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Arthritis Diet and Exercises

Paleopoo: What We Can Learn from Fossilized Feces


“Paleopoo: What We Can Learn
from Fossilized Feces” In the U.S. we tend to get less
than 20 grams of fiber a day, only about half the minimum
recommended intake. But in populations where many of our
deadliest diseases are practically unknown — in rural China and rural Africa —
they’re eating huge amounts of whole plant foods, up to a
100 grams of fiber a day or more, which is what it’s estimated our
Paleolithic ancestors were getting based on dietary analyses of modern-day
primitive hunter-gatherer tribes, and by analyzing coprolites,
human fossilized feces. In other words, paleo-poop. These most intimate of ancient human
artifacts were often ignored or discarded during many previous
archaeological excavations, but careful study of materials
painstakingly recovered from human paleofeces says a lot about what
ancient human dietary practices were like, given their incredibly high content of
fiber — undigested plant remains — strongly suggesting that for over 99%
of our existence as a distinct species, our gastrointestinal tract has been
exposed to the selective pressures exerted by a fiber-filled
diet of whole plant foods. So for millions of years before
the first stone tools and evidence of butchering, our ancestors were
eating plants. But what kind of plants? One way you can tell if animals
are natural folivores or frugivores, meaning leaf eaters or fruit eaters, is to map the area of absorptive mucosa
in our gut versus their functional body size. Folivores are those meant
to eat mostly foliage — leaves, while frugivores are better
designed to eat fruit. The faunivores eat the fauna,
another name for carnivore. If you chart animals out this way
they fall along distinct lines. So where do humans land? Here’s our functional body size,
and here’s our absorptive area. So while eating our greens is important,
it appears the natural dietary status of the human species is
primarily that of a fruit-eater. Why does it matter how much
fiber we used to eat? Well, one theory for the rising levels
of obesity in Western populations is that the body’s mechanisms
for controlling appetite evolved to match how many plants
we used to eat. Our ancestors ate so many plant foods we
were getting like 100 grams of fiber a day, so for millions of years
food equaled fiber. So no surprise, one of the physiological
mechanisms our body evolved to suppress our appetite
involved this fiber. For example, fiber is metabolized by our
gut flora into short-chain fatty acid, which bind to and activate receptors
on the surface of our cells that alter our metabolism, for example
activating receptors on fat cells to increase the expression of
the weight-reducing hormone leptin. Other hormones are affected as well.
Since until recently food meant fiber, an increase in food intake
meant an increase in fiber intake, which made our gut bacteria so happy
they made lots of short chain fatty acids, activating the cell-surface receptors,
releasing a bunch of hormones that make us lose our appetite and
down regulate hunger, so we eat less. But if we eat less, there’s
less fiber in our gut so less of those hormones are released,
which boosts our appetite, we get hungry and we want to eat. But what if food doesn’t equal fiber,
like on the standard American diet? Then we keep just getting
those signals to eat, eat, eat. We’re always hungry. If we haven’t eaten our 100
grams of fiber for the day our body may be like,
what are we — starving here? Discovering this mechanism makes the food
and pharmaceutical industries very excited. They figure they can now come up
with the new drugs in the fight against the current obesity onslaught. Or we could just eat as nature intended.

100 thoughts on “Paleopoo: What We Can Learn from Fossilized Feces

  1. Coprolite was what my old lexicology teacher used to say when her students would complain. "We're having the test this week. Don't like it? Coprolite."
    (i.e. 'tough shit')

  2. I would love to see a video on the best water to drink (tap, filtered tap, spring, distilled, etc) and how it affects your health. Thanks!

  3. Humans are omnivores (Not Herbivores, Nor Carnivores)
    that derive our energy and nutrients from a diet consisting of a variety of sources that may include plants, animals, algae and fungi' We are able to both tolerate and fully extract nutrients from most plant and animal sources. Exceptions include cellulose and chitin. we can, as omnivores, Now that we no longer NEED to hunt and kill animals for our food, choose and thrive on a plant-based diet if we wish.

  4. I like this video, it's very informative.  I've been looking into more of a vegetarian diet lately. Also looking at vegan recipes.  But I don't intended to cut meat from my diet, ever.  I only want to reduce my daily intake of meat by a significant margin.  I understand that we obviously ate fruits and veggies as "cavemen", I would've thought that was common knowledge.  But has anyone stopped to think that maybe we were starting to evolve to eat meat?  I'm seriously asking.  I don't understand why hardcore vegans and vegetarians bash people for eating animal products.  In our ancient past, it had obvious and important benefits, such as higher protein and calories.  I already spoke about this to one of my closest friends, and I know that in those times, we didn't know what the hell protein and calories were, at least on a scientific level.  But I'm pretty sure they could feel the difference when eating meat.  More calories means more energy, which is good for obvious reasons in ancient times.  I'm not a nutritionist, but I'm pretty sure that the increased protein intake has something to do with brain development.  I don't think we should be nailing people to the wall because they support eating meat.  But I do think we, as a society, eat why more then what we need to.

  5. At first glance I thought the thumbnail for this video was another one of those cauliflower buffalo wings pics. How wrong I was.

  6. This is awesome! Only fruit has enough calories to sustain humans, greens are great but fruit is our best food source! Makes sense to me!

  7. So we evolved to eat plants? Well, if we continue to eat meat then the people who are prone to disease caused by meat will die off leaving only people who are able to eat meat. That's how evolution works my friend.

    My point is you can't use evolution as a reason to not eat meat.

  8. off topic, does any one know if Dr nutritionfacts has a video on how alcohol effects the gut bacteria? even moderate amounts of red wine, wondering what it does to the good bacteria.

  9. This is not good science. So, a fossilized stool was analyzed, and found to be full of fiber. You can't conclude much from it. The argument here goes like this:

    1. The stool was full of fiber.
    2. The human who dropped had just eaten a meal full of fiber.
    3. That human always ate a lot of fiber.
    4. All ancient humans ate a lot of fiber.
    5. The fiber made those humans live a long healthy life, long enough to have healthy children.
    6. Only fiber made those humans healthy, and other foods made them unhealthy.
    7. Because we are heirs to those humans, we should eat lots of fiber.

    1 implies 2.
    2 does not imply 3.
    3 does not imply 4.
    4 does not imply 5.
    5 does not imply 6.
    6 implies 7.

    That's one hell of long chain of inference, with many bad links in it.

  10. I've been stuffing myself daily with high fiber plant foods exclusively to control my appetite. It works. Full all the time now with way fewer cravings.

  11. How do we know if this made them healthy? How long did they live? How obese or not? We know that they ate and passed but how long did they live etc?

  12. The keto folks boast about feeling more satiated than ever before and going long periods between meals, all while maintaining a caloric deficit to lose fat and consuming less than 20-30g fiber per day. Are we sure it's as simple as this?

  13. Very interesting video. Wish everyone currently eating a "paleo" diet saw this and switched to a REAL paleo diet full of plant foods!

  14. ha ha …about 70% of my diet is all fruit!…the rest is yummy veggies, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, roots and grains……   Life is good!

  15. Ironically, as I watched this video I was eating a bowl of fibrous white kidney beans in tomato sauce. Getting enough fibre isn't much of a chore if one follows a plant based diet. It is regrettably that so many people suffer needlessly when the solution to many modern illnesses is as simple as getting more fibre.

  16. Dr. Greger, the paleolithic period was an extremely long period of time, and the paleo diet focuses on the most recent (when humans were cooking food). I am curious, when was this fossilized poop from?

  17. too much fiber is not good either, especially for men. 100grams of fiber is way too much and not healthy. Only reason our ancestors were eating so much fiber is because they had no other foods to eat. 20-30 grams of fiber is optimal for most humans.
    There have have been many studies that show fiber increases SHBG and hence decreases your free testosterone.

  18. Dr. Greger, you do a disservice by not mentioning starch in this video. Humans land as starchivores, easily, and it is starches that helped the paleolithic era humans to evolve the best.

  19. I've got my facts ready for when I get the "but our ancestors ate nothing but meat" argument… 🙂 thanks doctor!

  20. its not many times I'm impressed but this video certainly would make anyone say wow I need to ask – did viewers know there is new cure

    students around the world are improving thier condition I learned about this from reading site take a look now just google for Diabetes Crusher Tactic

  21. This agenda driven piece  is a distortion of the article(by CM Hladik – ‎2002). And I quote from the paper he shows at the start of the video. "The dietary status of the human species is that of an unspecialised frugivore, having a flexible diet that includes seeds and meat (omnivorous diet). " This exact quote is hidden by the chart he places over the paper.  In other words the very paper he uses to MISS REPERESENT tells the truth. Humans are omnivorous.

  22. Very interesting. I wonder if this is why vinegar results in weight loss in some people. They're not eating enough fiber to produce acetate in the gut so the vinegar makes up for it.

  23. THX THX THX!!! JA JA JA!!!! Genauso empfinde ich es in meinem Körper wenn ich ballaststoffreich essen!!!! Unglaublich, wie sich die Menschheit selbst an der Nase herumführt dank "modernem" Essen….

  24. I was talking to somebody the other day that he said that he stop the plant based diet as he was eating to much fiber because he was going to the bathroom too many times, Do you have an answer on this? I am a vegan coach, I could a little help on this subject, thanks.

  25. Reasonable hypothesis. However, you should research the role of insulin signaling within the basal ganglia. It might help diversify your train of thought. It would obviously make the most sense if the biological processes involved in hunger are diverse. This would allow us to potentially shift our eating habits to curb our needs. This way of thinking is evident in the literature and your one way train of thought that totally ignores this hypothesis reeks of an agenda.

  26. 104 grams of fiber a day? Youd have to eat the equivalent of 30 bananas a day to get that much fiber. And thats what I do on average

  27. The American heart association recommends 25-35 grams of fiber a day. Americans are lucky to do 15 grams a day. And all this time the goal was 104 grams. So sad

  28. Question. For someone who has been diagnosed with candidiasis, would high levels of fruit create more problems for this person?

  29. Error 1: Believing paleo is about meat.

    I eat more fiber and more vegetables than a vegan.

    You really just show that fibrous plants are superior to whatever people eat on SAD. Well. Duh. Not exactly flash news.

  30. But animals don't produce any toxins in their muscles to kill us. There are tons of plants that will kill us if we eat them.

  31. I think we eat because we're unhappy, depressed or bored rather than hungry. There's so much food available and we're so unhappy that most rarely if ever wait till they're hungry to eat?

  32. Hey, Doc? Thank you for these well produced and very informative videos. I just got turned on to you through Lionel Nation. I'm in the process of changing my diet. It's been about 4 weeks now so I'm at the beginning of the journey. I went from 165 lbs to 150 lbs in just 4 weeks. I started out just avoiding wheat and sugar. But with the information from your videos I'm slowly changing my whole way of approaching food. It's no longer just a source of recreation.

  33. I feel an increase of energy with every bite of fruit I eat . . . Man , you've got to try to eat 3000 calories of daily fruit for a week . . . o.m.g

  34. why do have to poop right after i started watching this video?
    what the hell O_O
    it kinda makes sense but i really dont like that it makes sense!
    like after 1 minute in.

  35. I eat over 100grams fiber per day (easily – often much above this) yet I am still ALWAYS hungry. I could literally eat from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed. I do cycle 1 hour every day, walk 1-15hours and do intense gym sessions (weights) 4 times per week.

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