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  1. I hope everyone here is doing well and having a great summer. Recently I had an episode where low blood-glucose nearly caused me a big problem. Several days ago I underwent a vasectomy (my kids are getting older now and I'm happy to end my chances of further procreation). The procedure itself went well and was relatively uneventful - I was happy to see that Dr. Greger recommends it as his preferred form of birth control. Immediately after the procedure, you are kept in a holding room to see how you are feeling and I was doing great. Smiling, laughing, chatting with the hospital staff, and so forth. My BP and HR were taken and were great (110/70 HR 60, which considering I have white coat syndrome is good). They also commented on how lean I was and I said I "must be a runner." Which is somewhat true, but not anywhere to the extent to which I actually am. My leanness is probably 80% due to diet, not exercise. They come to offer me some juice and cookies and inform me that people routinely faint from this procedure. I kindly inform them that I don't consume processed food. The doctor says, "at least drink the juice - I've seen too many people faint from this." So I drink about 200ml of juice and don't touch the cookies. Feeling great, my wife drives me home, I sit on the couch, and proceed to faint! Fortunately, she was there to catch me bring me some orange juice and a big bowl of dates and instant oatmeal. I actually lost consciousness for 30-60 seconds according to her. While I follow a low glucose lifestyle with post-prandial exercise after most meals, this may have been a time when low glucose was a bad idea. If I fainted, fell and hurt myself, the outcome could have been much worse. Just thought I would share my experience here! It reminds me of how Dr. McDougall fell this past year and was injured after contracting a viral illness. Medical instances may be a time for forgetting about low glucose!
  2. All, Dr. Greger has an interesting video out today on "Paleo-Poop", discussing the evidence from fossilized human feces that our ancestors ate a very high fiber diet, > 100g of fiber per day vs. < 20g for most people today eating a standard American diet. This wasn't particularly new news to me, or to anyone reading this I suspect. But what I found most interesting about the video was at 2:30, where he discusses what was the likely source of all that fiber. In particular, whether ancestral humans were folivores (foliage / vegetable eaters), frugivores (fruit eaters) or faunivores (meat eaters). Its pretty clear from lots of evidence that we're not primarily meat eaters, and it has only been relatively recently in our evolutionary heritage that meat and other animal products became a large part of our diet. So we can knock faunivores out of the running - at least when considering deep evolutionary time. What was most interesting was the distinction between the other two categories - folivores vs. frugivores. The evidence he shows in the video is from [1], and it is a plot of organism body size (x-axis) vs. density of gut mucosa (y-axis). Apparently the three categories (folivores, frugivores and faunivores) fall into distinct clusters. Here is the graph, with the range at which humans fall as the intersection of the horizontal and vertical lines with the label "Homo Sapiens": As you can see, humans of today fall squarely in the cluster of frugivores, which the authors interpret to indicate that our distant ancestors were primarily fruit eaters. Obviously we're omnivorous now, and have been for quite a while, especially since we expanded out of Africa into environments where fruit isn't readily available in large quantities or year-round, and since we develop cooking and other processing techniques to make meat (as well as other parts of plants) more digestible, and more palatable! But being a fruit-lover myself, I thought it interesting to know that at least our distant ancestors appear to have been heavy fruit eaters like orangutan (who apparently also love durian!), rather than folivores like gorillas. --Dean --------- [1] Claude Marcel Hladik, Patrick Pasquet. The human adaptations to meat eating: a reappraisal. Human Evolution, Springer Verlag, 2002, 17, pp.199-206. Free full text Abstract In this paper we discuss the hypothesis, proposed by some authors, that man is a habitual meat-eater. Gut measurements of primate species do not support the contention that human digestive tract is specialized for meat-eating, especially when taking into account allometric factors and their variations between folivores, frugivores and meat-eaters. The dietary status of the human species is that of an unspecialized frugivore, having a flexible diet that includes seeds and meat (omnivorous diet). Throughout the various time periods, our human ancestors could have mostly consumed either vegetable, or large amounts of animal matter (with fat and/or carbohydrate as a supplement), depending on the availability and nutrient content of food resources. Some formerly adaptive traits (e. g. the “thrifty genotype”) could have resulted from selective pressure during transitory variations of feeding behavior linked to environmental constraints existing in the past. Key Words: meat eating, hominids, gut allometry, thrifty genotype
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