on May 24, 2011
at 11:31 PM
We have no way of knowing for sure whether Palaeolithic man suffered from acne, however we do have some rough "control" groups in the form of indigenous hunter gatherers whose way of life (and thus diet and environment) is pretty much unchanged. The originator of the Paleo movement, Loren Cordain, studied indigenous peoples living in Papua New Guinea and Paraguay. Like many other indigenous groups they display absolutely no incidence of acne whatsoever. Meanwhile in developed countries, acne (spanning from blackheads to fully blown cysts) is present in 90% of young people.
Edit: To what extent is this due to the genetics/epigenetics of a relatively isolated ethnic group? A traditional diet? An environment free of pollution, and modern personal care products? Or is it not the lifestyle itself, but the fact that they are fully adapted to it? Either way, it certainly seems possible to classify acne as another disease of civilization.
on May 25, 2011
at 01:22 AM
In terms of acne, Professor Loren Cordain, thinks not. Many other 'paleo researchers' that I've read tend to agree.