Various scholars of prehistory have given us photographs of prehistoric skulls with sets of perfect teeth in place. The degeneration in dental health that has occurred over the many centuries from the hunter-gatherer people to the current American population is truly appalling. Today, an adult with no or few dental problems is a rarity. Are there some dental-care lessons to be found in a study of prehistoric skulls? The following overview of a series of episodes from recent history suggests that the answer is “Yes.”
The plethora of The-Only-Diet Book-You-Will-Ever-Need publications widely available in sales outlets, each with its own version of the “correct” nutritional philosophy, is testimony to the confusion suffered by the general public. The reason is elegantly described by Taubes:
…600,000 articles – along with several tens of thousands of diet books are the noise generated by a dysfunctional research establishment. Because the nutrition research community has failed to establish reliable, unambiguous knowledge about the environmental triggers of obesity and diabetes, it has opened the door to a diversity of opinions on the subject, of hypotheses about cause, cure and prevention, many of which cannot be refuted by the existing evidence.
This indictment is harsh, but deserved. Witness to the fact is the massive human feeding experiment foisted on the American public decades ago. It has caused untold suffering and needless deaths from the chronic inflammatory diseases it created. This nutritional debacle was chronicled by Garry Taubes a decade ago and updated more recently by Nina Teicholz.
The importance of dietary animal fat, told in a post in Ketopia, is well understood by nutritional biochemists. The refusal of the government-nutrition cabal to renounce its longstanding proscription against animal fat and, by association, red meat, has seriously compromised the health status of its trusting citizens. This untenable situation strengthens the meaning and potential of a remarkable book that has recently appeared on the literary scene.
The metabolic energy control system of the human organism is designed to be fueled by either glucose (carbohydrates) or fatty acids (lipids).1, pp. 160 In a healthy individual, the fuel of choice is largely determined by diet composition and intake schedule. Because food intake is a batch process for most people, the availability of food in the digestive system cycles daily through full, empty, full, and so forth. Thus, for a diet in which the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids) are consistent and in reasonable proportion, it is customary for the choice of fuel to switch back and forth seamlessly between glucose and fatty acids during the day in response to the alimentation cycles.
The term “aerobic glycolysis” is confusing to biochemists because it is inherently contradictory. Aerobic refers to reactions that require oxygen, and anaerobic refers to reactions that take place without the need for oxygen. Glycolysis is a biochemical pathway that does not need or use oxygen, therefore it is anaerobic. The definitions of aerobic and anaerobic shed no light on why glycolysis is described as aerobic.
Red meat has long been an anathema to the nutrition establishment. Not being privy to the thinking of the originators of the so-called heart-healthy diet, we assumed it was because of the association of meat with its burden of saturated fat and cholesterol, two food components condemned as promoters of heart disease.
Recent biochemical research into the metabolism of the essential fatty acids seems to have uncovered a major underlying cause of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. This biochemistry tells us that this cause is the modern American diet and that simple dietary change is capable of preventing these cancers.
Finding the cause of a disease and then removing that cause is called primary disease prevention; the disease never occurs and wellness is continuously maintained. In recent years, this definition has been changed to mean preventive medical care, namely early diagnosis and treatment. This new type of prevention utilizes regular medical checkups aimed at early diagnosis. Thus, when a disease reaches the point where it can be diagnosed, the disease is managed by regular doctor visits, prescription drugs, and surgery. This is not primary prevention.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DIETARY ANIMAL FAT1
In contrast, the modern human uses two classes of food to provide energy for life functions; carbohydrates yield glucose, and fats supply fatty acids. Despite the fact that glucose serves as the usual and ready source of energy for the body, long-term sustained energy depends on fatty acids. Fatty acids are a much more efficient fuel than glucose. They contain twice the energy per unit weight and they are stored more compactly. Under normal conditions, the body uses both fuels alternately depending on time from last meal.