No popular authors found.
Ads by Google:

Categories

No categories found.


Get Celiac.com's E-Newsletter




Ads by Google:



Follow / Share


  FOLLOW US:
Twitter Facebook Google Plus Pinterest RSS Podcast Email  Get Email Alerts

SHARE:

Popular Articles

No popular articles found.
Celiac.com Sponsors:

It's Not Just Me

Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Summer 2013 Issue


A paleo diet was the norm for the vast majority of human history. Image: CC--snowpea&bokchoi

Celiac.com 02/14/2017 - In 1999, Loren Cordain, the renowned professor of Exercise Physiology at Colorado State University who has since popularized the Paleodiet, published an extensive exploration of why our cultivation and consumption of cereal grains has been disastrous for the human race, resulting in many autoimmune, nutrient deficiency, and other modern diseases (1). Previously, in 1987, the famous physiologist, Jared Diamond characterized humanity's shift to agriculture as "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race" (2). A year later, medical doctor and professor of Anthropology, S. Boyd Eaton and colleagues suggested a mismatch between the human genome and our current agricultural diet/lifestyle (3). And more than a decade prior to that, gastroenterologist, Walter L. Voegtlin, M.D., self published a book apparently asserting, based on his treatments and observations of patients, that dietary avoidance of cereal grains and sugars, offset by increased consumption of meats and animal fats, is an effective treatment regimen for a variety of intestinal ailments including Crohn's disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and indigestion (4). Each of these perspectives was informed by a different but solidly scientific approach to human health. The academic field of each of these authors varied from Exercise Physiology to Physiology, to Gastroenterology, to Anthropology. Yet each of these specialist researchers arrived at the very similar conclusion that cereal grains are not healthful foods for humans. Their strident declarations to that effect leave little room for doubt. Dr. Cordain acknowledges that the roots of some of his thinking lie with Dr. Eaton and his colleagues. Nonetheless, there is a convergence here, of ideas and insights drawn from separate bodies of data and investigative approaches. While there is some overlap between these scientific disciplines, they all lead to a clear indictment of cereal grains as little more than a starvation food for humans. These scientists point to myriad signs of illness that arise more commonly when populations make the transition to eating diets dominated by grains, especially when the grains are refined and when they are combined with sugar.

One critic of this paradigm is the evolutionary biologist, Dr. Marlene Zuk of the University of California at Riverside. According to Alison George at New Scientist, Zuk asserts that the 10,000 years that humans have been cultivating and consuming cereal grains is an adequate time period for humans to evolve an adaptation to these foods (5). But surely this is a Eurocentric view. Simply because some Europeans have been cultivating and consuming cereal grains for ten or more thousands of years does not mean that the entire world's population, or even all Europeans, would or could have adapted to consuming these foods.

Let's look back to see what we currently know about our human roots and how those early humans spread all over the world. A group thought to number about 200 humans left Africa sometime between 85,000 and 70,000 years ago, during a glacial maximum that lowered worldwide sea levels by about 300 feet below current levels. The enormous glaciers of the time so depleted the oceanic barriers we see today, that these bodies of water were made navigable even with very primitive flotation devices.

The progeny of this relatively small group of early modern people multiplied and went on to parent almost all of today's non-African people of the world with some 1% to 4% of today's human, non-African genes having been derived from the Neanderthal branch of the hominid tree (6). This predominantly early modern human group's progeny would quickly find its way to Australia, the South Pacific, across Asia, to China, east to the Americas and west across India, finally arriving in Europe, where they would supplant the long-time Neanderthal residents who had survived some of Europe's harsh and inhospitable glaciations but apparently could not survive having our forebears as neighbors.

While specific paths and dates for exiting Africa, and worldwide patterns and timing of human distribution remain controversial, most experts now accept that indigenous Australians had arrived there at least 60,000 years ago (6). A similarly recent finding places people in the Americas by at least 55,000 years ago, long prior to the date at which the Bering Land Bridge was thought to be available for human movement from Siberia into the Americas (8). This newer, admittedly controversial date raises the likely possibility that people arrived in the Americas, from Asia, by boats or rafts on which they followed the shoreline east to what is now Alaska, then south of the glaciated wastelands of much of what is now Canada. (Or perhaps they arrived by some other means that we have not yet imagined.) But only a small portion of these early Americans would eat wheat, rye, oats, or barley before the last 200 years or so, especially those living on the Great American Plains, or in the frigid north, the dense jungles or places that were otherwise isolated from the encroaching wave of "immigrants" from Europe and beyond. And none of those aboriginal peoples of the Americas were eating these grains prior to 1492. The epidemics of autoimmunity and obesity that may be seen among indigenous Americans are clear reflections of their recent shift to the gastronomic wonders of foods derived from these European grains.

Further, even among Europeans, grain cultivation and consumption had not uniformly spread across most of Europe until, at most, less than half of the 10,000 years that Zuk says would be sufficient for human adaptation. In Britain, for instance, grain farming was only getting under way about 4,000 years ago, and availability of grains varied according to local geographies and economies. Also, in parts of Scandanavia, wheat bread was a rare treat until after World War II. Some Europeans are thought to have been cultivating grains for even longer than the 10,000 years ago suggested by Cordain, but the evidence is contradictory and accompanied by a range of expert opinions. Further, the health consequences of this nutritional path are consistently seen in the skeletal remains of those early farmers, many of which can now be seen reflected among indigenous peoples of the Americas, as they assimilate our grain and sugar dominated diet. Adaptation to eating grains is not a gentle, joyful process. Early farmers may have produced many more children than their hunting and gathering neighbors, but their lives were shorter, their bodies were less robust, with substantial reductions in stature, and they experienced widespread infectious diseases and ailments driven by nutritional deficiencies.

By the time grains became a cash crop for many European farmers, cereals were disproportionately consumed by affluent urbanites. Those who were large consumers of cereal grains did not include all Europeans, even where yields were prodigious. In more remote, northerly, or mountainous areas, cereal grains, or foods made from them, were likely a rare treat rather than a daily staple.

Ads by Google:

Jared Diamond points out, that in addition to "..... malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions." He goes on to argue that only with farming and the storage and accumulation of food can Kings "and other social parasites grow fat on food seized from others". He also presents evidence that farming led to inequality between men and women. Conversely, contemporary hunter-gatherers have repeatedly been shown to be quite egalitarian, both regarding gender and political leadership (9).

Roger Lewin is another critic of the health impact of European grain cultivation on humans. He points out that even in the very heart of the Fertile Crescent, where agriculture got its start, there was not a uniform adoption of farming. One agricultural center at Abu Hureyra, experienced two cycles of abandonment, one at 8,100 B.C.E., lasting about 500 years, and another at 5,000 B.C.E. These periods when agriculture at this locale was abandoned are "thought to be related to climatic change that became less and less conducive to agriculture" (10).

Lewin also harkens to Mark Nathan Cohen's collation of "physical anthropological data that appear to show increasingly poor nutritional status coincident with the beginnings of agriculture.... " (10) suggesting, again, that grains were a starvation food.

Eaton et al also approach grain cultivation from an anthropological perspective, suggesting that increased dietary protein and fats from animal/meat sources likely gave rise to increased stature of earlier humans, along with providing the necessary fatty acids for building larger brains, and allowing smaller gut sizes over the past 2.5 million years. It seems reasonable to assume that if it took our pre-historic ancestors that long to adapt to eating meats and animal fats, the very irregular adaptation period of between less than one hundred years and about 10,000 years that various world populations have been cultivating and consuming wheat, rye, barley and oats would be insufficient to allow full adaptation to eating these immune sensitizing cereal grains.

Dr. Zuk's perspective might be tempered a bit if she considers that Europeans and their descendants do not comprise the entirety of the world's populations. There are several Asian populations that are not insignificant when compared with European populations and their progeny, including the residents of China, India, Pakistan, and South-East Asia. Even among those of us who appear quite European, there may be a mixture of genes derived from peoples of any of the other five populated continents. The approximately 10,000 year maximum period since humans began to cultivate cereal grains would have little adaptive impact on populations that have only been exposed to these grains for a period of somewhere between four or five centuries and seven or eight decades, as is the case among the indigenous people of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Asia (6).

Even if all humans had been cultivating and consuming cereal grains for the 10,000 years since this practice was first begun in the Middle East, the high frequency of intestinal, autoimmune, and other diseases that can be mitigated by a gluten free diet, even among descendants of Europeans, leaves little room to doubt that Dr. Zuk's projected adaptation simply has not occurred. The current prevalence of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity identifies, at a bare minimum, between 7% and 12% of the American population that has not adapted to cereal grain consumption. While a few research projects suggest that molecular mimicry and the opioids from cereal grains contribute to autoimmunity, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardio-vascular disease, current research does not provide any clear sense of how many cases or to what degree these health conditions are driven by gluten consumption. We know that foods derived from cereal grains are often laced with refined sugar, but the insulin stimulating properties of gluten alone are such that their role in these conditions cannot, reasonably, be denied. I feel vindicated by these many experts who decry the folly in humanity's embrace of the European grains. I wonder how long it will take for this information to filter into, and be acknowledged by, those who claim that science has led them to advocate cereal grain consumption for everyone without celiac disease and, more recently, non celiac gluten sensitivity?

Sources:

  1. Cordain, Loren. Simopoulos AP (ed): Evolutionary Aspects of Nutrition and Health. Diet, Exercise, Genetics and Chronic Disease. World Rev Nutr Diet. Basel, Karger, 1999, vol 84, pp 19–73 http://thepaleodiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Cerealgrainhumanitydoublesword.pdf
  2. Jared Diamond, "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race," Discover Magazine, May 1987, pp. 64-66. http://www.ditext.com/diamond/mistake.html
  3. Eaton SB, Konner M, Shostak M. Stone agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. Am J Med. 1988 Apr;84(4):739-49.
  4. Voegtlin, Walter L. (1975). The stone age diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man. Vantage Press. ISBN 0-533-01314-3
  5. George, A. " The Paleo Diet Is a Paleo Fantasy" New Scientist. April 7, 2013. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2013/04/marlene_zuk_s_paleofantasy_book_diets_and_exercise_based_on_ancient_humans.single.html
  6. Oppenheimer, Stephen. The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa. Basic Books, NY, NY. 2004
  7. Fagan, Brian. Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans. Bloomsbury Press, New York. 2011
  8. http://www.utep.edu/leb/Pleistnm/sites/pendejocave.htm
  9. Brody, Hugh. The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers and the Shaping of the World. Douglas 7 McIntyre Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 2000
  10. Lewin, Roger. A Revolution of Ideas in Agricultural Origins. Science. vol 240, May 20, 1988

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).





Spread The Word







Related Articles



1 Response:

 
Karen
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
15 Feb 2017 5:46:33 PM PDT
TEST Driven partly by a perception among consumers that gluten-free foods are healthier than their non-gluten-free counterparts, the global gluten-free packaged food market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 6% between 2015 and 2019, according to a recent market report from Technavio....




Rate this article and leave a comment:
Rating: * Poor Excellent
Your Name *: Email (private) *:




In Celiac.com's Forum Now:

All Activity
Celiac.com Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet Forum - All Activity

Yes the first has wheat gluten in the ingredients, the second via the wheat flour. Here in the UK manufacturers HAVE to highlight gluten sources. Check the ingredients and if WHEAT, BARLEY, or RYE are mentioned *usually highlighted, italicised or underlined, then you will know there's gluten. Most of iceland's processed foods will probably be gluten filled to be honest. Any breadcrumbed or battered foods for instance. Ps, you and me both have another disease, the british one of apologising You don't need to, you're very welcome here and all of your questions are valid and understandable. It's going to get better

Hi, I am deeply sorry for posting on here again. As I am scheduled for an Endoscopy on the 9th May, I wanted to make sure that my gluten intake is being kept the same. I was wondering if the ingredients to these products contain gluten even though dextrose is in one of them? http://groceries.iceland.co.uk/iceland-32-breaded-chicken-nuggets-448g/p/52275 Chicken Breast Fillet (60%), Water, Wheat Flour, Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Dextrose, Salt, Yeast), Rapeseed Oil, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, White Pepper, Dried Sage. http://groceries.iceland.co.uk/iceland-10-breaded-chicken-burgers-550g/p/52276 Chicken Breast Fillet (60%), Water, Wheat Flour, Breadcrumbs (Wheat Flour, Dextrose, Salt, Yeast), Rapeseed Oil, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, White Pepper, Dried Sage. Thank you for all your help so far,

JMG got it down pretty much, the painful and gluten effects from eating it should clear up in a month, damage symptoms you might notice some differences as early as 2-4months but most do not noticed major improvements til about 6 months to a year. I have been gluten-free for over 3 years all my villi have healed according to the doctor on my last scope. It is very important to not cheat and avoid any kind of CC as it can set you back weeks or months. I would suggest a whole foods only diet for the first month or two, no dairy, simple stews, soups, etc. make for easy to digest and simple meals. Check out the 101 thread for some good information. PS a new combo crockpot, steamer, rice cooker combo and liners for a crock pot will be a life saver for making simple meals and easy clean ups. Quick cook microwave ware will also be handy making sure you have gluten-free cooked meals if you can not get new cookware immediately. I normally suggest cleaning out the entire house, scrubbing down knobs, handles, on the drawers, sink, fridge, cubbards etc. throw out condiment jars, checking ingredients on everything in the house including your hygiene and makeup. Putting in drawer organizers for new utensils, throwing out scratched glass, teflon, plastic, and steel cookware. Throwing out any Tupperware, and cutting boards, some utensils that can not be cleaned well. Some times you can save cast iron and stainless steel cook ware if you can run it in your ovens cleaning cycle over 600F. Gluten is a protein like blood if you can not clean a item where a CSI team will not find it give it up, it is not a germ that can be killed with disinfectant. I use freezer paper for clean prep surfaces, also makes clean up a breeze, I tend to use gloves alot also when fixing foods,

Hi Allie and welcome First off, I know 3 years was a long wait, but at 17 you've figured out celiac way before many people do. That should make a big impact on minimising its effects and helping you with the diet, so, bizarrely enough, congratulations! A lot of good advice has been brought together in this thread: Don't worry that your symptoms are bad now. As you follow the diet your body will begin healing itself and you're still very young so hopefully this will go really smoothly. Think in terms of the next 6 months rather than weeks however, recovery will likely take a little time. Eat as healthily as you can, lots of whole foods and try to avoid the gluten free processed substitutes as your digestive system needs all the help it can get at this moment. You may want to avoid dairy as well for now and think about reintroducing it later. This site has been really helpful to me and others. I hope you find it just as useful. Best of luck! ps, your increased reaction to gluten during the challenge phase was perfectly normal. Many find that reintroducing it much worse than the initial affects and take some time to get over the challenge. That's why you'll see lots of posts here urging folks to 'stay on gluten' till their testing is complete! PPS( ) Inasmuch as your post can convey emotion, your's seemed positive Stay that way! At times the diet can be a bit isolating and some friends and family may struggle to understand. I'm sure it will be difficult at times making good choices and staying vigilant when everyone around you doesn't have to think twice. Stick with it, your health is paramount and it will be worthwhile. In time your good friends will get it and those that don't aren't worth worrying about. There are great foods you can eat and if not, learn to cook them yourself

Hi! My daughter is 19 was diagnosed at age 16. It took about 12-18 month s for her to fully heal from the damage and feel "normal" again. Also because of the damage done she had reactions to dairy, so you may want to try no or minimum dairy until youre fully healed. Just a suggestion. Hope you start feeling well soon!