What exactly was learned about diet, aging and health after scientific studies of holocaust survivers?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 01, 2012 at 7:00 AM

A delicate topic I know. I do not wish to offend. I think there have been some studies made about holocaust survivors, their diets in the Nazi death camps, health, disease and longevity, or lack of same. Does anyone know about any data and/or conclusions drawn from these studies, related to the human body and diet?



on October 03, 2012
at 08:42 PM

It's related to diet, health, longevity... i don't know the exact boundaries of "paleo hacks". I thought it was an acceptable question.



on October 01, 2012
at 02:58 PM

How is this related to paleo hacks?

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3 Answers



on October 01, 2012
at 12:59 PM


"The research also suggests that very low calorie diets???which other studies find to be protective against cancer???almost certainly aren???t when they are imposed by force under traumatic conditions. ... So how could trauma exposure???particularly during childhood???affect cancer risk? 'The best data suggests that it may be through inflammation,' says Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at Ohio State University College of Medicine, who has studied the link between severe stress and health problems. ... 'There???s very good evidence that childhood adversity is associated with a higher level of inflammation in adulthood and that may persist over time,'"


" From the general somatic point of view, there is one very predominate syndrome doctors began to notice and that was "premature aging." The general impression in practically all the physicians dealing with these patients was that they looked "older than their age." Other somatic diseases affecting several body systems were often apparent in the same patient. What was most often seen was at least two types in one patient.

Diseases of the digestive tract were the most common, involving more than a third of the patients, with tendencies toward diarrhea and peptic ulcers being the most frequent. Peptic ulcers were most common in those who had shown signs of emotional disturbance after the war. The second most common group of somatic disorders was cardiovascular diseases. Most researchers are of the opinion that a higher incidence exists, particularly coronary disease, cerebrovascular diseases, and other manifestations of arteriosclerosis. This would be consistent with the frequent findings of premature aging and the atrophy of the heart muscle due to undernourishment during captivity.

Diseases of the respiratory tract have only been recorded in 30% of the survivors. The general impression was that these former prisoners had developed a reduced resistance toward respiratory infections.

As far as other diseases are concerned, cases of kidney stone and arthrosis deserve attention. Both of these conditions are found frequently among prisoners from concentration camps and have been regarded as consequences of the decalcification of the skeleton due to the lack of calcium in the diet."



on August 07, 2013
at 07:45 AM


reviving this zombie thread after reading this article this morning


on October 01, 2012
at 02:26 PM

Completely anecdotal to be certain but my grandparents are Holocaust survivors and live in a community of almost all Holocaust survivors. Almost all of the survivors that I know personally have died at a very advanced age (late 80s to mid 90s), mostly of 'natural causes' or CV related deaths (stroke/heart attack) with a few cases of cancer. Many survivors are still alive and well (and seemingly less decrepit than most others of the same age).

Ironically, my grandparents (and many, many of their friends and relatives, also all survivors) have lost a child to cancer. Again, completely anecdotal plus most of the survivors that I know both originate from the same few towns in Poland and have lived in the same city in Canada since 1950, so environmental factors (other than starvation/torture during the Holocaust) can certainly be a factor.

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