Saturday, August 13 • 4:10pm - 4:50pm
Paleopathology and the Origins of the Paleo Diet

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For current human health it is extremely important to know the diet composition of early Homo sapiens and their predecessors, because this would be the diet of a ‘human in the wild’ and the diet that over the millennia shaped our genome. There are a number of ways by which this information can be gleaned from the anthropological and archeological literature. Over time, dietary changes can alter morphology. By correlating modern human morphology with that of human predecessors, we can make assumptions about changes dietary composition. Stable isotope analysis is another highly technical way to determine dietary intake of both modern and ancient humans. Paleopathological evaluation of human remains allows us to document the diseases wrought by changes in diet. The disease processes found in the skeletal remains of hunter gatherers compared to those found in agriculturalists show the devolution of human health accompanying a switch to an agricultural means of subsistence. One large group of agriculturalists, who have been studied extensively – the ancient Egyptians – provides an important data source showing the detrimental effects of a grain-based diet. This database is enormous, because of the ancient Egyptian practice of embalming their dead, which has left us with tens of thousands of soft tissue remains to be studied. These various methods of investigation, taken together, show that although the switch from hunting to farming may have been an advantageous move for humankind, it certainly was not a salubrious move for the individual human.

avatar for Michael Eades, MD

Michael Eades, MD

Michael R. Eades, M.D.is the author/co-author of ten books including the NY Times bestselling Protein Power. A long-time advocate of nutritional strategies for the treatment of obesity and other diseases of civilization, Dr. Eades has used the low-carb/ketogenic approach in his practice... Read More →

Saturday August 13, 2016 4:10pm - 4:50pm MDT