Monday, January 11, 2010

Update on Paleolithic Sorghum

Follow-up: professional paleolith Loren Cordain MD was asked to comment on the paleolithic sorghum paper I wrote about before. Of course he's going to say this isn't good evidence of grain consumption at that time, though that doesn't mean he's wrong.

More importantly: it's good that we're having these debates and there's still a lot that evolution can teach us about health, but because we're at the beginning of these kinds of discussions, the bottom line should always be the empirical health endpoints that we observe from people right now consuming these diets. (Hence the little experiment that I'm currently beginning, with nutrition advice from Tom C.) The reason I emphasize endpoints is that we need to remember the only reason we care about CRP, cholesterol, etc. is because we believe they're linked to quantity and quality of life through heart disease and other conditions; the blood values are all proxy indicators for real endpoints that we should be constantly poking to make sure they're meaningful. As it turns out, even CRP might not be the gold standard of inflammation we've assumed it to be, as has been recently shown by the eminent Michael Gurven et al working with (guess what) hunter-gatherers in the Bolivian Amazon.

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