Sunday, 19 February 2012

Gods and Potassium

You know, although I am an atheist, I am quite willing to believe in a god/gods if I am shown some evidence.  I don't want, nor could I voluntarily, believe in 'anything'.  There needs to be a reason for me to favour the Abrahamic God over any one of the Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian gods - the latter which appear far more exotic and appealing.  And although the  Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian gods have gone the same way as a certain 'Norwegian Blue', there are still enough gods and demi gods in Hinudism alone to tease me towards that branch of faith.

Liberated from religious indoctrination (largely), in my youth, I am a 'theological blank slate' in a perfect position for a god or gods to communicate with me and recruit me accordingly.  I am still waiting.
My diet is derived from a similar standpoint.  What did our ancestors eat? We don't really know what our ancestors ate but we do have some clues (which I've posted before on Paleohacks):
 And even better, we can be sure of what our ancestors cannot have eaten.  Walk around your supermarket and any unseasonal plant based food along with just about everything in a coloured packet will qualify.

Liberated from dietary dogma I now make it the case for producers and manfacturers of food to make the case for the their goods to be included in my diet.  You see my default position is one of strength; unlike most diets, I don't have to defend what I have chosen to eliminate.  It is incumbent upon others to make the case of why I should add it in.

It is refreshing to see this kind of thinking creeping in to research.  Below is one fantastic abstract:
  • " An organism best fits the environment described by its genes, an environment that prevailed during the time period (millions of years) when evolution naturally selected the genes of its ancestors-those who survived to pass on their genes. When an organism's current environment differs from its ancestral one, the environment's mismatch with the organism's genome may result in functional disadvantages for the organism. The genetically conditioned nutritional requirements of human beings established themselves over millions of years in which ancestral hominins, living as hunter-gatherers, ate a diet markedly different from that of agriculturally dependent contemporary human beings. In that context, we sought to quantify the ancestral-contemporary dietary difference with respect to the supply of one of the body's major mineral nutrients: potassium. In 159 retrojected Stone Age diets, human potassium intake averaged 400 +/- 125 mEq/d, which exceeds current and recommended intakes by more than a factor of 4. We accounted for the transition to the relatively potassium-poor modern diet by the fact that the modern diet has substantially replaced Stone Age amounts of potassium-rich plant foods (especially fruits, leafy greens, vegetable fruits, roots, and tubers), with energy-dense nutrient-poor foods (separated fats, oils, refined sugars, and refined grains), and with potassium-poor energy-rich plant foods (especially cereal grains) introduced by agriculture (circa 10,000 years ago). Given the fundamental physiologic importance of potassium, such a large magnitude of change in potassium intake invites the consideration in human beings of whether the quantitative values of potassium-influenced physiologic phenomena (eg, blood pressure, insulin and aldosterone secretion rates, and intracellular pH) currently viewed as normal, in fact disaccord with genetically conditioned norms. We discuss the potential implications of our findings in respect to human health and disease. "
Messers. Sebastian AFrassetto LASellmeyer DEMorris RC Jr, take a bow.

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