Food Allergies and the Paleolithic Diet; Data on strawberries, bananas, more…
This site has some data on food allergies
The incidence of Food Allergy in Australian Children
(Based on David Hill’s report, Royal Children Hospital, Melbourne)
Cow’s Milk 2%
Sesame Seed 0.42%
Cashew Nut 0.33%
Brazil Nut 0.07%
Multiple Food Allergies
Based on David Hill’s study above, between 50% and 75% of children with cow’s milk allergy (CMA) have hypersensitivity to other foods.
Incidence of adverse reactions to other foods in 100 children with CMA:
(Percentage of CMA children with other adverse reaction to foods)
Casein Hydrosylate 22%
(Reference: Bishop JM, Hill DJ et al, Natural history of cow’s milk allergy: clinical outcome. J Paediatrics 1990; 116:862)
So 18% of those with cow’s milk allergy have an allergy to bananas, that’s about 0.36% of children. Most children out grow those allergies as well.
One of the arguments made by those who support the paleolithic diet revolves around food allergies. While I support so many of the recommendations of the paleolithic diet food allergies are not necessarily the strongest evidence. They are one data point. I do think it’s significant that so many are allergic to milk.
As wikipedia says of egg allergies:
Most people who are allergic to hen’s eggs have antibodies which react to one of four proteins in the egg white: ovomucoid, ovalbumin, ovotransferrin, and lysozyme; ovomucoid, also called Gal d 1, is the most common target of immune system attack. The egg yolk contains several potential antigens: livetin, apovitillin, and vosvetin.
I found this page that explains it.
Egg – Always prized, but rarely available until domestication of fowl c. 9500 years ago in Asia. Domestic egg production arrived in Egypt c. 3500 years ago, and Greece c. 2800 years ago.
Thus food allergies to eggs are common because eggs, historically, are rare.
The same site talks about other foods
Eight foods account for over 90% of food allergies in the United States.
- Dairy– First unequivocal evidence for consumption c. 7000 years ago in Europe, although since it’s associated with modern pastoralists like theMaasai, it may be somewhat older.
- Soy– First domesticated in China c. 5000 years ago, first grown outside southeast Asia c. 2000 years ago. First grown in Europe and America in the 18th century.
- Gluten (wheat and related grains)– Grains were first domesticated in the Middle East, c. 12000 years ago…but agriculture didn’t spread beyond the Middle East until c. 5000 years ago.
- Peanut– First domesticated c. 7600 years ago in Peru. Confined to South and Central America until the 16th century, when European traders spread them around the world. (Note that the peanut is actually a legume, like the soybean.)
- Shellfish– c. 160,000 years ago, South Africa. (Link.)
- Fish– c. 160,000 years ago, South Africa. (Ibid.)
- Tree nut– All common tree nut allergies are, without exception, totrees not native to Africa(walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts), and modern humans didn’t leave Africa until c. 60,000 years ago. Allergies to native African nuts, such as kola nuts (found in Coca-Cola), and palm nuts (from which palm oil is made), are rare.
Dairy (lactose intolerance) – While approximately 5% of Europeans are lactose intolerant, the figure rises to 75% for Africans and 100% for Native Americans. (Link.) (Note, however, that butter, being essentially pure butterfat with minor impurities, is well-tolerated by everyone without frank allergy.)
It’s difficult to know which fruits you may or may not be slightly allergic to. It’s never good to have small allergic battles waged by your body, unbeknownst to you. However, as I see it fruit has a number of benefits and shouldn’t be excluded out of fear, unless sufficient data can be accumulated on any one fruit. It’s tough to make any diet or nutrition program perfect, and odds you’re going to be the tiniest bit allergic to some of the things you eat without knowing it. It’s a compromise but it’s also reality.
4 studies showing the effectiveness of the paleolithic diet
It’s not just about losing weight. It’s about getting healthier as measured a number of different ways. Take a look….
When humans started eating grains and dairy products, they got shorter and fatter & hit puberty sooner (aged faster)
The advent of agricultural marked a chaotic period for our bodies to adjust to these foreign foods. The fossil record shows a massive decrease in average height, health, and rapid increase in disease, obesity, and population for cultures that survived the transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a agricultural dependent one. Women on high grain/carbohydrate diets become mature at an earlier age than their hunter-gatherer counterparts; thereby out-breeding and out-producing hunter-gatherers.
How much liver did cave men eat?
So, a typical cow has about 200 lbs of ground beef and 13 lbs of liver.
One must assume that animals were leaner in paleolithic times, so likely the animal would have less meat.
So that means that for every 15 or maybe even 10 servings of meat, there would be one serving of liver. If one eat a pound of meat per day that means half a pound of liver per week - or two servings - which is considerably more than most eat.
Of course there are other organs as well and other meats…
Cancer, Nutrition, and trying to predict health trends
The fact is science is often years behind common sense.
In the mid-1930s, smoking was becoming so common and lung cancer so prevalent that it was often impossible to definitively discern a statistical link between the two. Researchers wondered whether the intersection of the two phenomena was causal or accidental.
You have to use your common sense to predict what science will find and discover in the future. It’s not hard. Our bodies were evolutionarily designed to eat certain foods and lo and behold we’re increasingly finding that those foods are good for us (fruits, veggies, grass fed meats + fish), and we’ll likely continue to find good things.
In contrast, we’ll probably continue to find more bad things and more problems with milk, soy and a lot of these “newer” foods that we only started eating in the last 10,000 years.
Soy is not a health food - the link to digestive problems, hormonal malfunctions, impaired blood flow, diabetes, more. Also, Asians eat less soy than you think
Soy is one of those foods we only started eating recently. In contrast to fruits and vegetables and grass fed meats and wild fish that we’ve been eating for millions of years, soy has lots of things in that are relatively foreign to our body. In general when you put foreign things in your body, the effects are negative. In contrast, evolution has made it such that we benefit from many things we are used to getting from more traditional foods. Research on soy is slowly building - we probably don’t know all the ways in which it is bad, but here is some of what we’ve already learned.
Soybeans also contain potent enzyme inhibitors. These inhibitors block uptake of trypsin and other enzymes that the body needs for protein digestion. Normal cooking does not deactivate these harmful “antinutrients,” that can cause serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and can lead to chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake.
They can produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors cause enlargement and pathological conditions of the pancreas, including cancer.
Fitzpatrick estimated that an infant exclusively fed soy formula receives the estrogenic equivalent (based on body weight) of at least five birth control pills per day. Scientists have known for years that soy-based formula can cause thyroid problems in babies.
Approximately 25 per cent of bottle-fed children in the US receive soy-based formula - a much higher percentage than in other parts of the Western world.
Red blood cell clumping
Beyond these, soybeans also contain hemagglutinin, a clot promoting substance that causes red blood cells to clump together. These clustered blood cells are unable to properly absorb oxygen for distribution to the body’s tissues, and cannot help in maintaining good cardiac health.
Thyroid issues & Diabetes
Scientists have known for years that the isoflavones in soy products can depress thyroid function and cause goiters in otherwise healthy children and adults. A combined research team of Cornell University Medical College and Long Island Community Hospital medical experts have found that children who develop Type1 diabetes are twice as likely to have been fed soy formulas as those fed all other foods This confirms concerns based on animal studies raised in the 1980’s and 1990s by Health Canada researcher Dr Fraser Scott and led to the American Academy of Pediatrics issuing their warning to pediatricians against any use of soy based formulas.
Milk Soy Protein Intolerance is commonly acknowledged and diagnosed by both pediatricians and family physicians. In the medical field the occurrence is also known as eosinophilic gastroenteritis or protein intolerance. MSPI is diagnosed through the history of an infant who displays irritable, colic-like behavior, poor growth, and abnormal stools, some of which visibly show blood. Confirmation of the diagnosis is made by a biopsy of the intestinal tissue showing an increased amount of eosinophilic cells, eroded intestinal villi, and hemorrhagic tissue. An increase in the level of eosinophilic cells may also correlate with an allergic response of the intestinal tissues due to the introduction of an allergic compound. Many physicians request that parents alter the infant’s formula, or the mother’s diet (for breastfed infants) prior to having a gastroenterologist perform an invasive biopsy, then if the symptoms diminish, or even cease, the diagnosis of MSPI is assumed.
Experts at England’s Loughborough and Oxford Universities researched the impact of soy consumption in 719 senior citizens on the Indonesian island of Java, the Daily Mail reported Saturday. Researchers determined people who ate soy at least twice a day had 20 percent less memory function that those who ate it significantly less.
Male Fertility Declines
Dr. Chavarro and colleagues studied 100 men whose partners were having trouble getting pregnant. Semen analyses showed that the men with the highest levels of soy food intake-approximately a half serving per day-had 41 million sperm per milliliter fewer than men who did not consume any soy-that’s 41 million fewer sperm per milliliter on just one-half cup of soy food per day! The researchers used a questionnaire listing 15 soy-based foods to determine soy consumption over the preceding three months.”
upset stomach, bad skin, neurological problems, and more…
consuming upwards of 100 grams of soy each day started to have deleterious effects on the men. They suffered from myriad gastrointestinal, cognitive, emotional and endocrine distress and other symptoms of consumption of toxic levels of soy. In 2008, prisoners began contacting the Weston A. Price Foundation – a not-for-profit that champions real food – detailing serious health effects of the soy-centered diet. They suffered from diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, heart palpitations, acne, insomnia, anxiety, depression and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Toxic Hexane can be used in processing soy
Hexane is a neurotoxin that is also a petroleum byproduct of gasoline refining. It is listed as a hazardous air pollutant with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The US Food and Drug Administration does not set a maximum residue level for hexane in soy food and does not require food manufacturers to test for hexane residues in their products. However, they do impose a limit of 5 parts per million (ppm) in fish protein isolate and a limit of 25 ppm in hop extract and spice resins. The investigation found 21 ppm in soy meal and more recent research has found amounts of up to 50 ppm.
More on sterility:
It’s possible that genetically modified soy is worse. Here are hamster and rat experiments that suggest just that…
From the 2nd generation of hamsters on a diet of GM soy, there were 40 pups of which 25% died, whereas the number was 52 from those hamsters on a normal hamster diet, and 78 from the hamsters on a diet of normal soy. Of Group Four, all the hamsters lost the ability to reproduce with the exception of one female. The female produced 16 pups, of which ?th died. Of the 3rd generation hamsters on GM soy (Group three), many of the animals were sterile.
In a study using hamsters and rats, Russian Dr. Irina Ermakova, carried out experiments in 2005 whereby half the babies from mother rats died from GM soy died within 3 weeks.
Mercola also picks up this study but emphasizes this point, and adds a few things:
In short, nearly the entire third generation of GM soy eaters were sterile!
In the GM soy-fed groups they also found an unusually high prevalence of an otherwise extremely rare phenomenon – hair growing inside the animals’ mouths. (You can see the images here.)
Please remember humans have MUCH longer life spans than rats and that GMO foods were only introduced in 1996. This is LESS than one generation.
For example, back in 2005, Dr. Irina Ermakova, one of the senior scientists with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than 50 percent of the babies from mother rats that were fed GM soy died within three weeks, compared to a 10 percent death rate among the controls.
Again, that’s a death rate five times higher than normal
when the GM soy was fed to the male rats, it changed the color of their testicles from pink to blue
And this reminded me of what they had studied in Italy, where they fed mice genetically modified soy and they also had changes in their testicles, including damage to the young sperm cells.
This link adds a bit more
after Ermakova’s feeding trials, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55%.
This is a big deal. Sadly the study won’t be published ‘til July so I can’t link to it.
So there really isn’t good data on all this affects humans. We really don’t know if we’ll be sterile in the first generation, if our fertility is impaired early on as is the case with rats. Here’s some fun info though, from what human studies we do have…
Soy is linked with autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism and the development of goiter and a slew of other issues which negatively affect the endocrine and reproductive systems in particular. Indeed, recent research has indicated that soy lowers sperm count and the FDA lists close to 300 studies illustrating the negative effects of soy.
Some more issues just for good measure.
Here is just a sampling of the health effects that have been linked to soy consumption: Breast cancer Brain damage Infant abnormalitiesKidney stones Immune system impairment Danger during pregnancy and nursing Soy foods contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, soyatoxin, phytates, protease inhibitors, oxalates, Soy contains goitrogens Goitrogens are substances that block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism, thereby interfering with your thyroid function. Drinking even two glasses of soymilk daily for one month provides enough of these compounds to alter your menstrual cycle. Although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy. Soy has toxic levels of aluminum and manganese - Soybeans are processed (by acid washing) in aluminum tanks, which can leach high levels of aluminum into the final soy product. Soy formula has up to 80 times higher manganese than is found in human breast milk.
Fermented soy isn’t so bad in comparison (i.e. soy sauce, miso soup, tempeh, natto), but it’s still undesirable, in that it addresses only some of the problems associated with soy.
the act of fermenting soybeans does deactivate both trypsin inhibitors and hemagglutinin, precipitation and cooking do not. Even though these enzyme inhibitors are reduced in levels within precipitated soy products like tofu, they are not altogether eliminated. Only after a long period of fermentation (as in the creation of miso or tempeh) are the phytate and “antinutrient” levels of soybeans reduced, making their nourishment available to the human digestive system. The high levels of harmful substances remaining in precipitated soy products leave their nutritional value questionable at best, and in the least, potentially harmful.”
Some claim that denizens of Asian countries love it, but that comes with caveats :
contrary to what the industry may claim soy has never been a staple in Asia. A study of the history of soy use in Asia shows that the poor used it during times of extreme food shortage, and only then the soybeans were carefully prepared (e.g. by lengthy fermentation) to destroy the soy toxins. Yes, the Asians understood soy all right!
Perhaps the best survey of what types/quantities of soy eaten in Asia comes from data from a validated, semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire that surveyed 1242 men and 3596 women who participated in an annual health check-up program in Takayama City, Japan. This survey identified that the soy products consumed were tofu (plain, fried, deep-fried, or dried), miso, fermented soybeans, soymilk, and boiled soybeans. The estimated amount of soy protein consumed from these sources was 8.00 ± 4.95 g/day for men and 6.88 ± 4.06 g/day for women (Nagata C, Takatsuka N, Kurisu Y, Shimizu H; J Nutr 1998, 128:209-13).
So if Asians don’t each much soy, you can’t really say it’s responsible for much of their good health. Asian good health is probably due to increased seafood and vegetable consumption, and it’s more likely the case that they don’t hurt themselves up with too much soy.
Some say soy is not as bad for your heart as milk is (that’s true). It’s not as bad for your heart as meat from cows that stuffed with corn, grains and other foods those cows weren’t meant to eat. That’s true too. However, that doesn’t make soy a good food choice - and it doesn’t remove the other problems associated with soy. Soy is not the only protein source, and comparing it to other, less desirable protein sources does not make it a good choice.