Loren Cordain, S. Boyd Eaton, Anthony Sebastian, Neil Mann, Staffan Lindeberg, Bruce A. Watkins, James H. O’Keefe, Janette Brand Miller. Origins and evolution of the western diet: Health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:341-54.ABSTRACT There is growing awareness that the profound changes in the environment (e.g., in diet and other lifestyle conditions) that began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry approximately 10,000 years ago occurred too recently on an evolutionary timescale for the human genome to adjust. In conjunction with this discordance between our ancient, genetically determined biology and the nutritional, cultural and activity patterns of contemporary western populations, many of the so-called diseases of civilization have emerged. In particular, food staples and food processing procedures introduced during the Neolithic and Industrial Periods have fundamentally altered seven crucial nutritional characteristics of ancestral hominin diets: 1) glycemic load, 2) fatty acid composition, 3) macronutrient composition, 4) micronutrient density, 5) acid/base balance, 6) sodium/potassium ratio, and 7) fiber content. The evolutionary collision of our ancient genome with the nutritional qualities of recently introduced foods may underlie many of the chronic diseases of western civilization. Printable PDF version of complete article 29a. This material includes comments about the article above and a reply by Dr. Cordain and his colleagues. Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand-Miller J. Reply to SC Cunnane. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;82:483-84
ABSTRACT There is growing awareness that the profound changes in the environment (e.g., in diet and other lifestyle conditions) that began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry approximately 10,000 years ago occurred too recently on an evolutionary timescale for the human genome to adjust. In conjunction with this discordance between our ancient, genetically […]
Cordain L, Watkins BA, Florant GL, Kehler M, Rogers L, Li Y. Fatty acid analysis of wild ruminant tissues: Evolutionary implications for reducing diet-related chronic disease. Eur J Clin Nutr, 2002; 56:181-191.
ABSTRACT Consumption of wild ruminant fat represented the primary lipid source for pre-agricultural humans. Hence, the lipid composition of these animals’ tissues may provide insight into dietary requirements that offer protection from chronic disease in modern humans. We examined the lipid composition of muscle, brain, marrow and subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) from 17 elk (Cervus […]
Cordain L, Eaton SB, Brand Miller J, Lindeberg S, Jensen C. An evolutionary analysis of the etiology and pathogenesis of juvenile-onset myopia. Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica, 2002; 80:125-135.
ABSTRACT The available evidence suggests that both genes and environment play a crucial role in the development of juvenile-onset myopia. When the human visual system is examined from an evolutionary perspective, it becomes apparent that humans, living in the original environmental niche for which our species is genetically adapted (as hunter-gatherers), are either slightly hypermetropic […]
Eaton SB, Strassman BI, Nesse RM, Neel JV, Ewald PW, Williams GC, Weder AB, Eaton SB 3rd, Lindeberg S, Konner MJ, Mysterud I, Cordain L. Evolutionary health promotion. Prev Med 2002; 34:109-118.
ABSTRACT Health promotion’s promise is enormous, but its potential is, as yet, unmatched by accomplishment. Life expectancy increases track more closely with economic prosperity and sanitary engineering than with strictly medical advances. Notable achievements in the past century–the decreased incidences of epidemic infections, dental caries, and stomach cancer–are owed to virologists, dentists, and (probably) refrigeration […]
Eaton SB, Cordain L. Evolutionary Health Promotion. A consideration of common counter-arguments. Prev Med 2002; 34:119-123.
ABSTRACT The proposal that Late Paleolithic (50,000-10,000 BP) ancestral experience might serve as a model for prevention research and even, if justified by experiment, as a paradigm for health promotion recommendations is sometimes discounted, before critical assessment, because of reservations based on unjustified preconceptions. Most often such biases involve comparative life expectancy, potential genetic change […]
Cordain L, Watkins BA, Mann NJ. Fatty acid composition and energy density of foods available to African hominids: evolutionary implications for human brain development. World Rev Nutr Diet 2001, 90:144-161.
ABSTRACT: With the emergence of our own genus (Homo habilis) 2.3 million years ago, a rapid increase in hominid brain mass relative to body mass (encephalization) occurred. Because brain is more metabolically active at rest than the average body resting metabolic rate, a relative increase in the encephalization index requires that either the total metabolic […]