The hunter gatherer’s of the new world of Africa, the Americas, Australasia and the Islands of the Pacific were invaded by the European Colonial nations and this history is extensively documented, but has areas of biological inadequacy. This invasion was by Europeans at the end of the Neolithic Period and by individuals who were conceived, gestated, birthed and grown with the same type Neolithic nutrition largely. These were short, malnourished, urbanized and frequently sickly individuals, who had survived in cold inadequate shelter, no sanitation or clean water and often labouring in a factory, where life expectancy was 20-25 years!
A NZ Maori Chief described them as pale, short, thin, bent, sickly white men! The hunter gatherer peoples of the New World, varied in phenotype whether tall or short but in comparison were more active, muscular , physically strong , lean and no evidence of OWOB. Their nutrition and life practice was pre Neolithic. In retrospect they would today be considered ‘healthy’.Those Indigenous hunter gatherer groups remaining in the 20th century that were studied, confirmed their wellness, absence of degenerative disease and phenotypy. Their life practices and nutrition was analysed and compared with the nutrition introduced and maintained by the colonists. There were distinct differences. There was no seed flour or sugar and so the carbohydrate load was much less and less ‘available’,because it was part of the extensive number of fibrous items housing it. The behaviour of the pancreas and insulin and thus the metabolism of carbohydrate in this instance, was different some what and had a different time scale. This meant glucose and insulin levels were more appropriate to need and there was very limited parking of glucose as fat, rarely insulin resistance or the production of small dense LDL from triglycerides. It was near impossible to ‘overdose’ on carbohydrate then.
The hunter gatherer groups studied, showed no evidence of the degenerative diseases such as coronary heart disease or their risk factors. Investigators before their time demonstrated this such as Campbell in South Africa, Lindebergh in the Kativa Study, Prior, Hunter in the TIMS and Denton Price in a variety of Indigenous groups. Mann showed the Kung in Africa, essentially carnivores, had none of our diseases. Colonial physicians and surgeons documented the absence of all common European diseases including appendicitis, bowel diseases, cancers, gall bladder disease amongst the range of Indigenous populations. When European nutrition was adopted, the ‘diseases’ appeared and were documented commonly in the medical literature. The nutrition change was essentially carbohydrate in its common form and products. It was supplied as ‘rations’ by ‘caring’ government and religious agents. Wheat flour, sugar, water and matches commenced the metabolic and biochemical changes of the degenerative diseases, as it had at the Neolithic time. In Central US Maize arrived 6-7 hundred years ago, which changed the phenotype, height and skeletal anatomy of the Indigenous Americans.The conversion from the New World hunter gatherer by assimilation was a deadly experience.
Indigenous life practices and nutrition changed quickly and dramatically. It was another Neolithic revolution for all the New World Indigenous populations. One difference was we were able to document it, but as yet not explain adequately why it arose. The Indigenous populations have undergone this change over several hundred years, the Europeans, 5-12,000 years! Because of the prevalence of the degenerative diseases, coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes amongst the Indigenous and the premature death they experienced, support for the concept that they were ‘susceptible’ to these diseases, that there was a ‘genetic’ basis to them, circulated. The mortality impact of the common infectious diseases supported this concept. In the Americas, Australia, NZ and others, a concept arose that, diabetes was an Indigenous disease.
By the early 1960’s there was very adequate evidence of an association between current excess consumption of carbohydrate, obesity, diabetes, CHD and an increasing number of other diseases. But an acceptable scientific study had not been completed to show evidence of cause and effect until the faulty 7 Countries Study headed by Keys. Inspite of Key’s dogma and support, the weight of evidence amongst the medical fraternity at that time was at best ‘luke-warm’, indifferent, or needing better evidence. The faulty US fat data had not been recognized at this stage and non-medical pressure groups associated with Agriculture, and sugar with the processed food industry, arguably the drug industry, seemed to have the ear of government. The McGovern Committee, commissioned to asses the US nutrition status, supported the concept that saturated fat and cholesterol were best avoided. It led to population ‘overdosing’ on all carbohydrate and a processed food industry that obliged with a stricking increase of vegetable oils. This included the Caucasian and Indigenous peoples of the US by this time and later most of the World.They underwent an accelerated and CHO and sugar loaded Neolithic type experience.Because animal fat, saturated fat and cholesterol were deemed to be ‘poisons’ by ‘official Government Health’, alternative fats in the form of vegetable oils were treated and used in processed food, that created another ‘poison’ as pro-inflammatory PUFA’s and ‘trans fats’. Be vigilant when your Government advises it has plans to improve your health!!