I had a great time at the Ancestral Health Symposium this weekend. Despite being an incredibly busy conference, I was thankfully able to meet a lot of the people involved with the evolutionary health and fitness community. If we didn’t get a chance to meet up, I apologize and hope that maybe we can at some point again in the future.
For your benefit, I’m reposting a summary of the Twitter posts I sent out during the symposium. In them, I think I’ve captured some of the salient points derived from the talks that I attended (I tried to attend as many as possible). Feel free to discuss the topics below, I’d like to hear what you think.
Dr. Loren Cordain
- Surprisingly, U.S. per capita consumption of sugar has decreased slightly in the recent years, still super high.
- Meta-analyses show that vegans and vegetarians on average don’t do any better health-wise than the average meat eater.
Dr. S. Boyd Eaton
- The average American gets 13% of their nutrient intake from fruits and vegetables. It was more like 50% for hunter-gatherers.
- During the paleolithic, male and female equality was greater than anytime since.
- Fermented foods could potentially be a replacement or supplement for colonic fermentation, improving food quality.
- Human bacterial microbiome evolving very rapidly even as human change less dramatic – affects digestion/immunity.
Dr. Matt Metzgar
- 2001 total estimated negative externalities from U.S. agriculture can be estimated to $3.8 billion – think pollution, soil erosion, etc.
- Many popular vegan doctor health programs (like Ornish) work not for lack of meat, but for removing junk sugar processed food crap.
Dr. Kevin Boyd and Dr. Michael Mew
- Diet isn’t the only culprit in poor jaw and teeth development, mandibular muscle usage shapes the growing face.
- Use it or lose it, the massive modern reduction in masticatory effort is maladaptive for jaw development.
- From a broad perspective, only about 1/3 of the U.S. population has normal occlusion (jaw/teeth structure).
- Bottles do not promote proper palate formation in babies like breast feeding does.
- Human faces are shrinking. They don’t grow to the same size as before 10,000 years ago due to easily chewed processed food diets.
- HFCS and sucrose are not the same, there is a difference in the chemical bond structures.
- The tongue and inner palate apply pressure to cranial facial complex at an early age causing the rest of the skull to grow.
- Cavities (tooth decay) are on the rise in children in the US for the first time in decades.
- What’s missing from our ancestral health studies? “violence”.
- The noble savage theory of hunter-gatherer utopia is “bullshit”.
- Fighting (MMA) allows you to test yourself on an anvil of truth which you can’t find anywhere else in society.
Dr. Seth Roberts
- Added butter to diet and saw measurable increases in the ability to perform random timed arithmetic problems.
- Performed self experiments for balance and memory while on supplemental flaxseed oil and found clear improvements with use.
- Great advice: brief daily mental tests can help us decide what to eat. Try some home experiments.
- Degeneration of lipoprotein molecules due to inflammation and oxidation is a more compelling explanation for cardiovascular disease than the standard lipid hypothesis or the cholesterol-heart hypothesis.
- Fruit and vegetable polyphenols probably promote antioxidant behavior by being slightly toxic and stimulating glutathione production.
Dr. Michael Eades
- How do we know what early humans ate? The stable nitrogen-15 isotopes in fossils put them along side other carnivores.
- Discussed this article by Gary Taubes on restricted carbs and weight loss, emphasizing that low fat diets are really low carb diets – http://www.garytaubes.com/2010/12/calories-fat-or-carbohydrates/
- Many countries see stress as a major workplace health problem but most companies invest in cheaper solutions like flu vaccines rather than more useful stress management programs.
Dr. Emily Deans
- Recipe for a resilient brain: eat a diet low in food toxins, which promotes a happy gut, and keeps immune system strong to fight or avoid infection.
Dr. Lynda Frassetto
- Fruit and vegetables reduce the acidity of your food intake because they contain compounds which are broken down into bicarbonate.
- Salt sensitive people (genetic component) tend to be more insulin resistent on average. More salt, more insulin.
- Non-nutritive ingestive behaviors are common in mammals most likely to balance energy input with output – think herbs, spices, tea.
- In the US obese people spend $1,500 more each year on average for personal health costs.