidemiol 1996; 144: 25-33. 38. Orwoll E; Ware M; Stribrska L; Bikle D; Sanchez T; Andon M; Li H.
Effects of dietary protein deficiency on mineral metabolism and bone mineral density. Am J Clin Nutr 1992;
56: 314-9.
---------------------------------------------------------------I do not agree with the following statements of Dean:
> There is no evidence at all that meat proteins cause calcium loss. Every study which has shown
> loss of calcium and other minerals from high protein intake has involved soy and other
> non-animal-source proteins. Studies which use meat proteins show no such loss of calcium. (1, 2, 3)
> 1) Spencer H; Kramer L; DeBartolo M; Norris C; Osis D. Further studies of the effect of a high
> protein diet as meat on calcium metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr, 1983 Jun, 37:6, 924-9 2) Osteoporosis,
> calcium requirement, and factors causing calcium loss. Spencer H; Kramer L. Clin Geriatr Med, 1987
> May, 3:2, 389-402 3) Do protein and phosphorus cause calcium loss? Spencer H; Kramer L; Osis D.
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> J Nutr, 1988 Jun, 118:6, 657-60


Rather, the debate goes on [39]. When different sources of protein have been compared it is usually the
animal protein diet that has resulted in the greatest loss of urinary calcium [33, 40], and in epidemiologic
surveys the case is also rather against meat [35, 41]. From what I know today I would personally not advice a
lady to live only on an Eskimo diet. Nevertheless, my working hypothesis (which some day may be able to
test) is that prehistoric hunter-gatherers from the equator to the temperate zones had strong bones at old age.
---------------------------------------------------------------39. Spencer H, Kramer L. Does dietary protein increase urinary calcium? [Letter with reply by Kerstetter JE
and Allen LH] J Nutr 1991; 121: 152-3. 40. Schuette SA, Linkswiler HM. Effects on Ca and P metabolism in
humans by adding meat, meat plus milk, or purified proteins plus Ca and P to a low protein diet. 41. Hu J-F
et al. Dietary intakes and urinary excretion of calcium and acids: a cross-sectional study of women in China.
Am J Clin Nutr 1993; 58: 398-406.
---------------------------------------------------------------Best regards,
Staffan
------------------------------------------------------------------Staffan Lindeberg M.D. Ph.D. Dept of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Mailing address: Dr
Staffan Lindeberg, Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, S-22738 Sweden, +46 416 28140, Fax +46 416
18395 http://www.panix.com/~paleodiet/lindeberg/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: On the subject of low-carbohydrate diets
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 23:53:22 -0400
A message forwarded from another online forum, reposted here with permission of the author:
> From: (Jon Bayh) Date: 29 Jul 1997 06:51:22 GMT
...I recently read a book titled "The Foraging Spectrum, " by Robert L. Kelly, associate professor of
anthropology. It's a very dense read, and I'm not sure I would recommend it unless one is very motivated.
However, some points from it were very interesting. First and foremost, Kelly concludes that there is so
incredibly much variance in "hunter-gatherer" lifestyles that it is impossible to draw accurate conclusions
about what the h-g lifestyle _is_. He further concludes that it is unlikely that we can infer from modern h-g
groups how ancient h-g groups lived. Oh, we may get glimpses, but these won't tell us a whole lot about how
our ancestors were living. Also, there is virtually no h-g group, even in records dating back to the 18th
century, that has not been influenced by contact with---what? ---modern?---western?---civilized?(HAH!)--culture, and therefore isn't tainted as to what the "primordial" hunter-gatherer culture is.
Another point is that the relative contribution of hunting (which contributes mostly protein and lipids) and
gathering (which contributes carbohydrates, lipids, and some protein, mostly in that order) depends a lot on
the solar radiation (latitude) but also on the local climate and vegetation. For instance, in another post you
mentioned knowing of only the Inuit as deriving calories almost exlusively from hunting. Kelly has a list of
hunter-gatherer societies and the approximate relative contribution of hunting, fishing, and gathering, in
relation to solar radiation and local plant life. The relative percentages are all over the map, with groups such
as the Comanche, Cheyenne, Kiowa-Apache, Seri (Mexico), Anbarra (Northern Australia), Mbuti (Africa)
all deriving less than 30% of volume of diet from gathering. These are just examples---of 123 groups, about
75 derive 30% or less by volume of food from gathering, but these are heavily weighted to northern,
extreme-climate groups. Only 19 groups derive 60% or more (by volume) from gathering. Only 4 groups
derive as much as 80-85%, and among these are the Ju/'hoansi (this book's designation for the !Kung). So,
citing the !Kung may be picking an extreme on a large range of behavior.

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Of those who hunt more than expected, "Many of these are tropical groups who trade meat for carbohydrates
(Mbuti, Aeta, possibly Aweikoma), northern groups who do not have direct access to substantial aquatic
resources [hence no fishing] and who cannot turn to plant food as a substitute (Nunamiut, Tanana), and
Plains hunters who, like tropical forest groups, trade meat for carbohydrates (in this sample, corn grown by
Pueblo or other horticultural peoples) and who live in interior grasslands where much of the primary
production [local plant life] cannot be eaten by humans and where aquatic resources are not abundant
(Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa-Apache, Sarsi, Blackfoot)." Obviously, this throws a wrench
into the works---a given people may show a given percentage of hunting/gathering/fishing behavior, but
these products may be traded with other people for goods that better balance the nutrition picture. "The
Foraging Spectrum" is frustratingly (oh, SO FRUSTRATINGLY!) silent on the topic of exact balance of
calories between protein/lipids/carbs. There are hints here and there, but no definitive conclusions.
In sum, modern (last 300 years) hunter-gatherers tell us precious little about the diet(s) that humans evolved
on, and there may have been very widespread changes in human diets as climates and geographies shifted.
The theory has been advanced lately that early hominids (perhaps Homo habilis, perhaps earlier) were
scavengers. They would find the carcass of an animal after the predators were done with it, and split open the
denser bones with tools (rocks) to eat the marrow. Such a diet would be very high fat, medium protein, and
(unless suplemented) essentially zero carbohydrate. While the evidence for this model is pretty limited, the
theory sounds fairly reasonable to me. It suggests incremental, stepwise advancement to hunting behavior
(which is very likely by the time of Homo erectus). Still, the bottom line is that we just don't know, and that
human diet behavior is extremely diverse.
Part of the problem, of course, is that we're talking about what diets contribute to long life, and the simple
fact is that most of the diseases we're talking about (heart disease, cancer) tend (except in extreme cases) to
hit late in life. Nature really cares very little about what happens to animals late in their breeding lifespan
(and breeding, in early hominids, probably started at 15-18).
...I wanted to follow up on this post with the book in front of me, because the chart is really quite startling.
There are four data points that interest me beyond others, for orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), chimps (Pan
troglodytes), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and humans (Homo sapiens). Now, near as anybody can tell, none of
these four critters have had a common ancestor for at least 4 to 8 million years. Gorillas have never been
known to consume animal flesh or much insect protein in the wild---they live mostly on leaves and fruits.
Orangs emphasize fruit a little more than gorillas do; I don't know whether they eat meat or insects, but I
certainly haven't heard so. Of three great apes, chimps actively seek out and hunt meat, and often eat insects.
(It's frustrating that pygmy chimps aren't on the chart; I would find that data point very, very interesting).
Now picture the graph. It is a two-dimensional plot that varies (virtually, anyway), from -10 to +15 on the Xaxis and -10 to +10 on the Y-axis. Carnivores are in a rectangular-ish block off to the upper right, ranging
from (2, -3) to (15, 4) to (13, 10) to (1, 3). Frugivores are in a diamond centered at (-3, 1) and ranging +/- 3
on X and +/-4 on Y. "Midgut-fermenting folivores" (primates and horses, for example) are off to the far left
side, and "foregut-fermenting folivores" like rabbits and some monkeys in a separate block to the "south".
What is most amazing about all this is that, even in spite of the variance of chimps from orangs and gorillas,
and a separation of at least 4 million years from any common ancestor, they are all within a radius of 1 unit
of each other. Orangs are at (-4, 1), gorillas at (-4, 0), and chimps shifted just a tiny little bit toward
carnivores at (-3, 0). Gorillas and orangs are almost in the folivores with horses.
Humans are at (1, 4) ! They are very nearly in the carnivore block, but not quite there. We've got three
species that have barely shifted by a unit of 1 in, conservatively, 4 million years, and one species that has
shifted by a radius of about 5 in the same period.
Disclaimer: I am _not_ convinced of the wisdom of low-carbohydrate diets, especially for long-term use. My
comments here are not intended to show the widespread use of low-carb diets among hunter-gatherers, but
rather to show the diversity in diet and dietary behavior in hunter-gatherers, especially considering the trade
of nutrients between groups. Furthermore, due to the diverse behavior in modern h-g groups, very little
inference can be drawn to establish the behavior of our ancient hominid ancestors. The fossil evidence
concerning diet among hominids is much more equivocal than folks with an axe to grind (especially those
with self-help diet books to sell) are willing to admit.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: PALEODIET Digest - 29 Jul 1997 to 12 Aug 1997
From: Jon Bayh
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List

197/298 (1997)

Paleolithic Diet Symposium List


Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997 14:39:48 -0700
Folks, I should point out that the re-post of my comments from another forum were edited from two or three
different posts, and a few details were left out. In particular, one could get the impression that the chart that I
was talking about was in the book _The Foraging Spectrum_. In fact, it was from _The Cambridge
Encyclopedia of Human Evolution_. One person asked for references for the chart, and I posted the
following; I figured someone here might be interested:
----------------------------------------------------------------------The label on the chart is a bit vague as to exactly what is being measured. It says:
Multidimensional plot of indices for surface areas of stomach, small intestine and caecum + colon for 80
primates and other mammals.
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Human Evolution is an edited book, with individual contributors writing
various chapters. The author of this particular chapter is Dr. David J. Chivers, of the University of
Cambridge. The suggested further reading for this section lists:
Chivers, D.J. and Hladik, C.M. Morphology of the gastrointestinal tract in primates: comparisons with other
mammals in relation to diet. Journal of Morphology 166:337-86 (1980). Chivers, D.J. et al. (eds). Food
Acquisition and Processing in Primates. New York: Plenum Press, 1984. Clutton-Brock, T.H. (ed.) Primate
Ecology: Studies of Feeding and Ranging in Lemurs, Monkeys and Apes. London and New York: Academic
Press, 1977. Davies, A.G. et al. Natural foods as a guide to the nutrition of Old World primates. In Standards
in Laboratory Animal Management, pp. 225-44. Potters Bar, Herts: Universities Federation for Animal
Welfare, 1984. Hill, W.C.O. Pharynx, oesophagus, small and large intestine: form and position. Primatologia
3: 139-207 (1958). Hladik, C.M. Diet and the evolution of feeding strategies among forest primates. In
Omnivorous Primates: Gathering and Hunting in Primate Evolution (eds R.S.O. Harding and G. Teleki), pp.
215-54. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981. MacLarnon, A.M. et al. Gastro-intestinal allometry in
primates and other mammals including new species. In Primate Ecology and Conservation (eds J.G. Else and
P.C. Lee), pp 75-86. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. Martin, R.D. et al. Gastrointestinal
allometry in primates and other mammals. In Size and Scaling in Primate Biology (ed.W.L. Jungers), pp. 6189. New York: Plenum Press, 1985.
Me, I'd check the first reference and the last two references, first. Matter of fact, I might do just that, if I can
find a source---they look interesting.
Jon
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Responses to June & July Messages
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 16:13:00 -0600
Due to a well needed 6 week vacation at Lake Tahoe, I have not been in correspondence with this wonderful
group of people that comprise our paleodiet digest. However, upon my return, I have been able to review
most of what has "gone done" in the past six weeks, and I see that there has been a number of lively debates
on a variety of issues. Let me humbly add my two cents to some of these conversations (I will reply to Dr.
Enig & Sally Fallon in a couple of days):
June 24: I only recently became aware of Leon Chaitlow's, "Stone Age Diet" book and have ordered it
through interlibrary loan. I will try to do a short review on it when I receive it. I'd be interested to know if Art
DeVaney has a more complete reference for "Dr. Citron's Evolutionary Diet and Cookbook". Another older
book on paleodiets which apparently was a "classic" but is rather obscure these days is: DeVries, Arnold.
Primitive Man and His Food. Chicago, 1962. - I dont know the publisher, and have not read the book yet, but
have ordered it through interlibrary loan. Are any of our readers familiar with this book?

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June 27: There is another reason why paleodiets are beneficial for calcium balance in addition to the three
reasons Staffan mentioned. In pre-agricultural diets consisting of meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts etc., the
Calcium to Magnesium ratio is approximately 1:1. Because the Ca:Mg ratio of milk and dairy products is
12:1 (1), the inclusion of milk and milk products into post-agricultural diets can raise the Ca:Mg ratio to 34:1 (1). In animal models, it has been shown that rats develop clinical signs of Mg deficiency after three
weeks on high calcium, normal magnesium diets (2, 3, 4). Ironically, high calcium diets may have a
deleterious effect upon bone mineralization because of their hypomagnesic effect. Mg deficiency is a known
cause of hypocalcemia (5). The resultant hypocalcemia stems from PTH unresponsiveness (6), since the
effects of PTH are magnesium dependent (7). Gross, clinical hypocalcemia and hypomagnesia tend not to
occur in otherwise healthy post-menopausal, osteoporotic women; however, serum measures of magnesium
concentrations are not good indicators of magnesium status, and subjects with magnesium deficiencies (as
measured intracellularly) frequently maintain normal serum magnesium levels (8). Consequently, over a
lifetime, a marginal or reduced intracellular Mg level may adversely influence PTH responsivity which in
turn likely compromises bone mineral content. A recent review article (9) showed that post-menopausal
women given magnesium supplements over a 2 yr period had a significant increase in their bone mineral
density, whereas meta-analyses of calcium supplementation and bone mineral density have been equivocal.
REFERENCES
1. Varo P. Mineral element balance and coronary heart disease. Int J Vit Nutr Res 1974;44:267-73. 2. Evans
GH et al. Association of magnesium deficiency with blood pressure lowering effects of calcium. Journal of
Hypertension 1990;8:327-337. 3. Luft FC et al. Effect of high calcium diet on magnesium, catecholamine,
and blood pressure of stroke-prone spontanneously hypertensive rats. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1988;187:47481. 4. Sellig MS et al. Magnesium interrelationnships in ischemic heart disease: a review. Am J Clin Nutr
1974;27:59-79. 5. Rude et al. Functional hypoparathyroidism and parathyroid hormone end organ resistance
in human magnesium deficiency. Clin Endocrinol 1976;5:209-224. 6. Rude et al. Parathyroid hormone
secretion in magnesium deficiency. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1978;47:800-06. 7. Estep H, et al.
Hypocalcemia due to hypomagnesemia and reversible parathyroid hormone unresponsiveness. J Clin
Endocrinol 1969;29:842-48. 8. Ryzen E, et al. Low intracellular magnesium in patients with acute
pancreatitis and hypo calcemia. West J Med 1990;152:145-48. 9. Sojka JE et al. Magnesium
supplementation and osteoporosis. Nutr Rev 1995;53:71-4.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Cooked meat
From: Mavis Wood
Reply-To:
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 11:51:40 +1200
To PALEODIET LIST SYMPOSIUM
The list readers may be interested in the report of a four hundred thousand year old hearth in The Electronic
Telegraph issue 809 entitled *Barbecues a Thing of the Past*, by Aisling Irwin
Archaeologists from Liverpool University in Suffolk have discovered what could be a hearth with animal
bones and knives.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Mavis Wood MA hons Prehistoric Archaeology Edinburgh.
*Domine*Dirige*Nos
> )M(<<<<<

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Ron Hoggan on Radio this Sunday evening at 9:30 PM EST
From: Don Wiss
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 14:32:40 -0400
Hi all,

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Fellow list subscriber Ron Hoggan will be a guest on Robert Crayhon's nutrition show "The Voice of
Wellness" via telephone, this Sunday evening for about 20 minutes or so. 9:30-10:00 PM Eastern time. It
will be on WOR, which is 710 AM in the NYC area, and the program is also nationally syndicated. But
easier than trying to figure out which WOR affiliate carries it or not, the station can be heard live on the web.
One does need a sound card and a 28.8K baud modem. You can find WOR at http://www.wor710.com/
Ron will be asked about his hypothesis regarding gluten and the cancer connection, why he feels that a
strong focus on diagnosing celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity would constitute an effective cancer
prevention program, and a little bit about Ron's brother, although he seems less interested in that angle.
Crayhon also wants to talk about the Paleolithic diet, and what that means to wellness.
I hope we all can tune in.
Don.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Wine and beer
From: Art De Vany
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 1997 13:37:48 -0700
The radio just gave a summary of a new study that claims to show white wine and beer are as effective as red
wine in promoting health (or preventing some atherosclerosis).
As I said in an earlier post, they should be equally effective because they contain approximately the same
levels of flavonoids (I will try to dig out a reference, but I am not as good at that as Loren and Staffan---don't
expect a theoretician to become an empiricist over night).
Of course, there are far better sources of flavonoids such as onions, garlic, fresh fruits and salads.
I would suggest that the culprit in the low flavonoid content of the Western diet is the lack of fresh plants and
fruits and the generally low antioxidant status of Westerners in general. High carbohydrate diets contribute to
the antioxidant depletion (elevated blood glucose promotes formation of free radicals and glycosylation of
body tissue).
No, Loren, I have not found Citron's book. Our library doesn't have it and I don't plan to buy it. I am
perfectly happy with my own evolutionary diet.
One comment on Staffan's wonderful piece on osteoporosis among the Eskimo. The remodelling of bone
(loss of cortical mass and increased cross webbing) is just what would happen if the bone were being
redesigned from a load bearing column to a beam, whose stress comes from shearing forces. It's like taking a
Mack truck and making a race car out of it. This may be a consquence of a shift from hunting and gathering,
with its high load bearing stresses, to factory work, where I think light, shear forces dominate. I lift
something equal to one or more multiples of my body weight several times a week.
Arthur De Vany Professor http://www.socsci.uci.edu/mbs/personnel/devany/devany.html Institute for
Mathematical Behavioral Sciences 3151 Social Science Plaza Irvine, CA 92697-5100

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Breakfast, and other things
From: Michael Schubert
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Wed, 20 Aug 1997 10:32:10 +1000
Having followed the list with great interest for some time now, I have a few questions - which are of a more
practical nature.
What does a paleodietitian eat for breakfast? How many times a day/week did our ancestors eat? Evidence or
theory? Is the frequency of eating factored into paleodietary strategies? What literature managing database
do some of you use, to be able to respond so effectively?
Regards
Michael
________________________________________________
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Michael Schubert School of Natural and Complementary Medicine Southern Cross University P.O. Box 157,
Lismore, N.S.W. 2480, Australia Telephone 61-2-6620 3649 Visit us at
<http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/ncm/index.html
> ________________________________________________

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Response to Michael Schubert
From: Loren Cordain
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 15:05:00 -0600
1. What does a paleodietitian eat for breakfast.
I suspect that Ray Audette or Art DeVaney could give a bit of practical advice here. Pre-agricultural people
would probably not have consumed cereal grains, dairy products, vegetable oils, refined carbohydrates,
legumes, yeast containing foods or salted foods on a regular basis for any meal. All meals would have been
derived from mimimally processed foods which could be obtained in the local environment according to
season and availability. Modern paleodietitians have a much wider plate from which to choose. We can
obtain virtually any fruit, vegetable, nut, seed, tuber or animal product in unlimited quantities all year round,
and if we are willing to pay the price from virtually any locale. However, our foods are almost always
limited to domesticated fruits, vegetables and meats which can be obtained at the supermarket. Clearly there
are nutritional differences between wild foods (both plant and animal) and domesticated foods. Through
artificial selection, farmers have succeeded in developing plant foods which are generally, sweeter, larger
and have less fiber and seed than the wild version. Domesticated meats are quite different in macronutrient
composition from wild meats, particularly in their lipid composition (1, 2) and our ancestors would not have
thrown out the organs (brain, marrow, liver, spleen, kidney, gonads, mesenteric fat etc) as we do today. I
have had a number of conversations with Boyd Eaton who has suggested that the morning meal of present
day hunter gatherers may have consisted of a "little bit" of what was consumed at the previous evening's
meal. So, if a kangaroo was bagged, it may have been remaining portions of the carcass. There are many
excellent descriptions of hunter gatherer meals in a wide variety of anthropological texts describing the food
habits of these peoples. Perhaps one of our anthropologists on the listserve could provide a reference or two.
Modern day "paleodietitians" could eat a bowl of mixed nuts(brazil nuts from South American, pecans from
American, almonds from the Mid East, walnuts and hazel nuts from Europe) with dried fruit (raisins from
California, dates from Iraq, pineapple from hawaii etc) and honey. Obviously, a meal like this could never
have been reconstructed by our ancestors, nor was it likely that this kind of food combination was consumed
at a single meal (nuts, dried fruit and honey) except under very unusual situations. However a modern day
"paleodietitician" could consume this meal every day of the week if he/she so desired. Because of its high
sugar content (dried fruit and honey) and fat content, this so-called "paleo meal" could produce the very
same hyperinsulinemic and dyslipidemic profile characteristic of western "civilized", high fat, high carb
meals. I sometimes wonder if the extreme obesity represented by the "Venus" figurines found throughout
europe at the close of the pleistocene (3) were representations of female "godesses" who were fed a diet of
the choicest foods of the time (honey, dried fruit, nuts, marrow and fatty meats). 2. How many times a
day/week did our ancestors eat?
Now that Boyd Eaton and his son are on our listserve, perhaps they could comment. I offer the information
that the modern meal pattern of breakfast, lunch and dinner is a fairly recent phenonmenon (4, 5). Also,
because the killing of game and the location of edible plant food was not a "sure thing", meal timing and
frequency would have been somewhat dependent upon the availability of resources. 3. What literature
managing database do some of you use, to be able to respond so effectively.
I can't speak for others, and I'm not so sure that I respond effectively - However, I have a personal library of
articles totaling ~15-20, 000 that are arranged into ~25 subcategories. Each subcategory contains anywhere
from 50-100 files which contain my articles. I would like to someday put all of my articles on a database for now I use my memory which seems to fail more frequently as I approach 50. I typically use MEDLINE
or CARL (UNCOVER) to locate information on a topic. I'd be interested in hearing from our colleagues in
the anthropological sciences which on line reference data bases they employ. By the way, MEDLINE is now
available for free on the web at: ww4.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/
Cordially,
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Loren
REFERENCES
1. Eaton SB. Humans, lipids and evolution. Lipids 1992;27:814-20. 2. Sinclair AJ, O'Dea K. Fats in human
diets through history: Is the western diet out of step? In: Reducing fat in Meat Animals. JD Wood & AV
Fisher (Eds). Elsevier Applied Science, New York, 1990, 1-47. 3. Pontius AA. Stone age art venuses as
heuristic clues for types of obesity: contributions to iconodiagnosis. Perceptual and Motor Skills
1986;63:544-46. 4. Fenton A, Kisban E. Food in Change: Eating Habits from the Middle Ages to the Present
Day. John Donald Publishers, Glasgow, 1986. 5. Tannahill R. Food in History. Crown Publishers, New
York, 1988.

PALEODIET Archives
Subject: Re: Response to Michael Schubert
From: Dean Esmay
Reply-To:
Paleolithic Diet Symposium List
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 19:01:21 -0400
> ww4.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/
I believe Loren made a small typing error here; I believe the proper URL is:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/
Note that Medline is also available for free at:
http://www.healthgate.com/ -- just click the link for "Free Medline" when you arrive at this site. If you look
carefully on the Medline search screens on this site, you will see an "advanced search" option that allows
more flexibility than what I see available at the NIH site Loren mentions. It's still not ideal as there are search
capabilities it could have but doesn't, but it's fairly advanced and quite useful (and quite free).
When I am being good on my dietary regimen, breakfast for me might consist of eggs and meat and/or
berries and nuts. Lunch will usually be steak or chicken or fish with some olive-oil based mayonaise (made
with eggs, lemon juice, and olive oil) and perhaps some fresh salsa. Supper might be fruit, fresh green
vegetables, and usually some other form of meat. Snacks are usually nuts, green leafy vegetables, olives,
perhaps some jerky. An infinite variety of dishes can be made from a base of meats, nuts, eggs, green
vegetables, fruits (including cucumbers, tomatoes, and other fruits commonly thought of as vegetables),
berries, and flavorful stuffs such as black pepper, oregano, marjoram, sage, mustard, jalapeno, cayenne,
garlic, onions, celery, and so on.
The basic rule would seem to be: whatever can be eaten raw, or with only minimal cooking, is acceptable.
Ray Audette has an interesting book with interesting recipes on it; you can find the book referenced at
http://www.sofdesign.com/neander/
An essential diagram of what modern paleolithic nutritionists would be something like this:
Meat--any variety, including fish. Eggs--any variety. Nuts--any variety, so long as it is a true nut (peanuts,
for example, are not nuts, they are legumes and are quite poisonous in their raw state; they must be roasted or
boiled to remove toxic molds and other antinutrients) Fruit--any variety so long as it can be eaten raw
Berries--any variety.
Staffan Lindeberg has a certain disagreement with some on this issue as he seems to feel that potatoes are
just fine in moderation, while some purists insist that the potato is inedible in the wild and therefore would
not be part of the ancestral human diet. Some also seem to feel that eggs should not be allowed except
occasionally.
Some seem uncomfortable with significant meat consumption, apparently since vegetarianism and attacks on
red meat have made such major inroads into modern nutrition. But the overwhelming bulk of the data I'm
aware of says that meat is and always has been an important part of human diet. (I invite serious
disagreement if anyone is familiar with peer-reviewed data contrary to this proposition.)
A few seem to feel that all foods should be eaten raw. This is an extremist position that's difficult to support
as there is considerable evidence of use of fire by hominids going back quite some time, including at least
one recent archaeological dig of what appears to be a 500, 000 year-old hearth (as Mavis recently referred us
all to).
Fruit is also something of an item of controversy because as Loren points out, modern fruits have been
adapted to be more sugary and less fibrous than their natural cousins. Some seem to feel this should not be a
major issue while others caution that such fruits should only be eaten in moderation.
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As Jennie Brand-Miller has so excellently documented in her work, honey appears to be a very common
source of food that is far more common among primitive peoples than would seem intuitively obvious. This
may be a too-often overlooked food source for early humans, if bees were as ubiquitous in the past as they
are today.
There seems to be fairly universal agreement that cereal grains, dairy products, and most legumes would
either be nonexistant or only an occasional part of the ancestral human diet. Enig & Fallon are the only ones
to date to make a very strong defense of dairy. Some others doubt whether the ancestral human diet really
has much relevance to modern people and view this as an entirely intellectual matter with no practical
application.
Eaton has suggested in his published work that the basic paleolithic diet would be relatively low in fat. A few
of us have taken issue with this and feel that fat, most particularly animal fats, have been attacked quite
inappropriately in the last couple of decades.
A crucial question that has also not been addressed strongly is whether or not a pre-agricultural diet (which is
what most of us really mean when we say "paleolithic diet" --although archaeologists are understandably a
bit disturbed by this since the paleolithic period is a huge one and constructing an exact human diet based
solely on archaeological data is impossible without invoking deductive reasoning they are rightfully skittish
of) is really the most appropriate diet for current humans living in advanced Western societies. There is
clearly much to discuss in this area alone.
And this is entirely leaving aside discussions of the actual archaeological evidence and what can be said
definitively there (and what cannot), which we hope the archaeologists among us can help us understand
better. For example, it seems fairly clear from the literature that humans have always eaten animal proteins
of some form, but can more than this be said with conviction from the archaeological record?
I'm hoping at some point to see Loren expand on why he feels that cereal grains are a serious health issue for
humans; although Staffan has elaborated at length about the issue of phytates, and Loren has spoken briefly
about some of the antinutrients to be found in cereals, and a few of us have glanced briefly at the possible
autoimmune reactions caused by the unusually large and complex proteins in most cereals, this seems to bear
much more discussion.
I offer more questions and equivocations than answers, but this may help explain to some what we're trying
to learn about here.
The important thing to remember is that this group does not exist to put forward any particular proposition
(except, perhaps, that there is such a thing as a pre-agricultural diet and that it is worth talking about). We are
here to discuss the data, hypothesize,