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6 September 2010
Apparently, all bacteria is a good bacteria. Please read this:
The Good, the “Bad” and the Ugly

8 September 2010
I do not normally blog what I eat as I am a very busy person. Sometimes I like to do it and analyze the data a little bit. Two days I ago I started one of such experiments. What I recorded is at the bottom of this page.

18 September 2010
What a vegan diet does to your body:

Some ramblings on PALEO diet

Daniel Vitalis strikes me as a charming person with an aura of tribal ancestry around him. People have the right to choose what they eat and I will never condemn others for their choices, for who am I to do it? I also think that when choosing one's diet, it is worthwhile checking the empirical data available. What's the point off going on a long-term experiment and possibly suffer irreparable consequences if these can be avoided by applying lessons learned in the past.

So, as I often do, I went for a little trip to Web of Science database to look for some papers on the topic of Eskimos longevity, which I think is very relevant to the topic at hand. First, I found a paper published in 1958, which I thought to be particularly useful as it includes very early 19th century reports on the health of the Eskimos and makes remarks on their earlier days, and we are talking here about the centuries of experience. However, since the reports also say that the diet of Northern Alaska Eskimos was predominantly cooked, I find this article not so useful in relation to the diet Daniel is experimenting with. So I went on a search for more relevant papers. Still, allow me to summarize what the mentioned paper says first.

Source: SCIENCE  Volume:127  Issue: 3288   Pages:16-19  Published: 1958  

In summary, Northern Alaska Eskimos diet had been solely carnivorous for centuries, until the arrival of a white man. There is no data available on the health of Northern Alaska Eskimos before that. Nevertheless, the earliest available data from around the time where they were still following their traditional carnivorous diet for at least 10 months of the year, suggests that Northern Alaska Eskimos look great (beautiful and athletic) when they are young, but then they age quickly and people living beyond the age of 60 are rare.

Some insightful quotes from the paper:

"Eskimo longevity in pre-white times is at best a matter of informed guessing, for "they took no care to reckon the years as they passed." But in northern Alaska their health, and other factors that bear on longevity, have been under study since 1852, and the records seem trustworthy."

"Beginning with the 1890's we have statistics resting on birth, baptism, and death certificates made by medical missionaries. Based on these formal documents is the conclusion that the longevity of northern Alaska Eskimos is greatly inferior to ours."

"These people are by no means the dwarfish race they were formerly sup- posed to be.... [They] are robust, muscular and active, inclining rather to sparseness than corpulence.... In the young the complexion is comparatively fair, presenting a remarkably healthy appearance . . . before middle life, how- ever, this, from exposure, gives place to a weather-beaten appearance, so that it is difficult to guess their ages." (the earliest known report, by Simpson, dated 1855)

"Men or women who appeared to be 60 or over were rare." (a report by Murdoch dated 1892)

“"Food is generally cooked.... Meat of all kinds is generally boiled . . . and the broth thus made is drunk.... Fish are also boiled but are often eaten raw. . . . Meat is sometimes eaten raw frozen” (1892, Murdoch)

So, do Eskimos on a carnivorous raw diet exist and is their health any different?

According to Tom Billings, the evidence has never supported the picture of Inuit/Eskimos as a totally raw culture and several quotes on Eskimo actually cooking their meat can be found at, including the references I quoted earlier. However, the list does not seem to include the Greenland Eskimos.

Dr Thomas, physician for Macmillan Arctic Expedition, reported that the Greenland Eskimo, whose diet was carnivorous and predominantly raw, did not suffer from vascular disease, renal disease, scurvy and rickets to the extend that Labrador Eskimo, whose diet was predominantly cooked. This is according to “Food enzymes, Health & Longevity”, Dr Edward Howell, page 139), and the paper by Thomas the author refers to is:

J Am Med Assoc. 1927;88(20):1559-1560.

So what about Greenland Eskimos? Well, unlike the picture painted by Howell, according to various papers, they suffer from a number of health problems too. For example, see (you can locate the abstracts by running a search for the titles at PubMed)
  • Am J Hum Genet. 2000 Jul;67(1):203-6. Epub 2000 May 16. High incidence of propionic acidemia in greenland is due to a prevalent mutation, 1540insCCC, in the gene for the beta-subunit of propionyl CoA carboxylase. Ravn K, Chloupkova M, Christensen E, Brandt NJ, Simonsen H, Kraus JP, Nielsen IM, Skovby F, Schwartz M.
  • Epidemiol Infect. 2010 Sep;138(9):1252-6. Epub 2010 Feb 10. Trichinella infection in a hunting community in East Greenland. Møller LN, Koch A, Petersen E, Hjuler T, Kapel CM, Andersen A, Melbye M.
  • Int J Circumpolar Health. 2004;63 Suppl 2:366-8. Parkinson's disease among Inuit in Greenland: organochlorines as risk factors. Koldkjaer OG, Wermuth L, Bjerregaard P.
Further, according to “An Alternative to Atkins: Beyond Low Carbohydrate Diets” by Don Matesz, who in the article advocates a primal diet with at least 65% of the diet coming from fruit and vegetables,

 “Among humans, Eskimos have had ample opportunity to develop carnivore-type characteristics and ability to thrive on a meat-dominated diet. For many generations the Eskimos obtained about 90 percent of their calories from meat and fat from seal, whale, caribou, and fish. Yet scientists have not found any evidence that Eskimos have special genetic adaptations to this carnivorous diet (5). Since the liver handles cholesterol and fat metabolism and detoxifies by-products of protein metabolism, carnivore livers have special metabolic features adapted to a high-meat diet. Eskimos lack these features (5) and physicians have reported that primitive Eskimos suffered from liver enlargement related to their diet (6). When Eskimos traded in some fat and protein for carbohydrate, their livers reduced to healthier size (6). Although they had a remarkable resistance to dental decay and ischemic heart disease, Greenland Eskimos also experienced a high incidence of hemorrhagic stroke, possibly cause by their high fish diet (7,8), and they had a total cancer incidence similar to cancer-prone Danes (9). A 1986-88 study of 50 nations found Danish women have the highest incidence of cancer (at all sites), and Danish men have the 12th highest incidence (9).”

5. Milton K. Hunter-gatherer diets a different perspective. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:665-7.
6. Schaefer O. Eskimos (Inuit). In: Burkitt DP, Trowell HC, eds. Western Diseases: Their Emergence and Prevention. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981:114.
7. Bjerregaard P, Dyerberg J. Mortality from ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease
in Greenland. Int J Epidemiol 1988 Sep;17(3):514-9.(abstract)
8. Kromann N, Green A. Epidemiological studies in the Upernavik district, Greenland. Incidence of some chronic diseases 1950-1974. Acta Med Scan 1980;208(5):401-6.(abstract)
9. Web page by: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Rates and Risks. Accessed 7/11/04 on the World Wide Web

Well, I have to go now, but before I do, let me draw some conclusions of course. What I have learned from this little reading adventure today is that solely/predominantly carnivorous diet is not a good idea, neither in cooked nor raw form, as evidenced by multitude of health problems of Eskimo. As far as the idea of fruit and vegetables based paleo diet suggested by Matesz, frankly, I love fruit and veggies but the idea of eating meat as well does not particularly tempt me. In relation to this, see the quotes in my article at on the topic of standard human diet. Last, but not least, my biggest inspirations in terms of health, beauty and athleticism, remain people who happen to follow frugivorous-vegan lifestyle. This inspiration feeds quite nicely into my personal health and fitness goals.

Some data

Week 1

6 September, 2010
1 medium watermelon, 20 golden kiwi fruit, 4 medium bananas, 6 medjool dates
gym (cardio and weights), bellydance

7 September, 2010
20 golden kiwi fruit, 1/2 medium watermelon, 3 medium bananas, 6 medjool dates, 1/2 the salad I made (could not finish it off): 50g mixed spinach leaves, 4 mushrooms, 5 strawberries, tomato
gym (cardio and weights), bellydance

8 September, 2010
1/2 watermelon, 20 golden kiwi fruit, 6 bananas, 6 medjool dates, 4 red delicious apples

9 September, 2010
1/2 medium watermelon, 1/4 medium watermelon, 5 dates, 4 bananas, 1 small rockmelon
gym (cardio and weights), bellydance

10 September, 2010
1/2 medium watermelon, 3 medjool dates, 2 rockmelons, 3 medjool dates
bellydance (performance)

11 September, 2010
1/4 medium watermelon, 1/4 medium watermelon, 1/4 medium watermelon, bunch of red grapes, 4 dates, 1/4 medium watermelon, red apple, 4 bananas

12 September, 2010
It's a watermelon day today, you know what this means. Had a punnet of strawberries too. Red seems to be the color of the day. 8 dates

Week 2

13 September, 2010
1/2 watermelon, bunch of red grapes, 5 dates, 4 bananas
gym (cardio and weights)

14 September, 2010
1/2 watermelon, bunch of red grapes, 5 dates, 4 bananas, 3 apples
gym (cardio)

15 September, 2010
1/2 watermelon, bunch of red grapes, 4 bananas, 2 dates, 1/4 watermelon, 1/2 watermelon, 5 bananas

16 September, 2010
1/4 watermelon, 1 red apple, 5 dates, 3 bananas, bunch of red grapes, 4 bananas, 3 red apples
gym (cardio and weights)

17 September, 2010
1/4 watermelon, 1/4 watermelon, 1/4 watermelon, 6 bananas, salad (mixed baby greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, bean sprouts), 5 dates
gym (cardio and weights)

18 September, 2010
3 rock-melons, 5 dates, 1 rock-melon, sweet juicy mandarins the rest of the day

19 September, 2010
Food so far:
9 mandarins, 3 bananas, salad (spring baby leaves, 3 tomatoes, 5 dates), rock-melon, 3 dates, rock-melon, 7 green kiwi fruit

I am going to stop now. Life is too busy!

Warm regards,

26 September 2010
Something new for you to read:

Calorie counting or Hunger - a tutorial

I may want to add some more material to this recent article of mine yet, but for now, I am off to some other delightful things. I am interested in pursuing some other questions now, in particular veganism and whether there exists scientific evidence and/or compelling evidence to back i up.

There has been a lot of debate on the topic of China study recently. I find it would be a waste of my energy to engage in this debate, as I would need a lot of time to read it in detail. I do not like to take sides but debunk what does not make sense
, on either side of the debate. So, instead of being a part of this debate, I am going to do my own study. I will let you know what I have found in time. This may take a while.

Copyright © Dr Gosia O'Reilly. All Rights Reserved.
Acknowledgements: Maura (logo).
Quotes on raw foods by fellow raw foodists.
Other quotes from The Quote Garden.
Photos: Geek Philosopher