Dynamic Evolution and The Gut

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  • Melissa McEwen Huntgatherlove.com has put the full transcript of her talk online here
    http://huntgatherlove.com/content/ancestral-health-symposium-talk
    So although the presentation is online at http://vimeo.com/27996223 those who don't understand English may want to cut and paste a transcript of the presentation into google translate or similar and follow the talk that way.
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Dynamic Evolution and The Gut

  1. 1. Dynamic evolution and the gut Hypothesis hunting with Melissa McEwen Huntgatherlove.com
  2. 2. What is so special about the human gut???? <ul><li>Why not just eat like this nice ape, shown in the picture on the left? </li></ul><ul><li>She eats a healthy high fiber diet! Low in fat! High in leaves! Leaves are good for you!!! Your doctor says so! </li></ul>
  3. 3. Different Viewpoints
  4. 4. Statics
  5. 5. Whither The Cambrian Diet??? 52 vs. ~2.5 There’s been no biological change in humans in 40,000 or 50,000 years. Everything we call culture and civilization we’ve built with the same body and brain --Stephen J. Gould, 2000.
  6. 6. Dynamic
  7. 7. Dynamism Relatively unexplored Shift towards exogenous food processing
  8. 8. Cells in the Human Body 10 trillion
  9. 9. How important????? <ul><li>Process nutrients </li></ul><ul><li>Produce nutrients </li></ul><ul><li>Fight off infections </li></ul><ul><li>Role in nearly every disease, even diseases you might not expect </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Metabolites in heart disease </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Behavior???? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sexy fruit flies </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Seven Factors
  11. 11. Do other primate diets have relevance to human health? <ul><li>Nutritional characteristics of wild primate foods: do the diets of our closest living relatives have lessons for us? By Katherine Milton </li></ul><ul><li>The Western Lowland Gorilla Diet Has Implications for the Health of Humans and Other Hominoids by Popovich et al. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Primate Diet for Humans Revisited <ul><li>“ The western lowland gorilla , whose diet may approximate a paleolithic human diet, has been estimated to take nearly 60% of its calories through the colon ” from Case Closed?: Diverticulitis: Epidemiology and Fiber in Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology </li></ul>
  13. 15. Food Quality as Driver
  14. 16. Gut brain tradeoff
  15. 19. Funnel Shape Wide Pelvis
  16. 23. Evidence for paleolithic humans eating a high-fiber diet <ul><li>Pecos basin paleolithic hunter-gatherers </li></ul><ul><li>Caries caused by tooth wear? </li></ul><ul><li>Impairment of calcium and Vitamin D </li></ul><ul><li>Infants on macrobiotic diets </li></ul><ul><li>Upper limit to fiber consumption? </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural context! </li></ul>
  17. 25. Don’t Forget Culture
  18. 26. Uniquely Human Methods of Improving Food Quality Shift to exogenous
  19. 27. A Different Type of Culture <ul><li>Bioavailability of protein and several micronutrients </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation </li></ul><ul><li>SCFA?????????? </li></ul><ul><li>Source of symbiotic bacteria???? </li></ul><ul><li>Some fermented foods in danger of dying out </li></ul>
  20. 29. Butyric Acid Fiber vs. fiber byproducts???
  21. 30. The African Conundrum and Endogenous Sources of Butyric Acid
  22. 31. Exogenous Butyric Acid <ul><li>Fat of grazing animals </li></ul><ul><li>Ogi </li></ul><ul><li>Spoiled beer and other fermented foods </li></ul><ul><li>Crappy traditional foods from around the world?????? </li></ul>
  23. 32. Differences between primates in the microbiome??? <ul><li>Relatively unstudied </li></ul>
  24. 33. Spatial Heterogeneity <ul><li>Methane and non methane excretors- different byproducts and transit times </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity interspecies and intraspecies </li></ul>
  25. 34. Potential Sources of Human Variation <ul><li>Cooking and food prep techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Microbes in food </li></ul><ul><li>Types of fiber in food </li></ul><ul><li>Total fiber consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Maternal colonization </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual colonization???? </li></ul><ul><li>Antibiotic use </li></ul><ul><li>Genes?????? </li></ul>
  26. 37. The Seaweed Revelation Co-evolution with plants? What about the future? GMOs?
  27. 38. Using Bacteria to Track Human History
  28. 39. What is Normal??? “ Pig bel”=Clostridial necrotizing enteritis Vegetarian case
  29. 40. Human Diversity and Dynamism <ul><li>We humans are truly unique </li></ul><ul><li>And we still aren’t sure how we got this way </li></ul><ul><li>Within our population lies a biodiversity waiting to be discovered </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of biodiversity and cultural adaptations is a real issue </li></ul>
  30. 41. The Key is Balance
  31. 42. Thank you Dr. Ralph Holloway Chris Masterjohn Dr. Stephan Guyenet Dr. John Speth

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