Disease Proof

Are the Inuit Healthy?

The Inuit, know anything about them? Personally, I don’t know much, just that they’re Eskimos. So, ever the good student, I decided to do a little Wikipedia search. Sure enough I turned up some interesting information. Here’s the introduction:

Inuit (Inuktitut syllabics, singular Inuk) is a general term for a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic coasts of Siberia, Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Quebec, Labrador, and Greenland. Until fairly recent times, there has been a remarkable homogeneity in the culture throughout this area, which traditionally relied on fish, sea mammals, and land animals for food, heat, light, clothing, tools, and shelter. Their language, sometimes incorrectly called Inuktitut, is grouped under Inuit language or Eskimo-Aleut languages.

Okay, if animal foods are an integral part of Inuit society, then I’ve got a question. How is their health? What’s the answer? Well, that depends on who you ask. For example, this report was emailed to me by a reader. According to Margaret Munro of The Vancouver Sun a new study links the Inuit’s game rich diet to “remarkable” protection against heart disease and cancer. Take a look:

While accelerating environmental and social meltdown is putting huge stress on Arctic communities, the study of almost 1,000 Inuit in northern Quebec shows the diet rich in game continues to offer remarkable protection, says lead researcher Dr. Eric Dewailly of Laval University.


"The study shows that they still have huge benefit and protection," says Dewailly. He and his colleagues presented the results of the on-going study here yesterday at the annual scientific meeting of ArcticNet, a northern research consortium.

Now this report is troubling, because if you remember from a previous post the Inuit, and other primitive people, aren’t exactly tipping the life-expectancy scale. More on that from Do Primitive Peoples Really Live Longer:

Inuit Greenlanders, who historically have had limited access to fruits and vegetables, have the worst longevity statistics in North America. Research from the past and present shows that they die on the average about 10 years younger and have a higher rate of cancer than the overall Canadian population.1…


…We now know that greatly increasing the consumption of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and raw nuts and seeds (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential, due in large part to broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains. By taking advantage of the year-round availability of high-quality plant foods, we have a unique opportunity to live both healthier and longer than ever before in human history.

So what’s the deal with this report? Or more specifically, is the study flawed? I don’t know, but here’s what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about it:

The research did not show that the Inuits live a long time or are healthy. The statements in the article made conclusions not supported by the research. The research merely was tracking the declining health of the Inuits since the spread of processed junk food among younger people. We can’t look to this group as an example of long-lived healthy people.

Now for all my fellow nerds out there, Dr. Fuhrman also recommended checking out John Robbins’s book Healthy at 100. In it he lists the world’s healthiest people, and surprise-surprise the Inuit didn’t make the cut. From the online table of contents, here is the list:

1. Abkhasia: Ancients of the Caucasus
Where people are healthier at ninety than most of us are at middle age


2. Vilcabamba: The Valley of Eternal Youth
Where heart disease and dementia do not exist

3. Hunza: A People Who Dance in Their Nineties
Where cancer, diabetes, and asthma are unknown

4. The Centenarians of Okinawa
Where more people live to 100 than anywhere else in the world

1. Iburg KM, Bronnum-Hansen H, Bjerregaard P. Health expectancy in Greenland. Scand J Public Health 2001;29(1):5-12. Choinere R. Mortality among the Baffin Inuit in the mid-80s. Arctive Med Res 1992;51 (2):87-93.

2. http://www.kenya.za.net/maasai-cycles-of-life.html
www.who.int/countries/Ken/en/

UPDATE: The above links are dead, refer to this link: http://www.who.int/countries/ken/en/

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
Comments (27) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Jude - January 8, 2007 6:48 PM

According to the book, "The Noonday Demon" by Andrew Solomon, the Inuit in Greenland have a high rate of suicide as well because of social isolation.

Chris Masterjohn - January 9, 2007 9:13 PM

I would like to see some reliable information on exactly what the Inuit Greenlanders are eating. The Inuit and other natives in Alaska have been in the process of modernization for nearly a century, and they are not on anything remotely like a "primitive" diet.

This is what I found for native Alaskans as of the late 1980s:

According to this reference:

Nobmann ED, Byers T, Lanier AP, Hankin JH, Yvonne Jackson M. The diet
of Alaska Native adults 1987-1988. Am J Clin Nutr 1992; 55: 1024-32.

... as of the late 80s, these were the top ten foods eaten by Alaskan
natives, ranked by frequency of consumption:

1. Coffee and tea
2. Sugar
3. Whitebread, rools, crackers
4. Fish
5. Margarine
6. White rice
7. Tang and Kool-aid
8. Butter
9. Regular soft drinks
10. Milk (whole and evaporated)

Notice that the only native food in the top 10 is fish, and that it is
out-ranked in consumption by coffee, eat, sugar, and white bread.

Compared to the US population in the NHANES II data, native Alaskan
men consumed 28% more protein, 11% more fat and 7% more carbohydrate.
Native Alaskan women consumed 48% more protein, 28% more fat, and 18%
more carbohydrate. Native Alaskan men and women even consumed 24% and
37%, respectively, more vitamin C than Americans, the principle source
of which was orange-flavored breakfast drink.

Native Alaskan men and women had 30% lower risk of heart disease,
women had a 20% higher risk of cancer, men had a 60% lower risk of
diabetes and women had a 50% lower risk of diabetes. Cancer of
breast, uterus, prostate, bladder and melanoma are comparatively low,
whereas cancers of the nasopharynx, salivary gland, liver, gallbladder
and cervix greatly exceeded those of US whites. Iron-deficiency
anemia was found at high rates, 13% of men and 15% of women.

Their intake of fat remained stable since the 1950s, at between 34%
and 39% of calories. In 1987-88, fish supplied 11% of the fat, seal
oil supplied 6%, and whale blubber supplied 3%. Rivaling fish was
agutuk or "Eskimo ice cream" at 10% of the fat contribution, which "is
currently often made with hydrogenated vegetable shortening. . . .
Although individual recipes vary, typical ingredients for fish agutuk
include flaked cooked whitefish, whipped shortening, sugar and corn
oil. Fruit agutuk consists of whipped shortening, corn oil, sugar,
water, and blackberries or other berries; meat agutuk consists of
caribou tallow, seal oil, caribou meat, and cooking broth."

So it would appear that modern native Alaskans continue to eat some
native foods but have been eating highly modernized diets full of junk
food for decades.

Viljalmhur Steffanson stayed with the non-modernized Inuit for long periods of time and studied them in depth in the early part of the 20th century. He was able to obtain some statistics on life expectancy from churches. He found high infant mortality (typical of pre-industrial societies) as well as high death rates across the spectrum, but also found a fair amount of people living into their 70s and 80s.

He concluded in Cancer: A Disease of Civilization?:

"Thus the most nearly "primitive" sample group I was able
to obtain does not support Dr. Keys very strongly in his contention that "a
primitive Eskimo over the age of 50 is a great rarity." Nor does it quite
confirm Dr. Greist's statement that "the Eskimo of the North . . . lived to
a very great age."

I would really like to know WHAT they were dying from. From what I have read, the life of the native Eskimo was very dangerous. I believe I even read in one source that they would sometimes procure eggs by hanging themselves over a cliff by rope to steal them from nests. They were also subject to cyclical periods of scarcity or near starvation in many cases, and depending on the area, many of them were fairly warlike. In one analysis I read, many of them had fractures of the face and other areas that seemed to suggest warlike injuries.

If the early deaths that Steffanson found were due to cancer and heart disease and other degenerative diseases, I will grant this is evidence that their diets were harmful, but it seems to me there are numerous other explanations and no way to quantify it. I certainly wouldn't take the white bread and margarine diet they are currently eating to indicate the same just because it has a spattering of wild game in it.

And by the way, they did eat nutrient-rich plant foods. The healthy Eskimo that Weston Price studied ate as follows:

"The food of these Eskimos in their native state includes caribou, ground nuts which are gathered by mice and stored in caches, kelp which is gathered in season and stored for winter use, berries including cranberries which are preserved by freezing, blossoms of flowers preserved in seal oil, sorrel grass preserved in seal oil, and quantities of frozen fish. Another important food factor consists of the organs of the large animals of the sea, including certain layers of the skin of one of the species of whale, which was found to be very high in vitamin C."

Chris

Joel Fuhrman, MD - January 10, 2007 12:28 PM

This comment is utterly ridiculous. There is no such thing as long-lived Eskimos. We don't want to emulate the diet of short-lived populations.

Primitive diets had primitive lifespans. Luckily we know much more today and can push the envelope of human life with nutritional excellence. Nutritional excellence means a natural food, plant-based diet where animal products could be a minor part of a diet, not a major part as recommended by the Weston Price crowd. The evidence is cumulative and overwhelming and the Weston Price crowd is still stuck in the dark ages trying to defend old, disproven and mistaken concepts. I can only do so much to counter every silly claim. But I am noting some of the former followers of Weston Price who have joined drfuhrman.com and changed their feathers. But the arguments are entertaining, but contain tremendous distortions of nutritional science. Once you start defending the Inuit and Eskimo diet you are attempting to promote a diet with 90 percent of animal foods and less than 10 percent of calories from plant foods as ideal, how ridiculous.

Chris Masterjohn - January 10, 2007 2:26 PM

Dr. Fuhrman,

"This comment is utterly ridiculous. There is no such thing as long-lived Eskimos."

I have not seen any citations for life spans among Eskimos living on primitive diets in your "Do Primitives Really Live Longer?" article, nor can I find any on PubMed, principally because, as my last comment pointed out, all of the Eskimo are eating modern diets currently.

Thus, we are forced to go back to older literature. According to Steffanson, who, unlike Price (as you note), spent a great deal of his career studying native Alaskans and living among them, and who undertook an analysis of birth and death certificates held by churches in the region to study their life span, there is indeed such thing as a long-lived Eskimo.

The figures from his book are appended to this post, and show that SOME -- not most, but some -- primitive Alaskans lived till their 80s and 90s.

"We don't want to emulate the diet of short-lived populations."

I mostly agree. I object to the assumption that a simple life expectancy statistic can be used to assess the effect of diet on life span because many other factors are involved, such as war, accidents, tendencies toward infection due to living conditions.

However, I would not want to emulate a diet of a population unless I felt there was very good evidence that it had a high liklihood of conferring longevity upon me and protection from disease.

I don't think that type of hard evidence exists for the Inuit, at least from what I have seen so far. However, I also think that you are reaching much further than the evidence allows to form your conclusions. There is certainly no evidence presented thus far that primitive Inuit diets were associated with poor health, principally because you haven't cited a single study of Eskimos on their primitive diets.

Below are the life expectancy statistics Steffanson gathered. Again, they do not support the idea that the Inuit lived very long lives in general -- nor do they support your contention that "There is no such thing as long-lived Eskimos."

Any conclusions about the effect of diet on life expectancy can only be made after ascertaining more information on the cause of death. I will readily accept that diet could be a cause of heart disease, but I think we would both consider it unlikely to be a cause of falling off a cliff searching for food or dying in a war with neihboring groups and so on. The bone analyses I have seen of primitive Eskimo reveal a high infection rate -- the role of diet in infection certainly exists but is harder to determine. Certainly living conditions played a role.

According to this analysis of 193 pre-European contact Aleut and Inuit skeletons:

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1998 Sep;107(1):51-70. Skeletal evidence of health and disease in pre-contact Alaskan Eskimos and Aleuts.

The rate of skeletal evidence of infection of the Eskimos was 4% compared to 20% in the Aleuts. The authors attributed the difference to the Eskimos housing 8 people per home and the Aleuts housing dozens of people per home, and noted that initial European contact accounts indicated unsanitary conditions.

This same report notes many fractures of the face and ribs and so on that seem likely to be from war or physical accidents owing to dangerous lifestyles rather than from diet. I would accept a high hip fracture rate, by contrast, as being likely attributable to diet.

So it seems to me that your attribution of simple life expectancy statistics of modernized Eskimos to the primitive diets they have largely already abandoned is rather poorly researched.

I don't believe I've presented any conclusive argument that the Inuit diet is safe or beneficial, but I also have not written any articles on the primitive Inuit lifespan precisely for that reason.

Chris

===========
From V. Steffanson, Cancer: A Disease of Civilization?

Moravian Church in Labrador
and the Russian Church in Alaska,1822-36 inclusive. Presented as numbers of people for each range of age of death:

Aleuts, Unalaska district
Died ages 1-4 -- 92
Died ages 4-7 -- 17
Died ages 7-15 -- 41
Died ages 15-25 -- 41
Died ages 25-45 -- 103
Died ages 45-55 -- 66
Died ages 55-60 -- 29
Died ages 60-65 -- 22
Died ages 65-70 -- 24
Died ages 70-75 -- 23
Died ages 75-80 -- 11
Died ages 80-90 -- 20
Died ages 90-100 -- 2


Labrador Eskimos
Died under 10 -- 29
Died ages 11-15 -- 9
Died ages 16-20 -- 4
Died ages 21-25 -- 6
Died ages 26-30 -- 7
Died ages 46-50 -- 10
Died ages 51-55 -- 10
Died ages 56-60 -- 4
Died ages 61-65 -- 4
Died ages 66-70 -- 8
Died ages 71-75 -- 4
Died age 79 -- 1


Labrador
1860 to 1879 -- 150 births, of which:
Died under 5 -- 79
Died age 5-10 -- 5
Died 10-60 -- 30
Died 61-81 -- 30
Died after 81 -- 1

Cape Chidley, of those (n=41) born between 1902 and 1922, inclusive.
Still living, at ages between 48 and 58, were 21.

row - January 12, 2007 6:19 PM

Thankyou for joining the dicussion, Chris Masterjohn. For people who aren't familar with chris masterjohn ,please do a goggle search.


The Inuit diet wasn't a diet to loose weight ,it was a diet to keep weight on! A diet to survive the extreme weather conditions and extreme physical demands. Yes they were able to survive on this diet, At what cost to the health. For those who just want to survive, be my guest. I want to thrive not just survive!

I have read they developed larger livers to handle the large amounts of animal products that they were eating. As Dr Furhman stated they had primitive diets and and had primitive life spans. I have also read they had high rates of osteoporosis.
If you go back and read Eric dewaily full study, he didn't say the Inuit diet was free from heart disease. He said in his finally conclusion that the elder Inuit who still eat in a traditional way had only less heart disease than other native cultures and half the rate of heart disease than the average north American. The good folks from the Weston price foundation and there spoke person, Chris master john have made claims or would lead you to believe that the Inuit diet actually prevents heart disease!
North Americans have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world, so by eliminating the processed foods and eating like the Inuit they Could cut the high rate of heart disease in half!
If the average north American ate like Dr Fuhrman recommends they could cut the heart rate almost down to zero!I like that % better
I have read on some of the low carb forums,people who believe the Inuit diet is the healthiest diet on the planet say if only the inuit could go back to there eating old ways?
What,s going to happen to the Inuit? If they continue to go down the road eating junk food,doing alcohol and drugs ,they are doomed. But they really can't go back to they old way of living either because of the high levels of pollution found in the fish and animal population. One researcher stated there were such high levels of toxin Inuit woman's breast milk it could be classified as a "toxic dump"
Eric dewailly because of the pollution in the inuit diet and since fruits and veggies were not available, reluctantly recommended eating in there traditional way. He said no matter how high the toxicity was it was much better than consuming high levels of junk food.

I have also read that Inuit were forced back by other native cultures when they tried moving south and were forced to stay in those harsh climates.

chris, As others and myself have said if you want to be eating like a Inuit, maybe you should recommend living like one in their envirorment, so you can get the full benefit.

For your info walrus and seal are on the animal protection act, impossible to get unless you are living there.

julie - January 12, 2007 11:07 PM

intriguing the posters on this list that speak so critically of Chris Masterjohn's (that's one word, get it correct please) post counter his data and references with opinions and "I have heard" comments. You have GOT to be kidding. I don't see a single scientific reference among your two posts. And you think CHRIS is outspoken.

If you are not touting your opinions, you are distorting what Chris said. I cannot even connect 80% of what the second poster commented on to Chris' posts. Sorry, but this leads me to believe that you are simply grasping at straws because you lackdata to back up your opinons and recollections of what you "have heard".

I appreciate Chris' logical, factual, and referenced commentary. Sorry guys but you just got voted off the debate team.

row - January 13, 2007 12:19 PM

"Chris Masterjohn" is one word, please go back and read my first reference to him . The spelling was correct and please also notice that I was polite. The second time I wrote his name was a typing error on my part. If Chris Masterjohn or you were offended please accept my apologies.
Maybe I got voted off the debate team, but I am the only one. Sorry I don't have links to backup the comments I have made. You are right I should have. but Even if I did, would you read them.? Dr Fuhrman has posted numerous links to studies. I don't believe you ever went back to read them, after you made some of the rude comments at Dr Fuhrman.
Julie, Cris Masterjohn, he is very polite, maybe you could learn something from him!!!!
The computer that I had all the info stored on the Inuit diet died.I can't get into the hard drive. It's a computer that's is 6 year sold and it's not worth fixing. I am also on a dial up connection. I don't have time to go back and find all the links to back up what I said.
Even though I used "Have heard" I stand by what I said. DR Eric wailly is one of the leading researchers on the Inuit's. The comments I made were from his work.
[my quote] "He reccommends the Inuit keep eatiing there traditional diet because that's the only diet available to them besides conventional junk food"
Do a google searche on pollution and Inuit + DR. Eric Wailly for more info.
Read Dr Wailly's conclusion he wrote in the Artic research journal for of points of reference.
If I was stuck in the Artic, at any period of time in history, present or past,If I wanted to survive I would have to adapt to the Inuit diet or die.
To try and live on a Inuit diet in california in this day and age would be absolutely foolish. I respect your right to disagree.

Chris Masterjohn - January 13, 2007 3:12 PM

Row,

"Thankyou for joining the dicussion, Chris Masterjohn. For people who aren't familar with chris masterjohn ,please do a goggle search."

Thank you for welcoming me.

"The Inuit diet wasn't a diet to loose weight ,it was a diet to keep weight on!"

Fair enough, though as such, perhaps I could use some of it, as I'm quite slim. ;-)

" A diet to survive the extreme weather conditions and extreme physical demands. Yes they were able to survive on this diet, At what cost to the health. For those who just want to survive, be my guest. I want to thrive not just survive!"

At what cost to health is a good question. You seem to be insinuating that there is a serious health cost associated with their primitive diet -- there may have been, but I am still waiting to see that substantiated. Knowing the causes of death associated with the mortality data of primitive Inuit and Aleut that Steffanson recorded in Cancer: A Disease of Civilization? would be a good start, but life expectancy data on highly modernized Inuit is not helpful.

"I have read they developed larger livers to handle the large amounts of animal products that they were eating."

That's interesting, though I have no idea why they would need a larger liver to handle more animal products. On the other hand, their large intake of polyunsaturated fat would likely have made them more vulnerable to liver damage, though one can achieve that easily with vegetable oils -- they use corn oil in animal experiments to enable alcohol to cause fatty liver damage. When they feed a high-fat diet (40% of calories) on cocoa butter, which is highly saturated, they can feed 30% of calories as alcohol without fatty liver damage ensuing.

You, et al., "Role of Adiponectin in the Protective Action of Dietary Saturated Fat Against Alcoholic Fatty Liver in Mice," Hepatology, 42 (2005) 568-577.

"As Dr Furhman stated they had primitive diets and and had primitive life spans."

As he stated, with no evidence. Steffanson's mortality statistics flatly contradict his assertion that "there is no such thing as a long-lived Eskimo."

His two references for Masai longevity in his Did Primitives Really Live Longer? article link to some sort of non-scholarly travel page with very limited information and WHO statistics for all of Kenya, not for the Masai.

Nevertheless, Steffanson's data show very large mortality both for children and for young and mature adults, despite also showing some native Alaskans lived into their 70s and 80s and even 90s.

This data can really only be helpful once we find out what the causes of death were. Like I said before, I'll take cancer or heart disease to be tied to diet, but not falling off cliffs and dying in wars and conflicts.

"I have also read they had high rates of osteoporosis."

I've heard that, but not seen any evidence.

Keenleyside A. Skeletal evidence of health and disease in pre-contact Alaskan Eskimos and Aleuts. Am J Phys Anthropol. 1998 Sep;107(1):51-70.

The above study looked at 193 skeletons of pre-European contact Aleuts and Inuit. They do not discuss evidence for osteoporosis.

They do emphasize that the two groups had different patterns of disease, attributable thusly:

"An examination of the physical and cultural environment of the 2 groups reveals several possible explanations for these differences, including warfare, subsistence pursuits, and housing practices."

This should remind us of the importance of considering non-dietary factors when looking at a group's health.

"If you go back and read Eric dewaily full study, he didn't say the Inuit diet was free from heart disease. He said in his finally conclusion that the elder Inuit who still eat in a traditional way had only less heart disease than other native cultures and half the rate of heart disease than the average north American. The good folks from the Weston price foundation and there spoke person, Chris masterjohn have made claims or would lead you to believe that the Inuit diet actually prevents heart disease!"

Nowhere on this site or elsewhere have I stated that the Inuit were free of heart disease. I have not seen any data indicating this.

I have, on the other hand, noted that George Mann found the Masai to be free of heart disease by means of post-mortem analysis of 50 hearts and aortas, none of which showed evidence of myocardial infarction. He also noted that their average cholesterol levels were 135.

" But they really can't go back to they old way of living either because of the high levels of pollution found in the fish and animal population."

I agree this is horrible. Exposure to most of these pollutants have declined dramatically over the past several decades except in the Arctic. Dioxin exposure has declined 95% since the 1970s in most of the world and hasn't budged in the Arctic. And the Inuit haven't been producing any of it.

"chris, As others and myself have said if you want to be eating like a Inuit, maybe you should recommend living like one in their envirorment, so you can get the full benefit."

Well I don't eat an Inuit diet. I'm just finishing up my second bowl of lentil soup, which I cooked with an onion, chopped up, several stalks of celery, some cherry tomatoes, diced fresh garlic and a small amount of salt and toasted seaweed flakes for seasoning, with a lump of cultured, grass-fed butter, and ate with a piece of sourdough whole grain rye toast with butter. I decided to eat lentils more often as legumes seem to be the best way to get molybdenum.

What I would like to see is some reliable information about what portion of the primitive Inuit mortality statistics are attributable to diet and what are attributable to environment and lifestyle. Clearly we want to get any benefits of the diet (and there are clearly some as you have noted them, even though you do not consider the diet ideal) without any negative effects of both the diet and environment/lifestyle.

It would be easier to have a serious discussion about the relative merits and demerits of the primitive Inuit diet if Dr. Fuhrman or other participants in the discussion did not choose mortality statistics of modernized Inuit to make a flippant dismissal of their diet as having any benefit without any serious research of what their health was when they were actually eating it.

Chris

row - January 13, 2007 6:00 PM

chris,
Thankyou for responding.
first :"Enlarged livers",I recall that was a comment made by Cordain in the article the "Inuit paradox"
Is that a healthy responce or a negative one from eating to much animal products, I don't know?

"Well I don't eat an Inuit diet. I'm just finishing up my second bowl of lentil soup, which I cooked with an onion, chopped up, several stalks of celery, some cherry tomatoes, diced fresh garlic and a small amount of salt and toasted seaweed flakes for seasoning, with a lump of cultured, grass-fed butter, and ate with a piece of sourdough whole grain rye toast with butter. I decided to eat lentils more often as legumes seem to be the best way to get molybdenum.
I am glad to here you don't eat like a Inuit., but if you do some searching on the web, there are lots of people that are trying to eat like the Inuit.
Hey, hold the butter, save a bowl of soup for me, sounds great on a cold day in dec.
I notice you stated the masi cholesterol was very low, 135.That's right in line with what dr. fuhrman advocates. I just read [uffe ravnskov web site] that drying meats certain ways breaks down cholesterol in a way that doesn't effect the arteries.[Air drying] The other I don't remember. The Masi do this! Along with the Masi rugged lifestyle could this be the reason there cholesterol was so low. If there is some truth to that ,how many people out there consuming large amounts of animal product do that.
I have read from your web site you don't believe in the cholesterol theory in the prevention of heart disease?

If I may quote from someone you do believe in. I also read so this recently. The subject about what people ate 10000 years or longer and how long they lived and how healthy they were is a endless debate. I will close with this.
"Uffe Ravnskov: It is fascinating to speculate about the diet of man in prehistoric time. However, knowing how difficult it is to get reliable information about the diet of individuals living to-day, it seems a little absurd to guess what kind of food people ate 10,000 or more years ago, in particular which kind of fatty acids. And even if we knew, so what? Can we deduct anything about the influence of this diet on these peoples health, of which we know even less? Isn't it a subject much better suitable for a cosy after-dinner chat, than for creating scientific hypotheses?

Chris Masterjohn - January 13, 2007 7:55 PM

Row,

>first :"Enlarged livers",I recall
>that was a comment made by Cordain in
>the article the "Inuit paradox"

I haven't read the article, but I'll try to look for it when I get a chance.

>Is that a healthy responce or a
>negative one from eating to much
>animal products, I don't know?

Assuming for the sake of argument that this is correct, I question whether it is a response to animal foods per se, because the Inuit have a high polyunsaturated fat intake and polyunsaturated fats are demonstrated in animals to be required for the develop englarged and fatty livers, and in humans there is a positive correlation between indicators of liver damage and both the polyunsaturated content and the polyunsaturated-to-saturated ratio of dietary fats.

===========
Martin J, et al. Dietary saturated fat reduces alcoholic hepatotoxicity in rats by altering fatty acid metabolism and membrane composition. J Nutr. 2004; 134: 904-912.

You, et al., "Role of Adiponectin in the Protective Action of Dietary Saturated Fat Against Alcoholic Fatty Liver in Mice," Hepatology, 42 (2005) 568-577.

Oosthuizen, et al., "Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake is adversely related to lvier function in HIV-infected subjects: the THUSA study," American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83 (2006) 1193-8.
==============

>I am glad to here you don't eat like
>a Inuit., but if you do some
>searching on the web, there are lots
>of people that are trying to eat like
>the Inuit.

I know some people who have lost tremendous amounts of weight and revitalized their metabolisms with a Inuit-like diet, and kept the weight off, taking in over 80% of calories as fat. Inuit-like, at least, in the sense that it is predominantly animal foods and predominantly fat.


>Hey, hold the butter, save a bowl of
>soup for me, sounds great on a cold
>day in dec.

We haven't had any cold days around here this winter, but I suppose that's because of all of the bovine flatulence I'm promoting with my meat-laden diet. ;-)

>I notice you stated the masi
>cholesterol was very low, 135.That's
>right in line with what dr. fuhrman
>advocates. I just read [uffe ravnskov
>web site] that drying meats certain
>ways breaks down cholesterol in a way
>that doesn't effect the arteries.[Air
>drying] The other I don't remember.
>The Masi do this! Along with the Masi
>rugged lifestyle could this be the
>reason there cholesterol was so low.
>If there is some truth to that ,how
>many people out there consuming large
>amounts of animal product do that.

I'm not sure what you're talking about. Could you provide a link?

>I have read from your web site you
>don't believe in the cholesterol
>theory in the prevention of heart
>disease?

I think the evidence is incredibly poor that total cholesterol levels or total LDL cholesterol levels are the driving force in the buildup of arterial plaque.

In my recent response to Dr. Fuhrman regarding saturated fat I link to an interview with Daniel Steinberg on the oxidative modification of LDL theory that is much more promising:

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-electronic-engineers-and-dietary-advice.html

I think that atherosclerosis is probably driven largely by oxidation of the phospholipids and proteins that make up the lining of lipoproteins, which in turn is driven largely by the ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids to antioxidants of which they are composed.

I think that this is harmful in occluding arteries and impeding blood flow, but I think a stronger predictor of actual heart attacks is the production of raised lesions within the arterial plaque that are likely to break off. And I think a major part of this process is the accumulation of calcium deposits in the arteries, which is primarily a deficiency of vitamin K2, as also supported in the above link.

>If I may quote from someone you do
>believe in.

It is evidence, not the person delivering it, that convinces me.

> I also read so this recently. The
>subject about what people ate 10000
>years or longer and how long they
>lived and how healthy they were is a
>endless debate. I will close with
>this.
>"Uffe Ravnskov: It is fascinating to
>speculate about the diet of man in
>prehistoric time. However, knowing
>how difficult it is to get reliable
>information about the diet of
>individuals living to-day, it seems a
>little absurd to guess what kind of
>food people ate 10,000 or more years
>ago, in particular which kind of
>fatty acids. And even if we knew, so
>what? Can we deduct anything about
>the influence of this diet on these
>peoples health, of which we know even
>less? Isn't it a subject much better
>suitable for a cosy after-dinner
>chat, than for creating scientific
>hypotheses?

I think it is worth discussing the dietary context of our evolution, but I agree that it is much more useful to rely on direct observation.

Chris

Chris Masterjohn - January 13, 2007 10:05 PM

Ok, I looked at the article Gerald linked to, and there is no citation for the study they are discussing within the article. They don't even say what journal it was published in. I tried searching pubmed for the author's name and various keywords but can't find it.

Could someone post the citation for or a link to this study?

Chris

row - January 14, 2007 2:26 PM

Chris
I believe this is the link you are looking for.
http://www.arcticnet-ulaval.ca/pdf/talks2006/dewailly_eric.pdf

Here is DR Eric Dewailly conclusion copied from that paper.
Some prelminary conclusion
• CVD classical risk factors including diabetes are
still low compared to other aboriginal groups.
• Obesity has increased particularly abdominal
obesity among women
• Transfats are high among young adults
• Atherosclerosis is present but moderate,
inflammation too. Electrical protection by omega-
3?
-------

The comment on drying meat was found in a discussion on Uffe Ravnskov website, they were talking about the Masi, here is the link to the discussion
http://www.thincs.org/discuss.cordainagain.htm#Leib
Could this be why the Masi cholesterol levels were so low under 135. Dr. Fuhrman has stated that getting total cholesterol below 150 greatly lowers your chance of getting heart disease.

>We haven't had any cold days around here this winter, but I suppose that's because of all of the bovine flatulence I'm promoting with my meat-laden diet.

I really meant it, the bowl of soup sounded good. There was no hidden meaning, and none intended. I would just like mine without the butter. But since you brought it up, there could be some truth in the comment you made about bovine flatulence and global warming. You might not be interested in reading it but others will.
http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2006nl/dec/061200.htm
---------
In your paper, from your web site: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Vegetarianism.html
You stated the vegan diet didn't work for you and will lead you poor health. At least it did in your case.
I wish you would read “eat to live,? if you haven’t looked at it already. It is different than what all other low fatVegan Dr’s. recommend.

I personally know plenty of people, eating the way Dr.Fuhrman recommends, that are doing great. Some of these people have been eating a Vegan diet for over 35 years. I don’t know what went wrong when you tried, but it does work for lots of people I know. Can you least concede that
[Proper cleaning of the teeth is very important, yes I have read Weston Price’s book. Do you personally know people that have no dental problems and don’t clean their teeth. There may be an exceptions , I haven’t met one.]
You said you read John Robbins books, A vegan diet seems to be working for him. As I stated before on this web site before he is in excellent physical condition. At 60 he looks very healthy. He is lean and very strong, at 160 lbs he can bench press his weight 18 times and bench press 260 once, maybe more know. He is also a good long distance runner.
As always looking forward to your polite response.Thankyou

Chris Masterjohn - January 14, 2007 6:03 PM

Row,

>I believe this is the link you are
>looking for.
>http://www.arcticnet-ulaval.ca/pdf/talks2006/dewailly_eric.pdf

Thanks, but this looks like a slide presentation, is mostly pictures, has some data, and no text. It seemed from the article that they'd done a study that presumably was published as a sicentific paper somewhere?

>Here is DR Eric Dewailly conclusion
>copied from that paper.
>Some prelminary conclusion
>CVD classical risk factors including
>diabetes are
>still low compared to other
>aboriginal groups.
>• Obesity has increased
>particularly abdominal
>obesity among women
>• Transfats are high among young
>adults
>• Atherosclerosis is present but
>moderate,
>inflammation too. Electrical
>protection by omega-
>3?

It looks, then, like there's no information on Inuit eating their primitive diet from this paper. And it is, then, worthless for giving us any information about the health and disease associated with the diet of the primitive Inuit.


>The comment on drying meat was found
>in a discussion on Uffe Ravnskov
>website, they were talking about the
>Masi, here is the link to the
>discussion
>gain.htm#Leib">http://www.thincs.org/discuss.cordaina>gain.htm#Leib

This is the strangest hypothesis I've seen on the issue. First, cooking meat generates oxysterols:

==========
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=9688174&query_hl=6&itool=pubmed_docsum

Oxysterols were detected within the 0.1-0.5 microg/g range in raw meat. Cooking increased the oxysterol content of the meat, and levels as high as 5 microg/g muscle tissue were observed.
============

Second, although I have not personally investigated it, someone has sent me several abstracts indicating that dietary oxysterols are more atherogenic in animals than dietary cholesterol. I have no idea what merit it has, but the hypothesis put forward by this person, which seems somewhat more reasonable to me, is that the cooking of cholesterol-containing foods renders them atherogenic.

>Could this be why the Masi
>cholesterol levels were so low under
>135.

I suspect the reason their cholesterol levels were so low was because their diets were nutrient-dense (their animal products were grass-fed, for example, which increases the nutrient-density of animal foods by a factor of 5 for many antioxidants and other nutrients), they exercised, and I bet the polyphenols in the tree bark teas they consumed had a cholesterol-lowering effect.

And finally, they did not live modern lifestyles. Stress raises cholesterol levels, and the socioeconomic framework of Western industrial society is probably by far the most unnaturally stressful life on the planet.

>Dr. Fuhrman has stated that getting
>total cholesterol below 150 greatly
>lowers your chance of getting heart
>disease.

I've read that noone under 150 in the Framingham Study has had a heart disease mortality. I have read so much completely conflicting information about the Framingham Study that I intend to read the literature on it myself when I have the chance.

>I really meant it, the bowl of soup
>sounded good. There was no hidden
>meaning, and none intended.

I didn't take there to be any.

>I would just like mine without the
>butter.

I had some without butter today, though with butter on my toast. It tastes somewhat better with the better, but also good without. Lentils go very well with broth made from cow bones also.

> But since you brought it up, there
>could be some truth in the comment
>you made about bovine flatulence and
>global warming. You might not be
>interested in reading it but others
>will.
>http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2006nl
/dec/061200.htm

I scanned it, and will maybe read it in full later. His statistics are not presented corerctly. The impact on global warming isn't determined by the relative warming effects of nitrous oxide and methane compared to CO2, but must be multiplied by their relative proportions in the atmosphere to yield their total contribution to warming. I have sent a couple emails to climate scientists inquiring their opinions on this issue but haven't heard back yet.

Mae-Wan Ho has presented a model for a so-called "zero entropy" farming model that uses animal foods but harnesses the methane for use as a fuel, while simultaneously abolishing its contribution to the greenhouse effect. It's quite an interesting idea.

>In your paper, from your web site:
>http://www.cholesterol-and-
health.com/Vegetarianism.html
>You stated the vegan diet didn't work
>for you and will lead you poor
>health. At least it did in your case.
>I wish you would read “eat to
>live,? if you haven’t looked at
>it already. It is different than what
>all other low fatVegan Dr’s.
>recommend.

I'm currently reading it and am on page 142.

I haven't gotten to his meal plan yet, but I think this is probably by far the best vegetarian diet plan that exists because of his emphasis on nutrient-density.

Nevertheless, I've encountered several major flaws in it, largely produced by his over-reliance on epidemiological data at the expense of experimental evidence, and, for lack of a better term, nutritional anthropological evidence. By the latter I mean the examination of people without a particular disease, which reveals, for example, quite a number of groups on indigenous diets high in saturated fat without heart disease.

By far his biggest mistake is his opposition to saturated fat. Chocolate is loaded with saturated fat, but lowers blood pressure.

As noted in my defense of saturated fat on the Dietary Advice and Electric Engineers thread linked to above, virgin coconut oil lowers LDL compared to non-virgin coconut oil and peanut oil, and its polyphenols are powerfully protective of the oxidation of LDL.

As noted in the same thread, when rats are fed high-fat diets on coconut oil or corn oil, the latter have double the lipid peroxides, half the aerobic capacity, and 42% lower glycogen stores in their hearts.

Because of his opposition to saturated fat, he singles out cheese as the worst of all animal products, despite the fact that hard cheese is the third best source of vitamin K2, having 10 times more of it than meat, which prevents arterial calcification and is hard to come by in the diet.

Because of his opposition to saturated fat, he comes down on coconut oil and palm oil, the latter of which is the best vegetarian source of vitamin A (because carotenes are not converted efficiently in a fibrous matrix and are largely excreted, but palm oil contains them in an oily matrix), contains 12 times the vitamin E-to-polyunsaturated fat ratio of vegetable oils, and is shown to be anti-atherogenic in primates:

=============
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=12492629&query_hl=11&itool=pubmed_docsum
==============

I have a paper from 1981 asserting that heart disease is very rare on the islands of Pukapuka and Tokelau, where 63% and 34% of energy, respectively, comes from coconuts, which have the vast majority of thier calories from saturated fat. However, they didn't seem to have very hard positive data on their cardiovascular health beyond the apparent absence of reported heart disease, except ECG readings which demonstrated healthy cardiovascular systems.

Prior, IA, Davidson F, Salmond, CE, Czochanska Z. Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesia atolls: a natural experiment: the Pukapuka and Tokelau Island studies. Am J Clin Nutr 1981; 34: 1552-1561.

I have some other quibbles, as well. One that comes to mind is his analysis of beta-carotene and lung cancer. He suggests beta-carotene supplements increased risk by interfering with other carotenoids. That is not how they increase the risk of lung cancer. Tufts University has a whole laboratory dedicated to studying the carcinogenicity of oxidized derivatives of carotenoids. Animal experiments show that at 6 mg (just under what Fuhrman's diet provides), beta-carotene is protective, but at 30 mg (which you'd need supplements to obtain), the carotenes are oxidized in the cell into compounds that stimulate the CYP450 enzymes (just like dioxin does), which degrade retinoic acid (the acitvated form of vitamin A) and induce a vitamin A deficiency in the cell. Since retinoic acid is what suppresses the cancer genes, the deficiency results in pro-cancerous changes.

He generalizes the effect of carotenes to vitamin A on the simple basis that vitamin A was used in conjunction with carotenes in one of the trials that found an increased risk, but it was the beta-carotene, not the vitamin A, that increased cancer risk.

Retinol, true vitamin A, is an anti-carcinogen and there is considerable evidence that it protects against lung cancer.

For the most recent example, 9-cis-retinoic acid supplied in the diet (a derivative of 9-cis-retinol), reduced lung tumor incidence in mice:

===========
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17205520&query_hl=14&itool=pubmed_docsum
=============

It also completely abolished the toxicity of calcitriol, the activated derivative of vitamin D, without antagonizing the latter's ability to reduce cancer incidence.

That's a minor quibble though. My major objection, so far, is to his completely unjustified demonization of saturated fat. My second large quibble is that he presents his nutrient-density charts without addressing the issue of bioavailability at all. He doesn't adjust zinc for phytate or the other anit-nutrients in plant foods or the positive effect of animal protein on zinc absorption, for example, so he overrates the zinc status of his diet by a factor of 4 or 5. Similarly with vitamin B6 and various other nutrients.

I think by and large, however, his plan is very sensible and his emphasis on nutrient-density makes this one of the best diet plans I've seen, especially out of the vegetarian camp.

I do not think it is the ideal diet. Carotenes are not a reliable source of vitamin A for anyone when they come from vegetables. The addition of small amounts of cod liver oil (even just a half-teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil) or moderate amounts of palm oil would remedy this. Vitamin K2 is only found in animal fats and fermented plant foods. The addition of natto could compensate for this if he is so opposed to cheeses.

I'm highly skeptical of his claim that animal products must be reduced to 10% or more as it seems to largely hinge on the China Study, and, as I'm sure you know, I'm not convinced that there is "no threshold" as Campbell claims, observed in the China Study to the reduction of animal products and the protection against disease.

>I personally know plenty of people,
>eating the way Dr.Fuhrman recommends,
>that are doing great. Some of these
>people have been eating a Vegan diet
>for over 35 years. I don’t know
>what went wrong when you tried, but
>it does work for lots of people I
>know. Can you least concede that
>[Proper cleaning of the teeth is very
>important, yes I have read Weston
>Price’s book. Do you personally
>know people that have no dental
>problems and don’t clean their
>teeth. There may be an exceptions , I
>haven’t met one.]

I clean my teeth, but I think Price showed clearly that some people who did not clean their teeth also had good teeth. Obviously it will depend on the bacterial counts in your mouth, the composition of your diet, and the vulnerability of your teeth to decay. All these factors are influenced by diet, and cleaning becomes even more important if any of the others are lacking.

>You said you read John Robbins books,
>A vegan diet seems to be working for
>him. As I stated before on this web
>site before he is in excellent
>physical condition. At 60 he looks
>very healthy.

I agree and didn't realize he was 60. I'd have thought he was younger.

> He is lean and very
>strong, at 160 lbs he can bench press
>his weight 18 times and bench press
>260 once, maybe more know.

This is impressive. I was benching 280 once weighing about 160 last year, but I'm much younger and put a lot of effort into it and there is no question that someone is in excellent shape if they can achieve that.

>He is also a good long distance
>runner.
>As always looking forward to your
>polite response.

I'm sure. But I have never claimed that every person would have the same trouble with a vegetarian diet I had. In hindsight, I could have done things differently, and I've had done better on Fuhrman's plan. But there is still a considerable influence of genetics on nutrient requirements and plant foods simply do not contain many of the nutrients in animal foods making them essential for some people beyond minute quantities and for more reasons than B12.

Chris

Joel Fuhrman, MD - January 14, 2007 6:31 PM

Chris-

I see this as a silly and futile debate and posting more references will not change anything. I have already posted more than 2500 references in my books and other writings to support my dietary recommendations. The Inuit diet today or of yesteryear has resulted in a short lived population by any stretch of the imagination. If you want to believe the low average age of death (even in the statistics posted above) or any other statistics were caused by accidents go right ahead. Certainly you must admit the peak of the bell shaped curve is dismally low even for a population with an increased risk of accidental death.

I advise people on optimal nutrition with the expectation that we can expect the average person following my recommendations to live above 90. By the way, I have hundreds of patients over the last fifteen years who already had heart disease and have made complete recoveries; many of these patients are now past the age of 80 and are still going strong and are in excellent health without signs of slowing down, without high blood pressure or high cholesterol. In fact, none of them have ever had another heart attack and their blood tests and blood pressures have continued to improve as they stayed following my nutritional recommendations longer, as they got older.

If you want to eat a diet with 90 percent of calories from animal products like the Eskimo's go right ahead; that's your right. I have not lived with the Inuits or the Massai but I have read many thousands of scientific articles on nutrition in the last twenty years and my conclusions are that the preponderance of evidence is irrefutable that more green vegetables, fruits, seeds, nut and beans in the diet and less processed foods and less animal products is disease-protective (especially cancer and heart disease) and lifespan promoting. And when this high nutrient diet-style is applied to patients with severe medical conditions, (such as lupus and asthma) these conditions most often resolve. So even though I appreciate you being polite and trying to be scientific; promoting whale blubber and free range butter still places you a football field away from contributing any value to a debate on eating for maximizing lifespan and promoting lots of animal fats in a diet can be life threatening advice. I would prefer you Weston Price advocates promote that dangerous message on a different website and not mine.

Why don't you read my books, look at the nutrient density score of foods in the library at drfuhrman.com, read Healthy to 100 by John Robbins and then come back and comment on those? And if I could give you a little bit of friendly advice, I say if you want to increase your lifespan eat more green vegetables, especially the green leafy ones in your diet.

Chris Masterjohn - January 14, 2007 7:55 PM

Dr. Fuhrman,

>Why don't you read my books, look at
>the nutrient density score of foods
>in the library at drfuhrman.com, read
>Healthy to 100 by John Robbins and
>then come back and comment on those?

As stated in my last post, I'm currently on page 140 of Eat to Live.

I agree the Inuit debate is largely futile, however after making the simple observation that we did not have any good information on truly primitive Inuit, I continued to post so much because I was being engaged by another member of your site.

I would much rather you had responded to my comments on saturated fats:

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-electronic-engineers-and-dietary-advice.html

That is a much more worthwhile debate as there is a lot of interesting experimental evidence on the benefits of saturated fats.

I have seen your nutrient density score chart. I think the concept has a lot of value and I commend you for emphasizing nutrient density. However, I think your chart has some drabacks, most importantly that you do not account for bioavailability and absorption of the nutrients.

For example, mineral absorption will be affected by oxalates, phytates polyphenols and so on, B6 absorption will be dependent on the proportion that is conjugated to beta-D-glucoside, fat-soluble vitamin/pigment absorption is dependent on oily versus fibrous matrix, and so on.

I'd love to see a similar chart adjusted for these factors. Although I recognize this is a huge task to accomplish.

And I noticed liver wasn't on your chart.

>And if I could give you a little bit
>of friendly advice, I say if you want
>to increase your lifespan eat more
>green vegetables, especially the
>green leafy ones in your diet.

Thanks. Hopefully the big plateful of kale and big raw salad I just had will help in that department ;-)

Chris

Chris Masterjohn - January 14, 2007 8:13 PM

I meant to say in my last post, that I apologize if you feel that I've abused the free posting you allow on your site, although I'd observed posts from a variety of others who disagree with your approach so I assumed it was legitimate to make my own.

However, if you would like, I will abstain from posting on your site until I finish your book and Robbins' new one, and offer my comments at that point.

Anyone who wishes to do so can contact me through cholesterol-and-health.com.

Chris

Ted - January 11, 2010 2:56 AM

Chris makes pages worth of posts with many references, and thoroughly explained reasoning. Then Dr. Fuhrman responds by playing daddy, ignoring pretty much everything he wanted to discuss, using the argument from authority, referencing unverifiable anecdote from his own practice experience, mocks Chris for "trying to be scientific" and dismisses him as adding no value to the debate, and then refers him again to literature he's already read and offered specific responses to that were ignored. And then Chris politely bows out afterward!

If I, as an onlooker to this exchange, knew nothing about science or nutrition, I would certainly be more interested in researching Chris's point of view than that of Dr. Fuhrman. Confidence is best represented by curiosity and patience; being dismissive and condescending makes one's conclusions seem tenuous to those who lack the tools to evaluate them solely on the basis of science.

Graeme Reilly - January 15, 2010 4:55 AM

Chris

Great Guy,your posts are spot on.

>promoting whale blubber and free range butter still places >you a football field away from contributing any value to a >debate on eating for maximizing lifespan and promoting lots >of animal fats in a diet can be life threatening advice. I >would prefer you Weston Price advocates promote that >dangerous message on a different website and not mine.

Wow Dr. Fuhrman you might have to self prescibe some medication and get some of those good ol' fat soluble vitamins into your system.Might (will) do you good

Angela - June 8, 2010 4:17 PM

Well, if you are looking to live longer, most of the oldest people in the world are smokers. LOL Shock .. but the truth.

Also, countries with the most smokers, have the highest life expectancy rate.

is gov lying to us? Never would they do such a thing right?

Since it is so difficult to find stats about Eskimos, I think they are being covered up.

Eskimo's do live longer if you look at the following chart, which includes people from Iceland.

http://www.lcolby.com/addendum2.htm

Unfortunately, nazi like people have been taking over their culture in some places and ruining their health with pollution.

There was never a case of cancer among Eskimo's until pollution made it's way into their lives.

Also, the fish they could once eat is now poison, so I certainly don,t suggest adopting their diet, unless you want to be poisoned by mercury. Know that the gov is supressing research about it and making research workers change the results of their studies about mercury toxicity.

so, DO NOT EAT FISH .. unless you can test the levels of mercury in it on your own.

I smoke cigarettes and take cod liver oil capsules (mercury doesn't stick to the oil)

Now, I'll come back before dying to let you know how it went :D

oh and Cannabis oils is proven to cure cancer. The worl upside down.

Kristin - November 22, 2010 2:55 PM

I was looking for information on a particular subject about the Inuit's dietary fat intake and the effect on toxin buildup in their body. I found your blog and am quite entertained by your debate. While I have yet to read through most of it, but I plan to, I just wanted to make a brief comment.

First let me just say that I am just an amateur researcher doing personal research so I don't intend to offer up professional advice, just perhaps some insight and offer another angle for contemplation.

In my own research pursuits, what I have come to know about Price's research was that he found an intake of sat fat that varied amongst populations. He found a range of 30% to 80% intake based on latitude. So, yes Inuit people lived well off of a high fat diet and other people living at similar latitudes I would assume would likely show a similar pattern. However, if one were to eat that much sat fat but live in the tropics they would likely suffer from ill health, hence a 30% sat fat intake.

What I think his research highlighted well was that different geographies presented different nutritional needs and offered appropriate foods to maintain healthy populations.

Sometimes I think that we are overly concerned about finding one appropriate diet that can fit all people. What his research shows (and I know there is at least one other person who advocates for eating for ones geographical local, if not others) is that where we live offers particular challenges for our bodies and for our nutritional needs. If we ate foods that were native to our place (perhaps native to our ancestry or to our current local) then we could, theoretically, naturally achieve health.

Now, I know this is a pretty simplistic view to take on a complicated topic as there are many, many variables involved. However, I find it to be great food for thought. Maybe you will too.

Anyhow, I look forward to reading the rest of your debate and taking from it what I will.

Knowing - December 13, 2010 10:08 AM

This post is perhaps a bit late compared to any other post commented on this website.

I'm from norway and i just have to apologise for my problems with grammar that you might notice during this comment


I respect the post of all professionals of this field, and do not point out that my arguments are based on any solid ground work.
Even though I have no education in health what so ever.
I find almost everything interesting i almost everything from as smal as a atom to the size of te universe. Health is also a important aspect that im interested in so I thought I would just point to other aspects which is not included or considdered in this discussion.


I would perhaps be pointed out as a guy not worthy of the respect as any other posters here, but I will take a shoot at maybe broadening the weiw and perhaps point to ancient peopeles and the diffrences between them and our modern sosiety - based on factory produced neutritions(or treated atlest in one way).

When i form a conclution or a hypotesis i useally start from the beginning and picture diffrent senarios.
I think that the history from the past tells us more than we think when it comes to a being's metabolism.

I think we must look at what we are geneticaly engenierd for. And think of what type of animal we are like. Humans has a aspect of many other mammals. We have our eyes pointed forward just like any other mammal predator (just keep that in mind)
We also have to see at our evolutionary history. If you think of it that we haven't changed much over the last 160 000. Consept of humans haven't changed much. Our bodies have adapted along with food and to the point where the evolution of our species almost stops, with just minor changees over many thousends of years. That indicates a species that thrives. And that creates the base for what a species survives on and our body gradually adapts to that way of liveing.
Since i think that the technology of creating fire haven't been since the raise of homosapiens, our meals was based in raw food. Raw flesh, most fat from animals, eggs, mayby raw plants and fruits(most likely).
I would think this means a healthy diet at least of what our body first were adapting to.

I would point out that humans has lived on hunting and un refined productes in 95% of the time since our exsistance. Perhaps even befour our species was under the definiton "homo sapiens" we lived on raw material.

I point out also that the the medical history of a people is also important to look upon when makeing a conclution of anything. The studies of isolated groups from the outside world -modernisation should be studied more. How much of their diet is raw or coocked ect.
I think much remains to make an detailed analasys and we sure still have much to learn about the muman body, aperently.

I would say that the only reason for health problems is all the industry produced product that goes too many processes too ever reach the customer in a fresh state.

To understand something you need spesific knowledge about a subject and knowing the outcome of something when change occours - a variable in a equation.
But in the chase of food, its very hard to predict a outcome very presise.
I think that the most valuable food is the food we have been eating for ages- raw or fresh food of any kind.


The moderinsation(industrial products)and treated productes with to high heat and preasure. The same goes for refineing a product to extract it enzymes ruins the quaility. - in simple terms would be like like changeing the fuel of your petrol engine to diesel. Sure minor changes, but can have significant outcome, and even more so to a biological being.
The diffrence is that the biological can being can live with it, but it is not healthy - given enough time(generations) the biological can adapt to that as its natural requiremt which the petrol engine cannot.

The reason why im interesting in almost everything is that it is all connected and i like to take other aspects into considderation which maybe others haven't thought of or just wouldn't se any connection or relation between to subjects at all.

I think that the health of a human being is not sorely based on neutrition needs and postive effect of food, but also the main thing that makes us human- our brain.

"Placebo effect" is a unigue consept that only exsist for beings with the awareness that they exsist.
Demonstrating that the human body unige quility of repairing it shlef(staying healthy) if the mind is Set to the task- same thing that comes with goals, and expectaion of how your life should be. If not a hope of that exsist- your brain won't work properly.

I love argueing and discussions, so for fun sake i just wrote senario to think of maybe the effects of the brain might be.

Lets say that not treating a product with heat would make it 50% more healthier than when it was cooked, i would still eat the cooked meat because it tastes better than the raw meat. Trigering a happy or a good feeling instead of eating the raw meat even though that i knew it was 50% more unhealthy than the cooked meat.

To live a long life, all of yor body must be healthy, that inclues that your brain( healthy brain = happy). In general the feeling you have a good life also plays a importent part, hormoenes and chemical compounds controls everything that happends in your body, and affects the result of everything that is done in the body.

If you are depresed in large periods any way the brain is in a unhealthy condition - your brain is releasing perhaps hormones and chemicals in not seficient quanteties and other hormones and chemical can be damegeing to health over a long period of time, a healthy diet wont do the extra help because the brain is not function 100%.
This is a un predictcal subject- but im sure there a important aspect when you should you are disquesting health. Its not enough to survive - you must have a reason to live.

The birden of a human being- being aware that your liveing, unlike the most species of the planet in any form. Much of humans age can also be related to how your doing in life. But you cant base it only of that, this is just another variable to a healthy diet + keeping in shape.

dan - January 7, 2011 6:29 PM

Since this is an old post, I don't wanna waste any time typing so i'm going to do a test post. thanks

Jon - June 14, 2011 4:24 AM

"Low incidence of cardiovascular disease among the Inuit--what is the evidence?" (2003)

"FINDINGS: The evidence for a low mortality from IHD among the Inuit is fragile and rests on unreliable mortality statistics. Mortality from stroke, however, is higher among the Inuit than among other western populations"

http://www.mendeley.com/research/low-incidence-cardiovascular-disease-among-inuitwhat-evidence/

Erin - July 18, 2011 12:53 AM

I've gone back and forth on the china study thing to the wapf thing, trying to decide which was actually right. We went mostly vegetarian, dropped all dairy, greensmoothie every day, that kind of thing and still my kids had digestive issues. Then I learned about GAPS, which is along the lines of WAPF. People are being cured of Autism! Cured of Heart Disease? That's nothin! Cured from Autism... it's too good to be true, isn't it? Please, everyone, look it up. To me, that's the evidence of true nutrition.

adamas - December 2, 2011 5:43 PM

I realize I am ressurecting a dead forum with a post many years later. However: to those that find this in 2011 and beyond as I have: I encourage you google Chris Masterjohn, as his connections to the Weston Price foundation are Most Illuminating. I always enjoy what he has to say, as I know precisely where his biases happen to be, and the ideological basis of his remarks. That being said I disagree with him, and through my career in Public Health have Never found sufficient scientific evidence to support the high protein diet crowd. Even the USDA and HHS in their Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 clearly state the Overwhelming evidence for the superiority of vegetarian diets. This from the branch of our government that is practically run by Meat and Dairy industry interests. There is a lot off information out there, if you keep digging and check the sources, eventually you will find the answers you are looking for.
P.S. some food for thought: check out the rates of stroke for Inuits; they are quite high... then look at what causes strokes: it is the same thing that causes heart attacks (a detached plaque clogging a small artery). For the plaque to make it to the brain usually requires high blood pressure (hypertension) another factor high in Inuits.

daniel - January 13, 2012 9:15 PM

hey ya'll, check out the new movie "forks over knives" for some informative info on this topic. I came up with this query for them because of the traditional diet but I guess it is hard to tell these things as they don't eat an all traditional diet very much these days as alleged and I do believe it to be true. Happy searching, and may we all find what we are so obviously searching for, KNOWLEDGE.

William - April 10, 2012 7:32 PM

Hi,
I know that this is an old thread, but I have to say, I can't believe that no one put any emphasis on the freezing cold conditions for reducing life expectancy.
These people, with traditional clothing, would have had metabolisms racing to keep them warm. Since the only proven method to reduce the rate of ageing is to slow the metabolism (and it has a very dramatic effect) doesn't it indicate something to you about why the Inuits might not be outliving other people?
Besides which, as has been pointed out, life expectancy statistics are utterly meaningless unless put into context. If the Somalians only have a life expectancy of thirty, that doesn't mean that, all things being equal, they would die of old age after thirty years.
Cheers
Cheers

Dr. Fuhrman's Executive Offices
4 Walter E. Foran Blvd.
Suite 408
Flemington, NJ 08822