he group of agriculturalists lived in an area called Hardin Village, which is a famous archeological site located in Kentucky on the bank of the Ohio River across from the current day city of Portsmouth, Ohio. These people farmed the area from about 1500 AD to 1675 AD. There is no indication in the archeological record of any European contact with these Hardin Villagers.
The hunter-gatherers lived in the same general area in an archeological site called Indian Knoll, which is a large midden (an ancient refuse heap) located on the Green River in western Kentucky. Carbon-14 dating dates the age of habitation of these hunter-gatherers to about 5000 years ago. Based on the excavation of the deep midden, these people lived at this site for a long period of time, i.e., they stayed in one spot instead of roving as most hunter-gatherers did.
Writes Claire Cassidy, Ph.D., author of the study:
Available fauna and flora, water, and climate were so similar in the two areas that it may be assumed that whatever natural stresses existed at one site were probably existent at the other also, and therefore, in themselves, these should not affect the health and nutrition differently.
Population size and degree of sedentarism affect disease spread. In the cases of the Hardin Village and Indian Knoll, since both are sedentary or semisedentary, this variable should be negligible in explaining differences in disease experience between the sites.
Archeological-reconstructable variability in material culture is also fairly small (though Indian Knollers used the spear-thrower and spear, while Hardin Villagers had pottery, permanent houses, and the bow and arrow). Thus, in all probability the most significant difference between these two populations is in subsistence technique, with agriculture at the later site, and hunting-gathering at the earlier.
What did these folks eat?
At Hardin Village, primary dependence was on corn, beans, and squash. Wild plants and animals (especially deer, elk, small mammals, wild turkey, box turtle) provided supplements to a largely agricultural diet. It is probable that deer was not a quantitatively important food source… At Hardin Village, remains of deer were sparse.
At Indian Knoll it is clear that very large quantities of river mussels and snails were consumed. Other meat was provided by deer, small mammals, wild turkey, box turtle and fish; dog was sometimes eaten ceremonially.
There are several other dietary differences. The Hardin Village diet was high in carbohydrates, while that at Indian Knoll was high in protein. In terms of quality, [some] believe that primitive agriculturalists got plenty of protein from grain diets, most recent [researchers] emphasize that the proportion of essential amino-acids is the significant factor in determining protein-quality of the diet, rather than simply the number of grams of protein eaten. It is much more difficult to achieve a good balance of amino-acids on a corn-beans diet than when protein is derived from meat or eggs. The lack of protein at the Hardin Village signaled by the archaeological data should prepare us for the possibility of finding evidence of protein deficiency in the skeletal material.
There were signs of malnutrition in both populations, but the signs differed between them.
There are a couple of ways anthropologists look for periods of malnutrition. One is by examining the tibias (lower leg bones) with X-ray looking for a finding called Harris lines (or growth arrest lines).
To determine the severity of periods of malnutrition, anthropologists look for enamel hypoplasia. Enamel hypoplasia derives from periods of ill-health or hunger lasting long enough to interrupt the deposition of enamel on the teeth. These defects, like Harris lines, represent periods of growth arrest in childhood, but unlike Harris lines, enamel hypoplasia quantifies the severity of the period of malnutrition. The worse the defect, the worse the malnutrition.
Interestingly, there were more Harris lines found in the specimens from Indian Knoll, but these lines were regularly spaced, “indicating that malnutrition occurred at periodic intervals, perhaps as a “normal part of life.” There were an equal number of jaws at both sites demonstrating teeth with enamel hypoplasia, “but the frequency of severe episodes of arrest was significantly higher at Hardin Village.”
The most parsimonious interpretation of this information is that mild food shortages occurred at regular intervals at Indian Knoll; perhaps late winter was a time of danger. [Researchers] using growth arrest lines [Harris lines] and … archaeological data, have similarly concluded that in the hunter-gatherer populations they studied, food shortages occurred regularly, probably on a yearly basis. At Hardin Village growth arrest was caused by illnesses or crop failure which resulted in long-lasting, but randomly-occurring episodes of growth arrest.
Bones can also exhibit signs of certain types of infection. Bone infections affected an equal number of people at both sites, but affected significantly more children at Hardin Village than at Indian Knoll.
A specific type of infectious disease showing up in skeletal remains and identified as the syndrome of periosteal inflammation was present at both sites, but was thirteen times more common at Hardin Village. No one knows for sure what causes this disorder, but it is thought to be caused by a treponematosis, a disease caused by a similar but not identical agent as that that causes yaws, pinta or even syphilis.
The author of this study attributes the greatly increased incidence of this disease in the Hardin Villagers to “lack of resistance in the host because of poor diet and general health.”
Teeth are often a window into the diet of ancient populations. Based on the wear patterns and number of caries (dental cavities), teeth can provide much information on the quality of the diet. Teeth ridden with decay are typically associated with poor quality diets, and the unhealthy teeth themselves can be a major factor in the overall poor health of an individual.
Tooth decay was rampant at Hardin Village, but uncommon at Indian Knoll. Adult males at Hardin Village had an average of 6.74 carious teeth per mouth, while at Indian Knoll the corresponding frequency was 0.73 per mouth. For women the rates were 8.52 and 0.91 per mouth respectively. No Indian Knoll children under twelve years of age had caries, whereas some Hardin Village children already had developed caries in milk teeth in their second year of life. Tooth decay is closely associated with sugar content and consistency of food, occurring with higher frequency in sweet or high carbohydrate diets which are soft and sticky.
Here is the summary of the findings of this analysis of skeletal data as tabulated by the author:
1. Life expectancies for both sexes at all ages were lower at Hardin Village than at Indian Knoll.
2. Infant mortality was higher at Hardin Village.
3. Iron-deficiency anemia of sufficient duration to cause bone changes was absent at Indian Knoll, but present at Hardin Village, where 50 percent of cases occurred in children under age five.
4. Growth arrest episodes at Indian Knoll were periodic and more often of short duration and were possibly due to food shortage in late winter; those at Hardin Village occurred randomly and were more often of long duration, probably indicative of disease as a causative agent.
5. More children suffered infections at Hardin Village than at Indian Knoll.
6. The syndrome of periosteal inflammation was more common at Hardin Village than at Indian Knoll.
7. Tooth decay was rampant at Hardin Village and led to early abscessing and tooth loss; decay was unusual at Indian Knoll and abscessing occurred later in life because of severe wear to the teeth. The differences in tooth wear and caries rate are very likely attributable to dietary differences between the two groups.
Her analysis based on this data:
Overall, the agricultural Hardin Villagers were clearly less healthy than the Indian Knollers, who lived by hunting and gathering.
Below is a chart from the paper showing the life expectancies by age of people living in Hardin Village and Indian Knoll. Look at the enormous increase in mortality in the agricultural Hardin Villagers between the ages of two to four.
Why this rapid increase in mortality in these young children. The author tells us:
The health and nutrition situation at Hardin Village may profitably be compared with that in modern peasant villages. In may of these, children are typically fairly healthy until weaned. At this time they are introduced to a soft diet consisting largely of carbohydrates (in much of Africa and Central America, a pap is made of sugar, water, and maize flour: in Jamaica green bananas replace maize). In many cases, within a few weeks or months these children develop diarrhea, lose weight, suffer multiple infections, and may eventually develop the form of protein-energy malnutrition called kwashiorkor. In this disorder caloric intake is usually adequate, but protein and other nutrient intakes are extremely limited; without modern hospital care many victims die.
At Hardin Village the highest rate of death occurs between the second and fourth years of life. This is typical for a population experiencing weaning problems. Considering the softness of the adult diet and the high caries rate of both children and adults, it is not unlikely that the children were weaned onto a corn pap of some type.
The high prevalence of childhood infection, severity of growth arrest in the first few years of life, and the existence of iron-deficiency anemia all point to a situation at Hardin Village analogous to those in modern peasant villages. In other words the evidence supports a hypothesis that malnutrition began with weaning at Hardin Village, sometimes resulted in kwashiorkor, and continued at low level – just enough to reduce the resistance of the population to infectious disease – throughout the life of the individual.
Thus population expansion, inefficient hunting techniques, loss of game from the area by migration and overkill, and warfare, all may have contributed to force the Hardin Villagers to become more and more dependent on a small number of high-carbohydrate agricultural foods of limited quality, and this may have been so even were they aware of an increase in physical ill-health in the group.
Finally, we must also wonder if people didn’t ultimately begin to prefer corn and beans to meats? There is some evidence that carbohydrates can become so palatable to humans that they eat them in preference to other foods; such a situation may have further limited the appeal of hunting.
A similar impressive comment was made to me by Dr. Romig, the superintendent of the government hospital for Eskimos and Indians at Anchorage, Alaska. He stated that in his thirty-six years among the Eskimos, he had never been able to arrive in time to see a normal birth by a primitive Eskimo woman. But conditions have changed materially with the new generation of Eskimo girls, born after their parents began to use foods of modern civilization. Many of them are carried to his hospital after they had been in labor for several days. One Eskimo woman who had married twice, her last husband being a white man, reported to Dr. Romig and myself that she had given birth to twenty-six children and that several of them had been born during the night and that she had not bothered to waken her husband, but had introduced him to the new baby in the morning.
On the other hand, however, this consideration does not affect the "relative age," so to speak, of comparisons between age at death of different skeletal specimens, as summarized here, nor does it materially impact inferences about health status as indicated by skeletal data. Thus, for that reason, the results presented here still remain of considerable interest in the comparison of ages/
Here we present a summary of a classic paper on the health and longevity of late Paleolithic (pre-agricultural) and Neolithic (early agricultural) people. [Source: Angel, (1984) "Health as a crucial factor in the changes from hunting to developed farming in the eastern Mediterranean." In: Cohen, Armelagos, (eds.) (1984) Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture (proceedings of a conference held in 1982). Orlando: Academic Press. (pp. 51-73)]
Note that these figures come from studies in the field of "paleopathology" (investigation of health, disease, and death from archaeological study of skeletons) of remains in the eastern Mediterranean (defined in Angel's paper to also include Greece and western Turkey), an area where a more continuous data sample is available from ancient times. Due to the unavoidable spottiness of the archaeological record in general, however, samples from the Balkans, the Ukraine, North Africa, and Israel were included for the earliest (Paleolithic and Mesolithic) periods. While the populations in the region were not always directly descended from one another, focusing the study within the eastern Mediterranean minimizes bias in the data due to genetic change over time.
...[to use] data from human skeletal analysis and paleopathology [the study of ancient diseases] to measure the impact on human health of the Neolithic Revolution and antecedent changes in prehistoric hunter-gatherer food economies.
In Upper Paleolithic times nutritional health was excellent. The evidence consists of extremely tall stature from plentiful calories and protein (and some microevolutionary selection?); maximum skull base height from plentiful protein, vitamin D, and sunlight in early childhood; and very good teeth and large pelvic depth from adequate protein and vitamins in later childhood and adolescence...
Adult longevity, at 35 years for males and 30 years for females, implies fair to good general health...
There is no clear evidence for any endemic disease.
...it seems clear that seasonal and periodic physiological stress regularly affected most prehistoric hunting-gathering populations, as evidenced by the presence of enamel hypoplasias and Harris lines. What also seems clear is that severe and chronic stress, with high frequency of hypoplasias, infectious disease lesions, pathologies related to iron-deficiency anemia, and high mortality rates, is not characteristic of these early populations. There is no evidence of frequent, severe malnutrition, so the diet must have been adequate in calories and other nutrients most of the time. During the Mesolithic, the proportion of starch in the diet rose, to judge from the increased occurrence of certain dental diseases [with exceptions to be noted later], but not enough to create an impoverished diet... There is a possible slight tendency for Paleolithic people to be healthier and taller than Mesolithic people, but there is no apparent trend toward increasing physiological stress during the mesolithic.
The arthritis data are also complicated by the fact that the hunter-gatherers discussed commonly displayed higher average ages at death than did the farming populations from the same region. The hunter-gatherers would therefore be expected to display more arthritis as a function of age even if their workloads were comparable [to farmers].In any case, it appears arthritis is normal for human beings and not a modern degenerative disease.
Taken as a whole, these indicators fairly clearly suggest an overall decline in the quality-- and probably in the length-- of human life associated with the adoption of agriculture.
I wonder if the HGs with arthritis had joint pain. One can have significant degenerative bone changes without pain. Especially if you have low inflammation. I assume that the woman Brock described rising from her wheelchair wasn't cured by reversal of the degenerative bone changes. I assume she lowered her inflammation level so that the bone changes were no longer causing pain
There are two main types of arthritis- rheumotoid and osteoarthritis
Rheumotoid is mainly an autoimmune condition. Osteo is the " wear and tear" type of joint degeneration. Once you have joint degeneration, no matter what you eat, the asteoarthritis won't go away- it's basically a structural problem
At this point, Protein Power was going to be my argument as to why the untoward effects of excess insulin validated the low-carb diet as the preferred way of eating for most people. But then I came to the chapter in Napoleon’s Glands titled “Mummy Powder, Mummy Blood, Toward a Biohistory of Peoples.”
“Mummy Powder, Mummy Blood” was about early paleopathologists, who autopsied ancient Egyptian mummies, and about their modern counterparts who were continuing those studies with much more sophisticated equipment, including X-ray and CT studies and, believe it or not, even labwork. These mummy autopsies revealed that ancient Egyptians were crawling with parasites, had dental caries and even a fair amount of arthritis. In reading through the roll call of these disorders, the following sentence leaped out at me:
Blood-vessel disease was common, contrary to assumptions that it rises from urban stress and a modern high-fat diet.
After attending these meetings and poring over my ever-growing mountain of paleopathology and anthropology literature, it became more and more apparent to me that although the agricultural revolution was a good thing for mankind it was a bad thing for individual men. I learned that the health devolution that took place due to dietary changes incurred as a result of man’s turn to agriculture were so substantive that at a glance an anthropologist could identify skeletal remains as being those of a agriculturalist or a pre-agriculturalist. How? Because as compared to agriculturalists, pre-agriculturalists had greater stature, stronger bones, better teeth, fewer signs of infection, less evidence of malnutrition and/or vitamin deficiencies – all signs visible to the trained eye. And not only were the pre-agriculturalists more robust, studies on groups of their remains showed they even experienced greater longevity than their agricultural progeny.
Agriculturalists replaced their previous diet of primarily fat and protein with high-starch plant foods and paid for it with their health. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that modern man was treading the same path. And with the same results.
In 1961, Blake F. Donaldson, M.D. wrote Strong Medicine, a book describing his methods of treating pretty much anything that ailed his patients. His book contains one of my all time favorite lines that I quote often.
During the millions of years that our ancestors lived by hunting, every weakling who could not maintain perfect health on fresh fat meat and water was bred out.
I’d add two other books to this list. They aren’t geared toward losing weight, but toward understanding the negative health impacts of certain diets:
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price, D.D.S.
Refined Carbohydrate Foods and Disease by Burkitt and Trowell.
The first is the story of how Dr. Price would spend each summer visiting remote civilizations that had limited contact with the modern world, observing the negative changes to health as “foods of modern commerce” were introduced. The scary thing that he discovered is that some of these negative impacts were passed on to subsequent generations…
The second is the story of a classicly trained British doctors who gets sent to the bush. When he gets there, he finds that nobody has any of the diseases that he’s been taught to treat – they are virtually non-existent outside the modern world. He forms a network of doctors in similar circumstances who are scattered throughout the British Commonwealth. He then compiles, analyzes and interprets the results, implicating a lack of dietary fiber as a root cause of many diseases. In my mind, he convinced me that appendicitis is a disease of chronic constipation, but I don’t believe he actually came out and made that specific claim.
After reading those two books, and with a VERY open mind, try reading this book:
Toxemia Explained by J. H. Tilden
I’ll warn you up front that when you first start reading this the guy will sound like a total nut job, but give him a chance. He posits that there is a single cause to virtually all disease, which he calls Toxemia: Disease is simply a crisis precipitated by your body’s inability to eliminate toxins. I won’t say any more, but if you think about it, he’s hit it squarely on the head. And the good news is that most of these toxins come from our environment, and many of them from our diets. So eat a better diet and have vastly improved health. A side effect will be that you will no longer struggle with being overweight…
Fructose is one of the worst sugars for humans because it does not stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin, which is needed to maintain blood sugar levels, so glucose is still needed for that purpose. Also it is converted very quickly by the liver into body fat, more so than other sugars/carbs.
Even healthy people should consume no more than 2 servings of fruit per day, which must be accompanied by plenty of "good" fats in order to slow the release of fructose into the system.
When you consume raw plant foods, called carbohydrates, which are any foods not classified as protein or fat, and they reach the large intestines, your body is forced to create bacteria in order to break them down. This changes the large colon into a fermentation chamber which creates a lot of gas, bloating, and many other digestive problems and diseases. Fermentation also makes the large intestines acidic, when it is needs to be alkaline so it can perform its many important functions.
Animals like cows and sheep, who are herbivores (consume only plant foods), have digestive systems that contain billions of bacteria and protozoa which begin the process of breaking down the cellulose cell walls into cellobiose to begin the process of releasing the nutrients inside. That's why herbivores produce lots of gas, and because they consume only carbs/sugars they are fat and bloated.
Breaking down cellulose cell walls of vegetables and fruits can be done by two different methods:
Jordan Rubin describes the "brain-gut" connection very well in his book The Maker’s Diet:
" Early in our embryogenesis, a collection of tissue called the ‘neural crest’ appears and divides during fetal development. One part turns into the central nervous system, and the other migrates to become the enteric nervous system. Both ‘thinking machines’ form simultaneously and independently of one another until a later stage of development.
"Then the two nervous systems link through a neural cable called the "vagus nerve," the longest of all cranial nerves. . . The vagus nerve "wanders" from the brain stem through the organs in the neck and thorax and finally terminates in the abdomen. This is your vital brain-gut connection."
In the large intestine, fermentation processes produce butyric acid and other short-chain fatty acids that nourish the intestinal wall.
But fermentation is undesirable in the small intestine. When the intestinal ecosystem is healthy, beneficial bacteria keep yeasts and other fermentation microorganisms at bay in this part of the digestive tract. An imbalance of microorganisms, called dysbiosis, results in overgrowth of fungus and other pathogens, resulting in numerous digestive disorders.
Digestion of sugars and starches begins in the mouth as amylases (starch-digesting enzymes) begin the breakdown of starches into simple sugars such as maltose, fructose and glucose. This process continues, but at a lesser rate, in the upper portion of the stomach where the enzymes provided by the saliva continue their work. Once the food moves into the lower portion of the stomach, which is highly acidic, carbohydrate digestion temporarily ceases.
In the small intestine, the breakdown of starches and sugars renews. Amylases produced by the pancreas split sugars and starches into disaccharides (such as lactose, sucrose and maltose) and enzymes from the cells lining the small intestine (called the brush border) reduce these into the monosaccharides galactose, glucose and fructose. About 80 percent of the final product of carbohydrate digestion is glucose. These various simple sugars are selectively absorbed through the intestinal membrane.
Digestion of proteins begins in the highly acidic medium of the lower stomach. Hydrochloric acid activates pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down proteins into shorter strings of amino acids. These products then move into the alkaline environment of the small intestine where pancreatic enzymes break down these strings into individual amino acids. The proteolytic or breakdown enzymes are very specific for the amino-acid linkages--a specific enzyme is required for each type of amino-acid linkage. The proteins are then rapidly absorbed, usually as single amino acids but occasionally as combinations of two or three amino acids.
Digestion of fats is more complex than that of proteins or carbohydrates. Some digestion occurs in the mouth and the upper stomach due to the action of lipases (fat-digesting enzymes) on the surface of the fat globules. But most fat digestion takes place in the small intestine. For full digestion to occur, the fat globules must be broken down; the substance that accomplishes this process (called emulsification) is bile, which is a secretion of the liver. The soap-like action of bile on fat globules increases the surface area an estimated 10,000-fold, thus allowing the lipases to liberate the fatty acids. Stable compounds called micelles are formed, small spherical globules consisting of long chain fatty acids, monoglycerides (a glycerol molecule attached to a single fatty acid) and bile salts. The micelles are absorbed at the surface of the intestinal mucous membrane. Once in the intestinal mucosa the various fatty compounds are joined with small amounts of protein and formed into compounds called chylomicrons, which enter the lymph system and eventually the blood as lipoproteins--compounds with a lipid core and a protein coating that makes them soluble in water.
Bile is produced by the liver out of cholesterol and stored in the gall bladder. The gall bladder releases bile into the small intestine through the action of a hormone, cholecystokinin. When the meal contains sufficient amounts of fat, the gall bladder empties completely in about one hour. Then the gall bladder slowly fills up again, getting ready for the next meal.
Bile not only serves to break down fats but also carries a lot of waste products away from the liver and into the intestine so that they can be eliminated.
The liver performs a multitude of wide-ranging tasks. These include the destruction of old red blood cells, the manufacture of proteins and of blood-clotting agents, the manufacture of cholesterol, the storage of carbohydrates in the form of glycogen, some storage of fats and proteins, the conversion of fats and proteins to carbohydrate, the transformation of galactose (milk sugar) into glucose, the extraction of ammonia from amino acids, the conversion of ammonia into urea, the production of bile salts, the storage of fat-soluble vitamins and the conversion of adipose fat into more combustible ketone bodies. The liver also neutralizes various drugs and poisons--everything from alcohol to bartitrurates.
Unlike other organs in the body, the liver can regenerate its tissues, a trait that has led to its title of "the immortal organ" and "the seat of life." It sorts, organizes and stores the simple breakdown products of digestion, sent to it from the small intestine via the portal vein, and then uses these basic components to construct the complex substances the body needs; it also deconstructs a wide range of toxins and sends them away for elimination.
The exquisite and finely tuned digestive system requires our utmost respect. From the first bite of food to the elimination of wastes, membranes, glands, muscles, hormones, secretions, enzymes, blood, nerves and microorganisms work in concert to extract nourishiment from our food and deliver it to our cells.
The wrong diet can disrupt this system in two ways--by failing to provide nourishment and by delivering food that is difficult to digest.
While the medical profession turns to drugs as a solution to digestive problems, the basic remedy should be nutrient-dense foods, especially the animal foods that provide fat-soluble nutrients, combined with wise preparation methods.
Many modern foods, such as processed milk products, breads and soy foods, are extremely difficult to digest; but traditional preparation methods made food easy to digest and facilitated assimilation of nutrients. They include:
The digestive tract is populated by about 10,000 different kinds of microbes, which manufacture enzymes, vitamins and other substances that aid the digestive process.
There are more nerve cells in the digestive system than in the peripheral nervous system.
The lining of the large intestine is as smooth as the inside of the mouth. Contrary to widely held belief, only in cases of severe illness, such as cancer, does fecal matter remain stuck to the wall of the bowel. Even in the elderly, the feces pass through the smooth wall of the bowel without sticking.
Except in very high fiber diets, the bulk of the feces is made up not of fiber but dead bacteria.
Credit for our understanding of how the stomach works goes to a French-Canadian named Alexis St. Martin who was shot in the stomach on June 6, 1822, leaving a hole that never healed. When he ate, the contents of his stomach spilled out unless he wore a special bandage. A US Army surgeon, William Beaumont, recognized the opportunity that St. Martin’s unfortunate accident presented and devised a number of experiments that would provide enlightenment on man’s inner workings. He weighed morsels of food, tied them with silk and observed what happened when the stomach did its work on them. He took specimens of gastric secretions and identified the major component as hydrochloric acid. He noted that a fasting stomach was empty and contracted. Most importantly, he observed that the stomach became flushed with blood when Mr. St. Martin was angry. It also moved about with anger.
Years later, a woman in St. Louis had a stomach that could also be inspected. When she was made angry, her stomach grew pale and motionless.
These two examples clearly show that emotions affect our digestions--perhaps in different ways but the effect is definitely physiological. The moral: never eat when you are angry!
Humans do not eat alfalfa, but they commonly eat lots of pectin from fresh fruit and cellulose in whole grains. This study raises a red flag, especially for those with digestive difficulties. Common whole grain foods and even fresh fruit may have a real downside. The rat study findings point to the wisdom of traditional food preparation methods. Throughout the world, indigenous groups took great care with the preparation of grains, by soaking or sour leavening them for a long period of time. In Africa, grains are made into a sour porridge or a fermented beverage called sorghum beer, processes that take several days and in which cellulose is partially broken down. They also prepare tubers like casava by throwing them in a hole to ferment.
As for fresh fruit, perhaps we should take a cue from Asian cultures who typically cook high-pectin fruits like apples, pears, peaches and plums. Stewed fruit is an old-fashioned dish--who makes stewed fruit anymore? Here is another traditional foodway that should be resurrected.
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids that provide unique benefits for the digestive process. They have anti-microbial properties; that is, they fight against pathogenic viruses, yeasts, bacteria and parasites in the gut. These special fats are also the preferred food for beneficial bacteria in the colon.
For those who have gall bladder problems and difficulty in digesting fats, coconut oil can be very useful because the medium-chain fatty acids do not need to be acted on by the bile salts. And for those who have trouble digesting milk and cream, coconut milk and coconut cream can serve as substitutes.
Best of all, the body uses the medium-chain fatty acids for energy and rarely stores them as fat. Coconut oil aids digestion and boosts metabolism--wonderful benefits that come in a delicious package.
The term used is "natural," which is far from natural and very toxic and damaging to the body.
Natural favorings label may also include substances like MSG, carrageenan, HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein), monosodium glutamate, and many others. Such chemicals are neurotoxic (causing damage to nerve and brain cells) that fall under the category RTNC, which stands for Reaction–Triggering Neurotoxic Chemicals.