Diet and chronic diseases:

Questions to be submitted:

  1. List the research areas (the 10 paragraph headings in the paper) that indicate the reliance on meat
    intake as a major energy source by pre-agricultural humans.
  2. Along with the macronutrients protein and fats such as omega-3 PUFA, what three important
    micronutrients come from lean red-meat (apart from Vitamin C and folate in organs such as liver)?
  3. What is the significant relation between the brain sizes to gastro intestinal tract size ?
  4. Why was there a survival advantage of being Insulin Resistant (IR) in our ancestral hunter-gatherer
    diet? (Page 76).
  5. List the four criteria given by Brand-Miller and Colagiuri in this paper as to the relationship between
    diet in evolution with diabetes (NIDDM). (Page 76-77)

Mini Assignment 2


  • The hunter-gatherer model
  • Fossil Isotope ratio
  • Optimal Foraging
  • Animal Size- Fat Content
  • The gut morphology
  • The brain-gut trade off


  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B12


A decrease in the size of gastro-intestinal tract leads to a balance in the brain mass surplus.


The survival advantage linked to being Insulin Resistant (IR) as shown by our ancestors who were hunters and gatherers was because of their metabolism used the little glucose available efficiently. This glucose was preserved for brain activities and fetal tissue in reproduction.


  1. In the last two million evolutionary years, human were mainly carnivores, which led to their diet having a high protein to carbohydrate ratio.
  2. A diet that has high proteins and low carbohydrates needs profound insulin in order for glucose homeostasis to be maintained during reproduction.
  3. The genetic variations, in insulin predisposition and resistance, can be understood through the examination of the differences to subjection to carbohydrates in the past 10, 000 years.
  4. The recent NIDDM epidemic in susceptible populations can be explained through the changes in carbohydrate quality.

Mini Assignment 3


In the seven countries, professor Ancel’s key finding was that serum cholesterol determined coronary heart disease in populations. Total fat was established to have a relationship with the coronary heart illness in 1950’s. In 1970’s, it was noted that saturated that saturated fat had a strong link to coronary heart disease (Mann, 2000).


The highest rate of CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) mortality rate existed between Japan and Eastern Finland among the seven countries (Kromhout, 1999).


Finland, Serbia, Netherlands, Japan, U.S.A, Croatia and Italy were the seven countries involved in the study.


  • Serbia = 3.25 – 5.2 mmol.l-1
  • Japan = 3.25 – 5.45 mmol.l-1
  • Inland Southern Europe = 3.9 – 6.5 mmol.l-1
  • Mediterranean Southern Europe = 3.9 – 6.65 mmol.l-1
  • U.S.A = 4.55 -7.8 mmol.l-1
  • Northern Europe = 4.55 – 8.45 mmol.l-1

CHD mortality rate is higher in Northern Europe than in Southern Europe.


The sensitivity value is 47%, whereas the specificity value is 76%. In relation to all the risk factors, the sensitivity value is 70%, whereas the specificity value is 82%


Diet and chronic diseases: the role of genetic susceptibility


Mann, N. (2000). Dietary Lean red Meat and Human Evolution. European Journal of Nutrition, 39(2) 71-79

Kromhout, D. (1999). On the Wave of the Seven Countries: A Public Health Perspective on Cholesterol. European Heart Journal, 20(11) 796-802

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