Dr. Michael Eades: Paleopathology and the Origins of the Paleo Diet

Dr. Michael Eades: Paleopathology and the Origins of the Paleo Diet


all right good morning it’s going to be
a little bit different talk I think than what you’re probably used to
I have no disclosures that I need to make and you know the the cross fist
CrossFit mantra is off the couch and off the carbs well I mean off the carbs guy
and I’ve been an off the carbs guy for about 35 years now and about 30 years
ago probably this very day I was laboring over this my first book that
was a low carb book and it came out I think in 1989 so that means I was
working on it right now thirty years ago and as I say it was basically a low carb
book it was about kind of a protein diet and the this was sort of the the big
achievement of my professional life till that time and it came out and I worked
hard to get it written and I’d never really written anything before probably
the last thing that I wrote before that was a college theme that I turned in a
week late and got doctor grade so it was it was an accomplishment
the problem is hundreds of thousands of people couldn’t have cared less and it
sort of sank slowly beneath the waves so then was nothing if not persistent so
I ended up getting another book contract this one with a working title of the
insulin connection and it was all about hyperinsulinemia insulin resistance the
insulin glucagon ratio and all the good things that could happen if you lowered
the insulin glucagon ratio these were all things that we had kind of figured
out on her own in our practice and well this book was sort of in gestation I was
doing a lot of just general reading and I happened onto this book and this book
actually changed my life believe it or not it’s really not a very good book and
I remember that I was I was laying in bed at night in Little Rock Arkansas
reading before I went to sleep and I was thumbing through this book and I came to
page 107 and on page 107 what jumped out at me was this this sentence blood
vessel disease was calm this is about Egyptian mummies the The
Mummy data blood vessel disease was common contrary to assumptions that it
arises from urban stress and a modern high-fat diet and I was electrified by
that sentence because I had gone through this I want to be in a gypped ologist
period of my life when I was in college and I’d studied that the dynastic
Egyptians and I realized that they had basically a wheat based diet and I
thought wow and I’d never made the correlation between their illnesses and
what their diet was so I was really intrigued by this and I flipped to the
back of the book and sure enough there were two or three pages of references
which I couldn’t even wait to get to the library the next day to track down and
and read more about this and I was so excited about it I almost couldn’t sleep
that night which is sort of a testament to how pathetically boring my life was
at that time but anyway this is this is what kicked me off on what you’re gonna
hear about today was this one sentence in this book now what it did is it took
me from that book to the Egyptian data to paleo pathology and the erosion of
agriculture I joined the Paleo path society along with my wife we met a lot
of really great people we kind of got involved in the Anthropology community you know we studied paleo pathology we
met this guy named Michael Richards who was just starting his career and now
he’s at the Max Planck Institute and he’s one of the really heroes and the
whole stable isotope analysis movement he and my wife and I on Loren Cordain
him some of you may know went out in Homburg Germany on one rainy afternoon
and found the kaiser color where the Beatles got their start and kind of cut
their musical teeth and then I met Liz Leo who wrote one of the great papers of
all time I think based on the work of this kind of quirky Swiss physiologist
and she had a Polish in current anthropology she told me she really had
difficulty getting it published and and now it’s the most cited article in that
journal so anyway we’re gonna go on this this journey today through the
anthropological literature and what that means in turn
of off the carbs okay so everybody’s seen one of these tables like this in
one form or another how little time we’ve spent really eating the diet that
we all eat today ninety nine point six of all homeless generations had no
evolutionary experience with the foods that basically we today and this is kind
of summarized in this quote from really an atrocious awful paper and this is the
one decent part of a sentence in it our physiology should be optimized the diet
that we have experienced during our evolutionary past which makes sense we
had a two point four million years since Asheville of Pittacus afarensis which is
the first time that we’ve been shown to to be meat eaters and that it kicked off
during that period and so over the intervening 2.4 million years we’ve been
exposed to a diet this low in carb high in meat basically and that’s that’s when
we laid down our genome so it should make sense that we would perform better
on such a diet now now this is set a little bit better more to my liking
in this book by Blake Donaldson and Donaldson was an old doctor that got his
medical degree right before World War one he was a army doctor during World
War one in Europe and he came back and went into practice and practiced in
Manhattan in New York until about the mid-60s when he died but he fell into
the influence of the Homer Steffensen the famous arctic explorer who was
famous for having gone on a two-year meat diet at Bellevue Hospital and
anyways Steffensen convinced Donaldson that a no meat diet was the way to go so
Donaldson put all this patients on an all-night diet no matter what they came
in for if they came in for allergies they went out on an omec diet if they
came in for heart disease they went on all meat diets they came in for obesity
they went out on a no meat diet and that was just what he did and he he has this
great quote in this book that I think is better than the other one during the
millions of years that our ancestors lived by hunting every weakling who
could not maintain perfect health on fresh fat meat and water was bred out
and that says it a little little bit differently but accurately I think and
if you ever want to get this book and read it I’m gonna give you a trigger
warning right now I’m probably the least politically correct person in this room
and I was appalled by some of the stuff in this book and this book was a
mainstream publisher in the 1960s and so I think it was Macmillan yeah but anyway
you can see how times have changed since then but it really is an interesting
book so the this is Marc Nathan Cohen who’s a renowned anthropologist and he
says the field of medicine often appears a naive about the full range of human
experience blah blah blah because mainly modern doctors base what
they know and what they used to practice with in the comparatively narrow
experience of contemporary Western society and this is what he’s talking
about this is uh this is the whatever it is the public health something I don’t
remember what the see is or diets not organs dot uk’ but it’s PHC org dot uk’
and you can get this and this is a it’s a public health collaboration this is a
group in the UK that takes studies in which low carb diets and low fat diets
have been compared to head-on and and then it it it tabulates them and then
you can see head-on which one works the best and in the you know and
sportscasting terms the low carb diet has crushed the low-fat diet you know
low-fat high-carbohydrate diet but they’re at to date there are only 62
studies and these are the studies over the last 10 or 15 years there are only
62 studies so if you go to the anthropological literature they’re
probably a hundred times as many studies that all show the same thing but doctors
never read the anthropological literature so they don’t see that so
what they based their experience on is this relatively narrow group of studies
or group of knowledge and that’s been generated by RCTs so let’s take a look
this is this is one of my all-time favorite papers my Leslie Aiello and
this is basically a thought experiment that she converted into
pothinus and what she says is that and she based it on this kind of eccentric
swiss physiologist named max Kleiber who practiced are taught the last years of
his career at the university of california and davis and he wrote this
book called the fire of life and introduction to animal energetics but I
just checked on Amazon this morning and you can get a copy for about 200 bucks
up to 900 bucks I mean it’s a pricey little tone but Kleiber was obsessed
like gary was talking about yesterday he was obsessed with one thing he was
trying to come up with an equation that correlated metabolic rate to body size
and he worked and he worked he worked on that and this paper was published in
physiological reviews in 1947 which was a great year because that was the year
of my birth and this is the way that this graph came
out in the paper so you can see the difference in papers then and now this
hand drawn graph actually appeared in the journal but what Kleiber did is that
he finally came up with this equation and this is called the Kleiber line and
pretty much everything whether it’s an elephant or a rhinoceros or a dog or a
bat will fall on that line and the there are a handful of things and there’s some
kind of a shrew and some other old kind of an animal that doesn’t fit on it but
by-and-large just about every mammal fits on this
line this Kleiber line including us human males and females fit right on the
climber line and so what this tells you is that if you know the body mass you
know what the metabolic rate is and it also tells you that if you know what the
the metabolic rate is if you know that what all the metabolic the different
organ metabolic rates are they all head up to the overall metabolic rate and for
a 65 kilogram primate or human this is about what it calculates out to be but
when you actually look at what the metabolic rate is on a 65 kilogram human
it’s different because we’ve got these great big brains okay but because of the
constraints of the Kleiber line the metabolic constraints we can’t just
keep the same gut sighs because we need the liver we need the kidneys we need
the heart we need the muscle but we can’t
something’s got to change if we’re gonna grow a brain it’s got to give somewhere
to keep us on this line and so what gives is the gut tissue and so the guts
become smaller as the brain gets larger and if you if you look at this you know
the mass specific metabolic rate of the brain is nine times higher than the mass
specific metabolic rate of the body as a whole and if you look at it this way out
on the right is us you can see what our brain mass is compared to our gut size
compared to all this array of primates now if you if you look at the sort of
the skeletal morphology you can see also that just the way that the ribs are
structured you can see that this is a chimpanzee on the left if you
extrapolate that out and this is an Australopithecus you can extrapolate
that out and you can see that they have big bellies and humans have relatively
small bellies and you can see that a little bit better here here’s an
Australopithecus which is considerably smaller than we are and you can see the
gut volume and here is our gut volume it’s a lot smaller but our brain is a
lot bigger and if you look at a gorilla you can see the great big belly on the
gorilla and gorillas are herbivores if you look at a chimpanzee you can see
kind of the same thing not to the same extent but you can see the same thing
this is interesting this is an actual true hunter-gatherer now there was a
there was a doctor named Arnie high guard who is Norwegian and he went to
Greenland in the mid 1930s with the intent to kind of seek out a true
hunter-gatherer somebody that hadn’t been corrupted by civilizing influences
so he went into deepest darkest Greenland to to try to find this and
even then he found that these people incorrupt a little bit they had been
exposed to sugar and they’ve been exposed to refined carbs but he found
some that hadn’t been exposed as much as others and he took pictures of them and
and this is one of them I think this is a 26 year old male so that’s what a true
hunter-gatherer looks like kind of in the flesh and you can see that there’s
not a big ponderous belly like there are on these herbivores now the reason that
these herbivores have such large bellies is because they eat plants and plants
are not very nutritionally dense and if you look at a 3000 calorie diet 65% of
that which is what they say herbivores yeah you know they get the other
whatever’s left 35% from other sources but it takes 10.3 pounds of carrots just
to get 65% at 3,000 calories 23.5 pounds of tomatoes and you can go down the list
and see so it’s all big volume of food and you’ve got to remember these are
today’s fruits and vegetables these have been Luther Burbank you know these have
been have been bred for nutritional density if you go out in the woods and
find a crabapple there are these little gnarly things that you know you have to
eat a ton of them to get ten calories so these animals these herbivores had big
bellies because they had to process a lot of food now if you look at it our
sort of evolution you can see the australopithecines down here this is how
far back they were and this goes right up to you don’t modern humans and you
can see how the brain size has just increased and sort of stupendous fashion
and the reason that it did that is because according to Leslie IO is
expensive tissue hypothesis because we converted to eating more meat in the
diet now it used to be that this was the this was the reasoning right here that I
mean everybody knows that the brains gotten larger and the guts gotten
smaller but they thought it was driven by hunting that hominids learned to hunt
and because they learned to hunt they had to develop more complex foraging
strategies the in an effort to develop these more complex foraging strategies
they had to grow bigger brains and what she’s saying is that that the increased
nutrient density of the meat diet brought about allowed us to drop the
size of our gut still provide the energy to drive and maintain a larger brain and
that’s basically her expensive tissue hypothesis so it may generate the
question well how did we do this to begin with
if if we didn’t have a small brain how did we get all this meat if it requires
complex foraging strategy what we did it because we scavenged and this Breanna
Pullman or who is a researcher I think now it’s a Smithsonian it’s done a lot
of work on this in Africa she’s actually gone out after big carnivore kills and
gone to the carcasses of zebras and gazelles and wildebeests and warthogs
and after the Lions or the hyenas or the leopards have eaten two satiation
and gone away then she’s gone and stripped all the flesh and found out
that there’s an enormous amount of flesh left on these carcasses after the big
carnivores and through with them excuse me after the big carnivores were through
with them there’s plenty to eat forcing mice and
that doesn’t even include cracking the bones for the marrow so we obviously
started to forage kind of developed a taste for meat started eating meat
allowed our guts to decrease in size and a lot our brains to grow so I like to
say based on this we didn’t evolve to eat meat we evolved because we ate meat
and I think that’s an important point okay we’re gonna switch gears a little
bit if i were dr. gold deck i would say then we’re gonna we’re gonna go over to a
stable isotope analysis which is a real kind of geeky way to determine what
ancient peoples eat and I’m going to spare you a lot of the geekiness of it
but just talk about what an isotope is for those that don’t know this is carbon
you know the atomic mass of carbon is twelve it’s got six protons and six
neutrons and isotope is something that has a little bit different component
structure so you add an extra Neutron and you’ve got seven neutrons and six
protons and so you got carbon 13 you got carbon 12 is the the standard-issue
variety and these are both stable isotopes I mean they don’t decay over
time they they may remain stable and they remain stable in certain ratios
depending on what ate them and and because different animals and treat
those differently the different isotopes and so the these are the this is stable
isotope carbon-12 carbon-13 carbon-14 is not a stable isotope that’s what we used
to do carbon dating because it decays and so we can measure that decay that
the K curve is known so we can check the carbon-14 in something and then track
back and tell how old it is but 12 and 13 are stable and nitrogen 14 and
nitrogen 15 are also stable and those are the really important ones in terms
of what we’re looking at now there’s been no change in them I’m going to whip
through these the ratios differ between two carbon containing substances because
of the way the carbon containing substances handle the the isotopes and
then when the sub sample goes to the mass spec it determines the c-13 to c12
ratio and it’s called the relative c it’s called the delta 13 c and that’s
the number that you’re looking for which all this stuff is kind of meaningless
unless you really get in and this I’m going to show you how later if you
really want to delve into this you know how you can do
because it is pretty interesting but what you learn from this what does it
all mean it means one thing that c-13 is found in greater quantities in marine
mammals or marine animals than terrestrial byes or terrestrial animals
and so if you find a higher 13 level and something you’re looking at and the
collagen and a bone from a skeleton you’ve found that indicates that diet a
little bit higher in seafood and over time the delta 13 got larger because as
all the big game was hunted out people went to smaller and smaller game and
fish and mussels and snails and so the c-13 over time has gone larger so that
was kind of an interesting finding and the c-13 sort of groups itself out and
what are called c3 plants and c4 plants c3 plants are almost everything
including some wheat c4 plants are mainly corn sugarcane is sorghum and
what you can see over time is that if you look at samples skull samples found
of Native Americans you see that you know that down here they’re mainly c4
plants or c3 plants I’m sorry and if you look up if you look up here as they
learn to cultivate maize what you find is huge amounts of c4
and they’re carbon 13 now are there Delta 13 and so what that I mean if you
looked at it now with everybody eating high-fructose corn syrup
god only knows what you’d find but I’m sure we’d be way up here if you analyze
teenagers today but the important thing is the Delta n 15 because that tells the
carnivorous story now plants contain a fairly constant nitrogen 15 and when
herbivores eat plants they concentrate it by about five to eight percent in
their collagen so it’s just so if a collagen hemp sample contains Delta 15
greater than 7 percent in the local flora then the animal is an herbivore
because it’s concentrated that that nitrogen 15 isotope and they
concentrated just like you know when you get tuna
it’s got mercury in it because the tunas eating the smaller fish was eating a
smaller fish which is eating a smaller fish and the mercury has been
concentrated well this nitrogen 15 concentrates also and what you find out
if you’ve heard no doubt seen the literature that that Neanderthals were
big meat-eaters so if you look at meat eaters they the herbivores so they
concentrated even more so when you look at an analysis of a Neanderthal for
example and there are tons of these done I’ve just picked out two just for
illustrative purposes but if you look at in the ender Thals and you look at what
is this this is a bison and a deer and just some sort of a herbivore of unknown
species but you can see what they’re there Delta 15s you look at an arctic
fox and a wolf and it’s up there because they’ve eaten the herbivores and they’ve
concentrated the n15 if you look at Neanderthals they’re even higher so what
that tells you is not only to the Neanderthals eat the herbivores they ate
some of the carnivores too because they concentrated any of them or it’s even
more impressive because you hear all this about Neanderthals being big
meat-eaters you don’t hear as much about anatomically modern humans ho-hum Homo
sapiens sapiens but here’s some from about 12,000 years ago and again all the
data pretty much mimics this and there’s the herbivores here’s the arctic fox and
then here are the humans the anatomically modern humans so they
really chow down on me they were super carnivores because they not only the
herbivores but the carnivores as well because otherwise they couldn’t have
concentrated the nitrogen 15 like that and so this is the kind of stuff that
you can find with stable isotope analysis which i think is really cool
and you know humans were hunters who knows who knows what that is that is called a glyptodont there’s one
a little better picture of it a glyptodont is probably a forerunner of
an armadillo but they were huge they were about the size of Volkswagen
Beetles and they were all over northern South America Central America in the
southern part of North America and they were hunted to extinction by early man
early man came across the Bering state straits it took a thousand years to go
from there to the SIP tip of South America decimating all the large
herbivores I mean he was a fearsome hunter and here’s one of the things that
they decimated this is a giant woolly rhinoceros and if you ever go to the
Museum of Natural American Museum of Natural History in New York City go up
to the third or fourth floor where they have these enormous halls for these
giant herbivores that trod the sod right where we are in North America that are
all not extinct because they were hunted to extinction by early man so early man
was a hunter and you can tell it from the from the stable isotope analysis now
I want to go to another study that’s that’s one of my favorite studies and
it’s one of my favorite studies not because it tells me what I wanted to
tell me because all these anthropological studies all the
anthropological studies that look at the difference between hunter gatherers and
agriculturists show a huge health disparity when agriculture came along
health went to hell in a handbasket people got shorter they got less
cortical bone thickness had more signs of inflammation more signs of infection
more caries you know dental cavities shorter stature may have already said
that but anyway health really took a turn for the worse when agriculture came
along but the reason that I like this study is because we’re studying two
groups of people and both grew for non-romantic
because they stayed put even the hunters stayed put and so one of the big
criticisms when you say well hunter-gatherers have better health than
agricultural as people say who of the pearl agriculturalists
bent will say well yeah but that’s because agricultural ones were tied to
the ground they had greater population density they got more disease they had
you know more infectious diseases the infectious diseases debilitated them
they’re obviously going to be in poor health well this study is interesting
because both of these groups were not nomadic okay they both stayed put and
they were both pretty much in the same place the hunter-gatherers lived in
Western Kentucky 250 to 350 or 2,500 to 300 3500 BC and the farmers lived in
Eastern Kentucky 500 AD so these are separated by four or five thousand years
in time they’re probably the same genetic material and they’re both off
the couch I mean I hate that one that does that that gets ahead of me sorry
I’m gonna flip through all these suckers one at a time okay the so they were both
pre contact even the ones at 15 ad so they had not been exposed to sugar they
had not been exposed to refined carbohydrates and so they were in pretty
much their pure state they were probably the same genetic material because they
were roughly in the same area but as I say separated by four or five thousand
years in time and separated by diet and they’re both off the couch because back
then life was tough you know as Thomas Hobbes said it was nasty brutish and
short and so I’m sure that they all worked hard and they all expended a lot
of energy to get their food so them the hunter-gatherers ate basically a low
carbohydrate diet this is right out of the paper by Claire Cassidy who was at
Smithsonian at the time composed of River mussels snails deer black bears
small mammals squirrel porcupine American rabbit woodchuck beaver while
turkey turtles fish and the occasional dog and they gather a few wild grapes a
Chron’s blackberries sunflowers and hickory nuts so that was primarily the
diet the hunter-gatherers and they were
definitely off the couch and off the carbs if you look at the I don’t what
this thing is gonna need a pointed at there okay okay so the farmers ate a low
protein high carb diet mainly corns beans and pumpkins they gathered other
wild plants they had the occasion a little bit of meat but corn was their
staple it’s like those things I showed you on that curve with a c4 where it
really went up so they raised corn and corn was the weaning food for young
children and we’ll see what that means in just a second so these guys were off
the couch but definitely not off the carbs so let’s see what happened to them
if you look at the the paleo pathology which I love what you see is is this is
called parodic hypothesis and that comes from iron deficiency anemia this is crib
or Battaglia’s it’s kind of moth-eaten real soft grungy stuff inside the eye
socket this is on the surface of the skull it’s really painful when people
get this there’s people that had this must have been miserable and it’s there
as I said there’s signs of iron deficiency anemia if you look at the and
that’s commonly found when societies switch to an agricultural lifestyle and
it was president 50% of the children under five years old and the farmers 50%
of them half of the kids had this none of them in the hunters these are called
this is called an amal hypoplasia these lines in the teeth
that’s called an amal hyperplasia that’s when the enamel quits growing and
usually that represents a really severe nutritional stress and if you look at
that vastly more prevalent among farmers if you look at these this is
radiographic evidence these are called Harris lines right here these are growth
arrest lines and you find these actually more than these represent mild
nutritional stress you actually find these more on hundred gatherers than you
doing farmers so that indicates that hunter-gatherers did have their own
times of nutritional stress but they were fairly short lived whereas the
farmers at the crops went south Anya you’re pretty much screwed and so the so
what you see is as I said they’re they’re more common among
hunter-gatherers than they are farmers and that was the case in this and tooth
decay was rampant in the farmers the the farmers had I mean you can you can see
all this you know kind of nasty mouth stuff and the farmers had an average of
seven carry seven cavities per skull there was tooth loss and children and
there was less than average less than one in the hunters and there was some
tooth loss in old age because the hunters ate these snails and river
mollusks and things from river and they got sand and they kind of abraded their
teeth and they would get down and they would get down into the pulp and they
could lose teeth that way and then this is a tooth abscess that you can see down
here and this is really dreadful I mean that’s a giant pus pocket you know China
super eating pus pocket and those were fairly common in the agricultural if too
so that’s not anything you’d want to wish on any but I can’t imagine how
painful it must have been now there’s a syndrome that you find that a lot of
ancient remains it’s called a syndrome of periosteal inflammation nobody really
knows what it is they think it’s probably a corrupt animal disease
probably some variant of yaws but nobody really knows what you find this commonly
and what you find this is 13 many as times as many farmers as
hunter-gatherers have it it’s really common and agriculturalists but not so
much in in hunters the other findings you say the life expectancy was lower
among the farmers infant mortality was higher among the farmers which was
interesting because they both had infant mortality during the weaning phases that
were about the same but once you got to the post winning phase the
hunter-gatherer mortality pretty much dropped off in terms of childhood
mortality whereas the the the farmers went way up because they
weaned their kids on this mush of corn so it obviously didn’t do them a lot of
good more farmer children were infected in hunters and overall the conclusion of
the hardened villagers the agricultural hardened hardened villagers were clearly
less healthy than the Indian dolars who lived by hunting and gathering and then
you’ve got these lovely teeth with the dental calculus on them and the dental
cos it’s not uncommon to observe that in agricultural populations the cariogenic
bacterial strep meat ands were absence in pre Neolithic humans and they just
generally came around once people started eating a lot of carbohydrates
this is 10,000 years ago but this is a picture of a really bad mouth and this
is from a group of peers it’s a subject from a group of people they found in a
cave in Morocco that dated back to about 15,000 years old and you can see I mean
kind you’ve got abscesses you’ve got all kinds of cavities you’ve got a split
teeth you’ve got avulsions I mean you’ve got that’s a whole Atlas of dental
pathology right there in that one mouth and they were all like that over 53% of
the people in this and this assembly of skeletons had cavities like this and
this as I say was 15,000 years ago and these people ate basically a currents
and pine nut and so you don’t have to have sugar to get cavities as these
people have shown all right so the adoption of Agriculture diamonds
supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life was in many ways a
catastrophe from which we’ve never recovered now let’s talk about the the
ancient Egyptian diet because the ancient Egyptian diet is what you know
you would call a modern nutritionist Nirvana
the ancient Egyptians ate a diet that almost any nutritionist would tell us to
eat now to avoid getting all the things that the Egyptians got and so with
let’s talk about that a little bit so Egyptians had basically a bread based
diet on all issuance also she socioeconomic levels I was at a three or
four years ago happened to be in Paris at the time that there was a display at
the Louvre on Egyptian art and they have a million of these little figurines of
people making bread you know grinding wheat and it just you know you could
almost OD on them there were so many so you’re probably gonna OD on them too
because I’ve got several and this this thing but it was pretty back-breaking
work and when people ground the deal with
these stones they would put sand in it to make it grind a little bit better and
consequently sand ended up in the bread and there are actually advertisements
that I’ve read about saying you know don’t eat joe’s bread because it’s got
too much sand in it because they tried to sift the sand now but they couldn’t
get it all out and there were some consequences for them eating all of this
all of this sand in in their diet but bread was a staple as I say you’re gonna
OD on these and it was coarse ground whole wheat bread every nutritionist you
know wet dream typically Emmer wheat
I warned you the most important first Egyptians was bread the fondest for
Gyptians for bread they were called our topic Oy by the Greeks eaters of bread
they were rationed you know four pounds per day their army was I mean it really
had a bread based diet I didn’t mean that was the only thing they ate they
had you know they had this elaborate netting system that they would use to
capture wild fowl along the Nile they had some animals that were used
basically for planting that would occasionally die and they would eat
those but not very often they even used pigs to stop the seeds into the ground
to grow their crops so basically there are large animals were beasts of burden
of one means or another and they fished in the Nile but mainly they ate wheat
and they ate a lot of it and if you look at their diet it was primarily bred
fruits vegetable sunny soils fish water fell an occasional red meat
now what nutritionists today your standard mainstream nutritionist
wouldn’t go crazy over this this is the diet that they would recommend to
homeless to everybody and let’s see what happened oh just this is from the
Egyptian literature about how they had just a basic monotonous diet basic diet
of carbohydrates and they you know foul appeared amend abundant they were all
clucking and picking around on the ground just like they are today and
Egypt I guess I’ve never been there but so if you look at Egyptian hieroglyphics
their drawings everybody is pretty much idealized not so much with a statuary
I think the statuary for whatever reason brought out the true artists in them and
they displayed people as they were and what you see when you see Egyptian
statuary is this picture right here gynecomastia large breasts and the males
and belly and they got a commission she’s probably because the large amount
of phytoestrogens that they got in all the week that they ate and you see this
picture over and over again there you go bellies and boobs bellies and boobs
there’s a female bellies and boobs not so unusual and there’s this guy loved
this guy this guy right here I mean he really sports it probably look at that
and they think bellies and boobs are all over the place that’s the typical
picture of ancient Egyptians now what you find when you when you look at these
mummies and there’s a ton of mummy material out there it’s estimated there
are many mummies in Egypt as there are living people right now and back in the
1800s you could have gone there on vacation and bought one and brought it
home with you and a lot of people did they stolen a paper out of them they had
a ton of mummies this guy right here looks like a few people has been on my
payroll anyway he’s out Hawking mummies and as I say there were a lot of them
and this guy’s named Sir Mark Armand Ruffer and rougher was a bacteriologist
independent English bacteriologist pathologist who was in and Egypt at
about the turn of the 20th century and he did some of the first autopsies on
mummy material and what he found he’s the one that generated that quote that
was in that book he drew these pictures I can’t imagine this this shows you know
vascular disease that he found in mummy so you don’t had one eye on the
microscope and the other aren’t drawing what he saw and he found that that
cardiovascular disease was pretty widespread among Egyptian ancient
Egyptians he says he can’t really give any reason
why it should have been so prevalent in ancient Egypt but it’s interesting to
find that it was common and that three thousand years ago or represented the
same amount of tonal characteristics as it does now and if you look at the
Everest papyrus which was sort of a medical text at the time what it says
and it’s from 1550 BC it says if thou examine just a man for illness and his
kardia and he has pains in his arms and his breasts and in one side of his
kardia its death threatening him I mean that could be right out of a medical
textbooks today today obviously the Egyptians were no strangers to heart
attacks and this an apologize is kind of hard to see but you see this this paper
I mean this could be kind of a just you know so story but the guy that wrote the
paper said that you know this was the first earliest record of sudden death
possibly due to heart disease and you see the guy down here who’s collapsed
and here’s his wife that they’re giving comfort to up there and he may well have
at sudden death now this has had ships at who was a famous famous Egyptian
woman from the 18th dynasty 18th dynasty who was probably the most powerful woman
in the world up to this time and had ships it was her mummy was examined and
she had horrific dental disease and you can see see how the teeth are kind of
sharpened down we’re gonna see a little bit more of this but that’s a really
characteristic finding in the Egyptian mummy material because they they had
this sand and all this bread that they did around their teeth then it gives him
a real characteristic look but she had this she had signs of diabetes she had
sign you can this this rougher mark Armand Ruffer that I showed you earlier
he developed what’s called ruffer’s solution that’s still used today to
hydrate mummy tissue so that you make histological slides that you can do
blood typing they find parasites find all kinds of stuff from this but she had
signs of obesity you know folds of fat in her mummy had signs of you know
arterial wall thickening and probably diabetes so she was not in great health
despite the fact that her statute looks pretty good but she was probably a lot
younger then they had you know bad tooth disease I say here you can see the the
this this typical look to the teeth where their ground down this is a kid
you can see there you know the the molars are erupting these this is
ante-mortem or post-mortem tooth loss you can see already even in a kid this
age the teeth are starting to get ground down from the silica in the in the bread
and the wheat here again you see that’s a typical way that Egyptian teeth look
from that ear huh once again same thing you could see even
these this even has you can see enamel hypoplasia there and so instead of they
used to went to through this period where they would autopsy mummies and it
was always a big deal but now they scan him and and it’s generated a really a
lot of data and this is lady Rhys she was a lady-in-waiting to famous Queen a
little bit before headship had shit that had ships it and she was in her late 30s
and she had really pretty bad vessel disease even then you can see the the
calcium there no vault heart you sit in the carotid arteries and brachiocephalic
subclavian the coronary arteries so she had you know pretty good arterial
disease now if you look at the prevalence of astros arteriosclerosis in
mummies in general these are all mummies that have been found from agricultural
societies what you find is that under 30 years of age about 15% of them have
evidence of arteriosclerosis you get 30 to 39 and it goes up there you get 40 to
49 years old and so we’re 50% of them have arteriosclerosis and remember this
is on a diet that every nutritionist would have us eat
to prevent heart disease and they were eaten up with it now this is one of my
all-time favorite papers this is a post hoc analysis this is really crazy and
this is how nuts people get because all of this stuff has been generated lately
from the scanning of mummies and showing that they have bad heart disease and so
this is some persons take on this whole thing this is the bibliography the vast
bibliography and it is a fast but they are associated with the examination of
Egyptian mummy provides overwhelming evidence that atheroma was seen in a
variety of vascular beds absolutely true clear evidence of vascular calcification
the finding associated with the accelerated atherosclerosis and
increased incidence of coronary disease absolutely true the explanation for
these frequent pathological findings almost certainly resides in a diet rich
in saturated fat that was confined to the elite while most of the population
remained vegetarian so here’s their little logical structure their syllogism
saturated fat causes arterial sclerosis the Egyptian Center arterial sclerosis
therefore the Egyptians ate saturated fat I mean it’s absolutely insane
and so there’s unequivocal evidence to show that atherosclerosis the disease of
ancient times induced by diet I agree with that and that the epidemic of
atherosclerosis again in the 20th century is nothing more than history
revisiting us because now we saturated fat so we all deserve to get heart
disease just like they did so it’s my take on this whole deal but anyway this
this paper this paper got me thinking about stable isotope analysis and the
Egyptian data so I’ve never seen that so I looked it up and sure enough there’s
stable isotope analysis and pretty interesting what it shows if you use the
the stable isotope ratios you see that the contribution of animal proteins to
the total dietary protein is about 30% okay now this is not total protein this
is the percent of animal protein because you get protein in wheat gluten is
protein so they got protein in wheat it’s only
30 percent of the protein that they got came from animals
sources and if you take into account potential biases it could have reached
50% they say and so both estimates are Laura in the average value of 64% which
characterizes modern them neveress Europeans so they really didn’t need
very much animal protein the Egyptians didn’t and what’s also interesting is
that there was really no difference between economic levels as to who ate
what they all ate the same diet they all had basically the same stable isotope
picture so this whole idea that the rich people are the ones that have mummies
and they got the saturated fat and they got heart disease it’s kind of BS
because they all had the same diet so anyway I’m back to the the horrible
paper with the one good sentence to wrap this all up or physiology should be
optimized the diet that we the experienced during our evolutionary past
and based on all the anthropological evidence that is not a low-fat
high-carbohydrate diet and I think it’s it’s pretty clear from that and so I’ve
got one Oh so if you look at all the data out there
you look at the metabolic constraints the clobber line the expensive tissue
hypothesis look at the stable isotope data you look at the hunter versus
farmer data you look at the ancient Egyptian data you look at the modern RC
teas and it’s pretty clear that off the carbs is the way to be and now if any of
you have smartphones and you want any of these papers I put them together in a
little package and what you’re doing your smartphone is you just punch 4 4 2
2 2 in the number that you’re dialing and in the message just put CF health
and it doesn’t matter it’s not case dependent hmm you text yeah you put the
the for for 2 to 2 and the text thing to send output CF health and the in the
text place and you’ll get a message that tells you how to access those and so uh
thank you very much for your attention