• Modern Meat Contains Up to 10 Times More Fat Than Wild Game - Anthropologists reported that the traditional diet of paleolithic times, including wild grains, roots, beans, nuts, tubers, and fruits, as well as wild game, appeared to be protective against cancer, heart disease, and other diseases. “Differences between the dietary patterns of our remote ancestors and the patterns now prevalent in industrialized countries appear to have important implications for health, and the specific pattern of nutritional disease is a function of the stage of civilization.” Although some ancient societies ate more animal food than today, the amount and type of fat consumed was very different. Modern domesticated animals contain about eight to ten times more fat than their wild counterparts, and wild game contains over five times more polyunsaturated fat per gram than is found in domestic livestock which is highly saturated in quality. “The diet of our remote ancestors may be a reference standard for modern human nutrition and a model for defense against certain ‘diseases of civilization,’” the researchers concluded.
• Stone Age Humans and Neanderthals Ate Low-Fat Diet - Pleistocene hominids ate a predominantly low-fat diet, as did the Neanderthals. Scientists at the University of Michigan reported that fat intake of more than 20 grams a day, representing 11 percent of total caloric intake, developed only after the domestication of mammals and then only by the selective breeding of fatter animals in suitably temperate climates. In contrast, the modern diet contains 40 percent fat, an amount first reached in the 1940s.
• Hunter-Gatherers Eat Primarily Plant-Quality Food - The few Stone Age cultures remaining in the world today consume primarily vegetable-quality food. Scientists who studied 58t contemporary hunter-gatherer societies found that their diets contained from 50 to 70 percent complex carbohydrates from plant sources. Animal food comprised 25 to 30 percent of the total volume, and none of the tribes consumed milk, sugar, alcohol, or salt added at the meal.
• Paleolithic Nutrition - “Regarding susceptibility to chronic degenerative diseases, our current gene pool is hardly changed from that of Stone Age humans,” researchers at Emery University and Colorado State University report. While no studies of phytochemical intake have been made of early hominid diets, “fruits and vegetables contributed a higher proportion of total energy for Stone Agers, typically about two-thirds of their intake as compared with roughly one-fifth to our-fourth for Europeans and Americans.” The modern diet, moreover, is high in saturated fat, refined flours and sweeteners, salt, prepared and processed foods, and alcohol which contribute to chronic disease. They particularly cited dairy food as an unhealthy factor. Calling for a return to paleonutrition, the scientists conclude by quoting pioneer nutritionist Denis P. Burkitt, “Modern Western man has, in a very short period of time by evolutionary standards, deviated greatly from the biological environment to which his body has been adapted. This is the best explanation for . . . the high frequency of Western diseases within the communities that have deviated most from the lifestyle of their ancestors.”
• Japanese Foods Protect Against Pancreatic Cancer - In a study of diet related to increased rates of pancreatic cancer in Japan, researchers found that intake of meats and animal viscera increased the risk of this disease, while vegetables and traditional foods, including tofu, deep-fried tofu, tempura, and raw fish, reduced the risk. "The traditional Japanese foods, which include many plant foods, are preventive against the occurrence of pancreas cancer," the scientists concluded.
• Meat, Alcohol, and Cigarettes Raise Risk of Pancreatic Cancer - In a study of risk factors for pancreatic cancer, researchers found that mortality from this disease was associated with increased consumption of meat, the smoking of cigarettes, and alcohol intake.
• Pancreatic Cancer Patients Live Longer on a Macrobiotic Diet - In the first major scientific study of the macrobiotic approach to cancer, researchers at Tulane University reported that the 1-year survival rate among patients with pancreatic cancer was significantly higher among those who modified their diet than among those who did not (17 months versus 6 months). The one-year survival rate was 54.2 percent in the macrobiotic patients versus 10.0 percent in the controls. All comparisons were statistically significant.
• Dietary Factors Associated with Pancreatic Cancer - In a case-control study in Quebec, researchers found an increased risk of pancreatic cancer associated with high consumption of salt, smoked meat, dehydrated food, fried food, and refined sugar. Conversely, food with no preservatives or additives, raw food, and pressure-cooked food reduced the risk.
• Low-Protein Diet Benefits PD - A low-protein diet may help persons with Parkinson’s disease. Experimental stu-dies of 11 patients who had Parkinson’s disease for six to 20 years and who were put on a low protein diet resulted in reduced movement fluctuations and the less need for drugs. Foods high in protein that were avoided included all meats, egg white, gelatin, dairy food, beans and nuts, and chocolate and pastries.
• No War in Megalithic Society - A study of megalithic culture, including cave drawings and stone tools, shows no evidence of weapons of war or organized social aggression by one group against another. War also seems to be unknown in the earliest civilization. “[I]t would seem that peaceful behavior is really typical of mankind when living simple lives such as those of the food-gatherers. If that be accepted, it follows that man must somehow or other have become warlike as human culture developed. . . Not only does the Old Stone Age fail to reveal any definite signs of weapons, but the earliest of the predynastic Egyptians also evidently were peaceful. They made maces, which may or may not have been weapons, but very few of them have been found in their graves. Similarly, the first settlements at Susa and Anau have yielded evidence that the people were peaceful.”
• No Violent Deaths in Ancient Southeast Asian Culture - In northeastern Thailand, archaeologists have recently found evidence of a bronze-age culture much older than that of the Tigris and Euphrates Valley in ancient Mesopotamia, which has been believed until recently to be the cradle of civilization.
By 3600 B.C., the Ban Chiang people, as they are known, lived in permanent villages, grew rice, wove silk for clothing, and wore bronze jewelry. According to scientists, they must have learned bronze-making much earlier because the ratio of copper to tin in their work is in the exact proportion of maximum durability that took metalworkers three thousand years to perfect in the Middle East.
Unlike later civilizations in Mesopotamia, they appear to have been entirely peaceful and did not use their advanced technology for destructive purposes. Analysis of more than one hundred skeletons unearthed found no deaths by violence, and no weapons of war have been discovered.
• Peaceful Native American Society - In the American Midwest, recent excavations at Koster, seventy miles north of St. Louis, have revealed the outlines of a prehistoric Native American culture that occupied the site peacefully for 9,500 years. The inhabitants of Koster lived on wild cereal-like seeds, water lotus, hickory nuts, deer, fish, and other wild plants and animals. They had tools for grain and vegetable processing, as well as baskets and leatherwork. By 5000 B.C., they were living in permanent wooden houses and establishing long-term villages. Until about A.D. 800, when they came into contact with highly complex Mississippian cultures and were overrun, they is no sign of invasion or violent death.
• Warfare Unknown in Primitive Societies - According to anthropologists, warfare was unknown among many primitive societies including the Andaman Islanders, the Arunta, the Eskimos, the Mission Indians, the Semang, the Todas, the Western Shoshoni, the Yahgan, and the Australian Aborigines.
• Wise Bread Unifies Christians and Muslims in Beirut - In 1975 Susana Sarué left the Sorbonne in Paris where she was completing her doctorate in nutrition to travel to the Middle East to care for Rema Cheblis, a young Lebanese girl with a fatal brain tumor. The girl’s condition improved on a macrobiotic diet, but one day she glimpsed herself in a mirror and saw for the first time that she had no hair and that one eye socket was empty where the tumor pressed against it. She lost the will to live, stopped eating, and passed away peacefully.
Rema’s parents asked Susana to stay and help restore peace between waring Christians and Moslems in Beirut, as well as Palestinian refugees caught in the fighting, and Israeli soldiers and officials. Susana investigated and found that there used to be a whole grain bread in Lebanon called Wise Bread because it gave wisdom, or nourishment, but for many years the bread had been made entirely with white flour.
This flat bread composed about two-thirds of the daily diet. With donations, they opened a small bakery and brought the bread to the homes of families who had a lot of children and who didn’t have any work. Gradually people learned how to make the bread themselves. Later, a natural foods cooperative was set up and made grains, beans, miso, soy sauce, and other healthy foods available.
• Organic Foods Have Less Pesticide Residue - Organic foods are purer than conventional crops, according to a study conducted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. In a study of 170 samples of produce, 55 from organically certified farms, 49 from pending certified farms, and 66 from conventional farms, seven detected levels of pesticides. Six were from the conventional farms, and drift was suspected as the cause of the one from the organic farm. "The amount and concentration of pesticides detected in organic produce is significantly lower than for conventional produce."
• Herbicide-Treated Yards Increase Risk of Cancer - Children who live in families whose yards are treated with herbicides and insecticides are four times more likely to get cancer than others, according to researchers.
• EPA Supports Organic Food - For the first time, the U.S. Government distributed a brochure in supermarkets encouraging consumers concerned about pesticides to eat organically grown food. In the brochure, "Pesticides on Food," the Environmental Protection Agency said that pesticide residue in foods could be reduced by washing, peeling, trimming, and cooking but that if consumers were still concerned they should "consider buying food that says 'certified organic'—food certified by a public or private certification agency to have been grown in an area where fewer or no man-made chemical pesticides were used."
• Toxic Products Widespread in Household and Environment - In a comprehensive review of toxins in the environment, two environmental researchers include a chapter on pesticides with a list of common pesticides used in products for home or garden that can cause acute irritation, allergic reactions, sensitization, or are carcinogenic and recommendations for nontoxic alternatives such as perma proof diatomaceous earth, safer garden fungicide, and diphenamid.
• Overdose of Pesticides in Drinking Water - In some parts of the U.S., children by age six will have consumed 130 percent of the lifetime recommended safe limit of herbicides in their drinking water.
• Holistic Approach - An authority on holistic pet care, Norman Ralston, D.V.M., a veterinarian in Dallas, has treated dogs and cats, horses and cows, and other animals with natural methods for 25 years. As former president of the Holistic Veterinarians Association, he uses macrobiotics, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, and other holistic methods. In his book, he introduces basic diet and natural care for dogs and cats as well as tells his story of growing up in Texas during the Depression, going to veterinary school, and using macrobiotics to heal himself of a tumor.
• Metabolic Effects - In a review of dietary phytoestrogens, researchers at the University of Minnesota concluded that they “play an important role in prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease.” Proposed mechanisms included estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects, regulation of cancer cell differentiation, inhibition of tyrosine kinase and DNA topoisomerase activities, suppression of angiogenesis, and antioxidant effects.”
• Phytoestrogens Protect Against Cancer - In a review of semivegetarian diets in Asia compared to the modern way of eating, researchers in Finland concluded that the phytoestrogens in soybean products, whole grains, seeds, and berries may prevent the development of cancer as well as atherosclerosis. The scientists concluded that the isoflavonoids and lignans play a strong inhibitory role in cancer development, particularly in the promotional phase of the disease, but recent evidence suggests that it also plays a role in the initiation stage of carcinogensis.
• Whole Grain Products Reduce Testosterone - In a study of 246 postmenopausal women not taking hormone replacements, researchers at the University of Wisconsin reported that the consumption of whole grain products high in phytoestrogens reduced testosterone levels.
• Dynamic Effects of Phytoestrogens - In a study measuring the phytoestrogen content of foods, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley reported that tofu, tempeh, miso, and other soy foods contained the most significant sources of isoflavones and coumarins. The scientists concluded that the isoflavones have dynamic effects depending on the endogenous estrogen levels in the body. In premenopausal women, foods high in these substances serve to mildly offset excessive estrogen intake, while in postmenopausal women they serve to enhance estrogenic activity, thereby serving to protect and promote health in both cases.
• Plant Foods Prevent Benign Growths - In a study of diet related to polyps, benign growths in the colon associated with higher cancer risk, researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland analyzed the nutritional data of 488 matched pairs of Southern Californians, 50-74 years old who had had a recent sigmoidoscopy. Researchers found that frequent consumption of grains, vegetables, fruit, and soy foods was associated with decreased polyp prevalence, especially carotenoid vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, tofu, garlic, and fruits high in vitamin C.
• Inoculation by French Fries - A genetically engineered potato that carries a vaccine against cholera has been developed, creating the possibility people could be inoculated by eating french fries. "We anticipate that this system will be very useful in economically developing areas where cholera is endemic," researcher William Langridge of Loma Linda University in California explained. He said that eating just one or two of the potatoes a week might protect against cholera, which kills 200,000 people a year. According to some health educators, cholera and other epidemics are caused by eating too many acid-producing foods such as potatoes.
• Acupressure and Ginger Beneficial for Nausea and Vomiting - In a study of alternative treatments, researchers at the department of obstetrics and gynecology and the Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research in Women’s Health at Columbia University reported that acupressure massage afforded relief to many women, while ginger and vitamin B-6 may also be beneficial. The principal acupoint, known as pericardium 6 (P6) or the Neiguan point, is located on the inside surface of the forearm, approximately three finger-breadths above the wrist. Up to 87 percent of patients experienced improvement when this point was stimulated compared to controls given sham acupressure (applied on another, random point). Meanwhile, in a double-blind study of 27 women, those given a small amount of ginger four times a day experienced a significant reduction in both the degree of nausea and the number of vomiting attacks compared to those given the placebo.
• Diet and PMS - A Canadian medical doctor asserts that PMS is largely dietary related and can be prevented or relieved with a macrobiotic diet centered on grains and vegetables.
• Dietary Approach to PMS - MIT researchers reported that women consuming a diet high in complex carbohydrates and low in protein showed “improved depression, tension, anger, confusion, sadness, fatigue, alertness, and calmness” before the onset of menstruation in comparison to women with severe PMS eating the usual diet high in refined carbohydrates and fat. Besides sweets, the women suffering from PMS consumed more calories and more snack foods. Evidence was found that they intuitively tried to generate positive moods by ingesting more carbohydrates such as bread, rolls, and pasta and avoiding foods rich in protein.
• High-Fiber, Low-Fat Diet Prevents PMS - A medical textbook on reproductive health and disorders recommends a high-fiber, low-fat diet to help prevent or reduce PMS. “Diet throughout the month, and especially during the premenstrual interval, should be high in complex carbohydrates and moderate in protein (emphasizing alternatives to red meat), but low in refined sugar and salt (sodium), with regular, small meals throughout the day.” The authors further recommended that “women should reduce or eliminate their consumption of tea, coffee, caffeine-containing beverages, chocolate, and alcohol, and stop smoking.”
• High-Protein, High-Sugar Diet Associated with Impaired Performance - In a study of 26 healthy menstruating women, researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center reported that higher carbohydrate intake, especially simple sugars, was associated with negative feelings and impaired performance or decreased activity, while lower intake of protein was associated with higher ratings of well being. Other studies have show that individuals with depressive symptoms for PMS show a preference for sweet simple sugars.
• Prenatal Factors Associated with Breast Cancer - A study of nurses' health by Harvard University researchers found that women who were heavy at birth had higher rates of breast cancer later in life. Dr. David Barker, who directs the Medical Research Council Environmental Epidemiology Unit in Southampton, England, and is author of Mothers, Babies, and Disease in Later Life, reported that he and his colleagues found a possible link between ovarian cancer and embryological development. In a study of 5585 British women, the researchers found that the women who died from ovarian cancer had higher rates of weight gain in infancy, weighing nearly a pound more on average at their first birthday, than cancer-free women. Prenatal nutrition was cited as the probable reason for the weight gain, as well as hormonal factors that continued for the rest of their life.
• Maternal Diet and Lifestyle, including EMFs, Linked to Childhood Cancers - In a study of childhood cancer, researchers in Israel reported that children of low socioeconomic groups with nutritional deficiencies are more exposed to viral infections at an early age and have a greater chance of developing Burkitt lymphoma or mixed cellularity Hodgkin disease. Maternal diet during pregnancy, especially low consumption of foods high in folic acid, was identified as a probably cause. “The hazards of exposure to electric and magnetic fields from high-voltage transmission lines, home electric appliances, video display terminals, or residence near nuclear plants, although very doubtful, are included in the list of cancer promoters in children.” In vitro fertilization also may have carcinogenic potential, the researchers concluded.
• Foods Associated with Prostate Cancer Risk - In a large-scale dietary study of nearly 8000 men in Hawaii of Japanese ancestry, researchers reported that increased consumption of rice and tofu reduced the risk of prostate cancer, while egg, ham, bacon, sausage, and other animal products, including ice cream, butter, margarine, and cheese, increased the risk.
• Soy Protects Against Prostate Cancer - Epidemiological evidence indicates that prostate disease is less prevalent in the Far East where consumption of soy foods is very high compared to the United States. In a study of the effects of genistein, a major component of soy, on benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and prostate cancer, cancer researchers in San Diego reported that genistein decreased the growth of BPH tissue and prostate cancer tissue. "The data suggest that genistein has potential as a therapeutic agent for BPH and prostate cancer," the study concluded.
• Prospective Trial Planned - Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York reported that nutritional factors, especially re-duced fat intake, soy proteins, vitamin E derivatives, and selenium-rich foods, may have a protective effect against prostate cancer. The scientists supported the Prostate Interventional Nutrition Study (PINS) to investigate the effect of 15 percent low-fat diet supplemented with soy and other nutrients in a case-control study of men with high PSA levels after prostate surgery.
• Tomato Reduces Risk for Prostate Cancer - Men who eat at least ten servings of tomato-based foods weekly are less likely to develop prostate cancer, Harvard researchers reported. A nine-year study of 47,000 men's eating habits found that those who ate spaghetti sauce and other tomato-rich foods had substantially lower risk of prostate cancer.
• Value of Low-Protein Diet and Plant Compared to Animal Protein - In laboratory studies T. Colin Campbell, professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University reported that rats on low-protein diets, less than 10 percent of calories, appeared to be protected from liver tumors caused by aflatoxin, a known carcinogen, while animals eating more than 10 percent protein developed tumors.
Plant-quality protein is more beneficial than animal-quality protein, Dr. Campbell further asserted. Animals fed plant protein had less tumors than those fed with animal protein. "Whoever decided animal protein was 'high quality' because it was more efficiently used by humans was wrong," he concluded.
• Low Protein Diet Reduces Cancer Risk - A low-protein diet can reduce the risk of cancer, according to researchers at Cornell University. In laboratory tests, rats on a low-protein diet had less tumors than rats on a moderate and a high-protein diet, their immune function improved, and they lived longer. In another study at Washington State University, the life span of mice injected in cancer cells was doubled by limiting their intake of phenylalanine and tyrosine, two amino acids that are important constituents of protein.
• Myth of Missing Protein - Until recently, modern nutrition has taught that only animal-quality protein is complete and that vegetarians are at risk for protein deficiency and must carefully combine foods at every meal (e.g., grains and beans together). Tracing the origin of this theory, nutritional researcher Paul Pitchford reports that in experiments conducted early in the 20th century, it was found that rats flourished on protein with amino acid sequences similar to eggs, cheese, and other animal products. “It was assumed then that those same patterns would be required for humans, and therefore a standard amino-acid profile was developed (for people) based on an ideal for rats. This profile has been the basis for judging the quality of all vegetable protein for many years.”
He goes on to state that the concept of missing amino acids is misleading. “One often reads that an essential amino acid is missing or low in a given food. Virtually every unrefined food from the vegetable or animal kingdom has not only all eight essential amino acids, but all 20 commonly recognized amino acids; therefore saying that they are ‘missing’ is inaccurate. ‘Low’ levels of amino acids nearly always means low compared to a standard of ‘complete’ protein based on animal products as the ideal for rats.” For example, the amino acid methionine-cystine, which is often said to be low in plant diets, is used primarily to sustain full-body hair growth in rats. “Most people’s protein requirements are satisfied by a simple vegetarian diet based on whole grains,” Pitchford concludes. “This mega-protein mania symbolizes the consciousness of a society based on continuous growth, as protein is the body’s builder.”
• Modern Nutritional Standards Based on German Soldiers - In a study of the rise of modern nutrition, Alex Jack describes how Justus von Liebig, the 19th century German chemist, was the first to classify nourishment into protein, carbohydrate, and fat. In Animal Chemistry (1846), he extolled meat as the perfect food, contrasting “savage” and “civilized” cultures and showing that “the unprofitable exertion and power, the waste of force in agriculture, in other branches of industry, in science, or in social economy, is characteristic of the savage state.” Animal protein, Liebig contended, was the “commencement and starting-point” because it served as the chief constituent of the blood and the caseine of milk. From protein developed the vital force, and its very name, proteine, derived from the Greek “I take the first rank.” Jack shows that Liebig based his standards for food consumption on experiments he conducted measuring the average daily intake of nutrients ingested and excreted from Hessian soldiers. “100 parts fresh faeces consequently contain 11.31 per cent. of carbon, very nearly the same proportion as in fresh meat!” Liebig exclaimed.
Liebig laid down principles of nutrition that “became scientific orthodoxy until well into the 20th century,” anthropologist Nick Fiddes, asserts in Meat, a social and cultural study of animal food consumption. “Liebig’s theories were accepted almost uncritically partly because of his established reputation but also because middle-class Victorian biologists were themselves great meat-eaters by choice and, like the public, were pleased to learn that a high-protein diet was scientifically approved.”
While recommended levels of protein have substantially lowered in recent years, modern nutrition is still highly influenced by Liebig’s faulty model, Fiddes concluded.
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