Paleo Theory: Dietary Changes Over the Millenia and Effects on Human Health

Three Europe-based researchers have attempted to summarize what we know about dietary changes over the course of human and cultural evolution, and the effects on our health. Well worth a read if you have the time, intelligence, and interest in the paleo diet. A quote:

Perhaps the most significant aspect of the present concerns the relationship between nutrition and health. Increasingly, more and more people around the world are suffering from various diseases of civilization, from diet-related intolerances, and are suffering from malnutrition despite the wide range of food available. At least in Western countries, there are fewer and fewer people in recent decades who must perform strenuous physical labor, but they still eat as if they worked in heavy industry. In addition, the calories supplied from processed foods have a high energy density but provide hardly any fiber and micronutrients. The failure to adapt diet and caloric intake to predominantly sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise has consequences, the roots of which today often lie in childhood. Nutrition today is about its quality. Food should predictively promote health and help avoid diseases. This is why countless food trends and concepts are promoted, such as the veggie boom, the paleo diet, volumetrics, the Mediterranean diet and superfoods. Healthy living means consistently decimating or eliminating risk factors. But far too often we end up eating highly processed fast-food dishes and are addicted to sugar. However, the medical effects of our current diet in the form of CNCDs [chronic non-communicable diseases, aka diseases of civilization] are much more extensive than the most common diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, as well as caries, periodontal disease, and others. For example, the consumption of predominantly soft, highly processed food has made the teeth’s job of grinding food almost obsolete, with fatal consequences that have not really been recognized. Since we no longer abrade our teeth, like we do all other body tissues, they may be causing diseases whose causes remain unrecognized because we lack a view into the past. 


Steve Parker, M.D.

How Long Do Hunter-Gatherers Sleep?

Paleobetic diet
Probably needs 8 hours a night, if not more. And why is the light on?!

From The Lancet Neurology:

Prospective epidemiological studies in industrial societies indicate that 7 h of sleep per night in people aged 18 years or older is optimum, with higher and lower amounts of sleep predicting a shorter lifespan. Humans living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle (eg, tribal groups) sleep for 6-8 h per night, with the longest sleep durations in winter. The prevalence of insomnia in hunter-gatherer populations is low (around 2%) compared with the prevalence of insomnia in industrial societies (around 10-30%). 

Fun fact: Adult horses only sleep for 3-5 hours per day. And in a herd, there’s usually one “standing watch” for predators while the others sleep.

Steve Parker, M.D.

At Least One Neanderthal Was a Carnivore

…based on analysis of zinc isotopes in a tooth sample from the Iberian peninsula.

Click for details.

Not too many folks eat rabbit these days

Steve Parker, M.D.

Are Falling Testosterone Levels Related to Modern Lifestyles?

Ilana Mercer reminded me that testosterone levels in men have been falling for the last several decades. It’s unclear why. May be related to pollution, overweight and obesity, or decreased incidence of smoking. Not mentioned by Ilana is the dramatic drop in sperm counts.

From Ilana:

It is very possible, even likely, that the feminization of society over the past 20 to 30 years is changing males, body and mind. It is very possible that the subliminal stress involved in sublimating one’s essential nature is producing less manly men.

Consider: When they are not twerking tush with transexuals, today’s tykes are required to hack their way through page-turners like One Dad Two Dads Brown Dad Blue Dads. Boyhood today also means BB guns and “bang-bang you’re dead” are banned.

Boys are hardwired for competition; the contemporary school enforces cooperation. Boys like to stand out. But team-work obsessed, mediocre, mostly female school teachers teach them to fade into the background. Boys thrive in more disciplined, structured learning environments; the American school system is synonymous with letting it all hang out.

Sons are more likely to be raised without male mentors, since moms, in the last few decades, are more inclined to divorce (and get custody), never marry, or bear children out of wedlock. The schools have been emptied of manly men and staffed by feminists, mostly lacking in the Y chromosome. Although boys (and girls) require discipline, the rare disciplinarian risks parent-driven litigation.


Steve Parker, M.D.

Does Good Posture Prevent Back Pain?

Photo by Budgeron Bach on Pexels.com

No, according to these three credentialed experts at The Conversation. A snippet:

There is a common belief that “good” posture is important to protect the spine from damage, as well as prevent and treat back pain. Good posture is commonly defined as sitting “upright”, standing “tall and aligned”, and lifting with a squat technique and “straight back”. 

Conversely, “slump” sitting, “slouch” standing and lifting with a “round back” or stooped posture are frequently warned against. This view is widely held by people with and without back pain, as well as clinicians in both occupational health and primary care settings

Surprisingly, there is a lack of evidence for a strong relationship between “good” posture and back pain. Perceptions of “good” posture originate from a combination of social desirability and unfounded presumptions.

Click for more of my blog posts on low back pain.

Steve Parker, M.D.

How Much Coffee to Reduce Risk of Death and Cardiovascular Disease?

A pinch of salt may cut the bitterness in a cup of coffee

From the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology:

Decaffeinated, ground, and instant coffee, particularly at 2–3 cups/day, were associated with significant reductions in incident cardiovascular disease and mortality. 

“Cardiovascular disease” includes coronary artery disease (e.g., heart attacks), heart failure, and ischemic strokes.

The study was done by Australian researchers using a UK database.

Steve Parker, M.D.

COVID-19 Update: Biden Declares “Pandemic Is Over,” Mysterious Excess Deaths in Australia, Nasal Irrigation Reduces Hospitalization and Death

Dr John Campbell on mysterious excess deaths in Australia this year:

Dr Campbell must have mis-spoken when he said he recorded the video in April 2022 because he’s citing statistics generated in June 2022


From ScienceDaily:

Starting twice daily flushing of the mucus-lined nasal cavity with a mild saline solution soon after testing positive for COVID-19 can significantly reduce hospitalization and death, investigators report.

They say the technique that can be used at home by mixing a half teaspoon each of salt and baking soda in a cup of boiled or distilled water then putting it into a sinus rinse bottle is a safe, effective and inexpensive way to reduce the risk of severe illness and death from coronavirus infection that could have a vital public health impact.

Click for the scientific journal article.

The irrigation, aka lavage, was not done by simply filling a spray bottle with the saline solution and squirting it up your nose. Participants used one of two high pressure devices: NAVAGE or Neilmed Sinus Rinse. The manufacturer’s of those devices provided at least partial funding for the study.


From ZeroHedge:

About a year and a half too late to the game, Joe Biden finally admitted in a Sunday broadcast interview with 60 Minutes that the covid pandemic is over, stating:

“We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. It’s — but the pandemic is over. if you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it.”   

Apparently, in the ever teetering mind of Joe Biden the prevalence of masks was a measure of the prevalence of covid.  Of course, this all depends on where in the US or the world you have been living.  In red states, masks have been gone for around two years with the majority of people not wearing them. And despite the predictions (and fantasies) of many on the political left, conservatives were not dropping dead in the streets; far from it.  


Steve Parker, M.D.

Vax-Related Deaths Peak at Five Months Later

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

In a month, I’ll be coming up on the one year anniversary of getting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vax. I’m starting to worry less about adverse effects, not that I ever lost much sleep over it. Fortunately, I’m hearing no chatter at my hospital about requiring the boosters. Yet I don’t hear any of the vax mandators saying “we were wrong.” A relative of mine is searching for a job now and reports that the great majority of posted jobs still require the vax. Unbelievable!

The patient is wise to look away. If you watch the needle go in, it’ll hurt more.

From Steve Kirsch:

Many people assumed the vaccine kills you quickly (in the first two weeks) because that’s when people notice the association and report it to VAERS [Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in the U.S.]. This is still true; it does kill some people quickly: half of the deaths reported in VAERS are in the first few weeks.

But the key words are “reported in VAERS.” It turns out that if we don’t have that restriction but are just wondering when most of the deaths after COVID vaccination happen, the answer is different.

Thanks to a helper [whistleblower] who works at HHS [Health and Human Services in the U.S.], we can now clearly see that most of the deaths from the vaccine are happening an average of 5 months from the last dose. That is for the second dose; it may be getting shorter the more shots you get but there are arguments both ways (since there can be survivor bias). Using data from the UK, we can see more clearly that the delay time is around 23 weeks (so a bit more than 5 weeks). We’ll dive into that shortly.

This delay explains why the life insurance companies got off-the-charts all-cause mortality peaks for people under 60 in Q3 and Q4 [3rd and 4th quarters of 2021] rather than right after the shots rolled out. 

The five month delay is also consistent with death reports where people are developing new aggressive cancers that are killing them over a 4 to 6 month period. 

The 5 month death delay was also confirmed using only European data. That analysis was posted Aug 11, but I learned about it after I wrote this post.

So when you hear of a death from stroke, cardiac arrest, heart attack, cancer, and suicide that is happening around 5 months after vaccination, it could very well be a vaccine-related death.

Kirsch concludes that:

The UK data shows statistical proof of causality of deaths (p<.001): the vaccine doses track with the excess deaths 23 weeks later. Dose dependency is key to showing causality. If no one can explain this, the precautionary principle of medicine requires any ethical society to halt the vaccines now.

This graph, which is not publicly available, is from the US Social Security death master file. It compares deaths from 2021 to deaths in 2020. You simply cannot get such a rise in deaths like that unless something very deadly is affecting massive numbers of people. This explains why insurance companies all over the world were seeing massive death spikes in Q3 and Q4 of 2021. The vaccine was simply taking an average of 5 months from the most recent injection to kill people. The peak here is September 9, 2021.

In what is possibly related news, guess what’s the top killer in Alberta, Canada, at this time. “Ill-defined and unknown causes.” I’d expect that out of an undeveloped, third-world country, but not Canada. Are they trying to hide something?

Steve Parker, M.D.

Ultra-Processed Foods May Impair Cognition in Elderly

Mr Ed, the fluent horse (You won’t get this reference if you’re under 63)

An article earlier this year in the European Journal of Nutrition reported that high consumption of ultra-processed foods is linked to worse-than-average performance on one particular test of cognitive function in older U.S. adults (60+ years-old) who did not have chronic diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. The particular test was “Animal Fluency.” Never heard of it? Me either. Keep reading.

The study included 2,700 participants, average age 69. Participants were asked to recall what they ate in the prior 24 hours. Foods were “classified according to NOVA, a food classification based on the extent and purpose of industrial food processing, into four mutually exclusive groups: (1) unprocessed or minimally processed foods, (2) processed culinary ingredients, (3) processed foods, and (4) UPFs [ultra-processed foods].”

Ultra-processed foods? “…most foods described as “Frozen meals” or “Lunchables”, as well as some items described as consumed in “Restaurant fast food/pizza” or acquired at a “Vending machine” were classified as UPFs.” Furthermore, the authors write in the introduction that “UPFs, according to NOVA classification system, are industrial formulations of processed food substances (oils, fats, sugars, starch, and protein isolates) that contain little or no whole food and typically include flavourings, colourings, emulsifiers, and other cosmetic additives. UPFs are becoming dominant in diets globally and are replacing traditional diets based on unprocessed and minimally processed foods.

Of the entire study population at hand, UPFs were about half of all calories consumed but ranged from 30 to 70%.

Processed or ultra-processed?

“Cognitive performance was assessed using the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD), Word Learning test, Animal Fluency test, and the Digit Symbol Substitution test (DSST).”

The Animal Fluency test “evaluates categorical verbal fluency (executive function).” “For the Animal Fluency test, the participant is requested to name as many animals as possible within a 60-s [60 seconds, I assume] time period. Each animal corresponds to 1 point and the result is presented as the total sum of points.”

The test subjects were given two other tests of cognitive function but the investigators found no differences in performance based on ultra-processed food consumption. Here are these other two tests:

The two parts of the CERAD Word Learning test consist of (1) three consecutive learning trials, where the participant is requested to recall a list of ten unrelated words immediately after their presentation. Each word corresponds to one point, and the result is presented as a total score across the three trials (range 0–30); and (2) a delayed word recall test, performed after the two other cognitive tests. The result ranges from 0 to 10. … For the DSST, the participant is presented a single sheet of paper where they are asked to match a list of nine symbols to numbers according to a key located on the top of the page. The task had 133 numbers and the participant had 2 min to complete it. The result is shown as the total number of correct matches. For all the tests, higher scores represent better cognitive function. 

The authors conclude: “Consumption of UPF was associated with worse performance in Animal Fluency, a cognitive test that assesses language and executive function in older adults without pre-existing diseases such as CVD [cardiovascular disease] and diabetes, while no associations were observed for those with these conditions. While longitudinal studies are required to provide stronger evidence, these results suggest that decreasing UPF consumption may be a way to mitigate age-associated cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia.”

I agree these results aren’t very strong.

Steve Parker, M.D.

h/t Jan at The Low Carb Diabetic blog

Paleo Diet Reduced Risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

…according to Iranian and Brazilian researchers who studied an Iranian population. The risk reduction was an impressive 50%.

Thanks to Frontiers In Nutrition for publishing the study for free.

A Clinics In Gastroenterology article in 2019 suggested a different diet for treatment of NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).

Steve Parker, M.D.