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Old Tue, Dec-18-18, 08:51
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teaser teaser is offline
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Posts: 13,456
Plan: mostly milkfat
Stats: 190/152.4/154 Male 67inches
Progress: 104%
Location: Ontario

The core concept behind paleo eating isnít supported by science; our digestive systems arenít comparable to those of our Paleolithic ancestors, so it doesnít necessarily make sense for us to eat the same foods and beverages as them.

Hopefully this will be the stupidest thing I read today. There may have been some changes since the paleolithic period. I guess this is the basis for the above statement about our digestive systems not being comparable;

The organisms with which we share our bodies have evolved even faster, particularly the billions of bacteria living in our intestines. Our gut bacteria interact with our food in many ways, helping us break down tough plant fibers, but also competing for calories. We do not have direct evidence of which bacterial species thrived in Paleolithic intestines, but we can be sure that their microbial communities do not exactly match our own.

Before that there's some stuff about changes in immunity, which certainly could be important given that our greatest exposure to potentially harmful microbes is through the gut, and also mention of the development of lactose tolerance.

There's a problem here, in that "paleo" or "paleolithic" not only describes a period of time, it also describes the state of a society--there are many paleolithic societies that were still around in the last couple of hundred years, and the Paleo diet as championed by Loren Cordain and others is based on the diet of these peoples, and not what bugs thrived in people's intestines thousands or hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago. Anyways, steering things by gut bugs at this point is premature. We don't really quite know what our gut bugs ought to look like on any diet, so singling out Paleo is kind of silly. The way we know we have a healthy gut biome? If we're healthy, our biome is at least not preventing that.

That source also gives an example of a modern paleo group not doing so well;

Hill and Hurtado calculated that foods hunted and collected in the wild account for 95 percent of the Hiwi's total caloric intake; the remaining 5 percent comes from store-bought goods as well as from fruits and squash gathered from the Hiwi's small fields. They rely more on purchased goods during the peak of the dry season.

The Hiwi are not particularly healthy. Compared to the Ache, a hunterĖgatherer tribe in Paraguay, the Hiwi are shorter, thinner, more lethargic and less well nourished. Hiwi men and women of all ages constantly complain of hunger. Many Hiwi are heavily infected with parasitic hookworms, which burrow into the small intestine and feed on blood. And only 50 percent of Hiwi children survive beyond the age of 15.

So undereating paleo foods doesn't prevent malnourishment? This sounds like a people whose way of life is being destroyed because the habitat that supported it is vanishing.
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