4

votes

Are we evolved to eat a lot of seafood?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 18, 2013 at 2:35 AM

And if so is not getting adequate seafood causing harm? And if so what harm is it causing? I was just reading up on the aquatic ape theory and they seem to think that humans evolving in an aquatic environment would account for a lot of our physical traits more accurately than if humans evolved in a land exclusive environment. They also bring up brain size in humans being proportionally larger than other apes n mammals and seem to think this points to a high consumption of seafood. Seafood has an ungodly amount of all kinds of minerals and vitamins, like selenium, iodine, vit b12 and vit d specifically. So are we evolved to eat lots of seafood? What do you think?


Edit: This lady seems to think seafood was critical in human evolution and there seems to be some other prominent individuals on this channel who tend towards thinking seafood is rather special: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S8Hb-4EAjI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on March 24, 2013
at 02:59 AM

So I came across this interview with Dr Ralston and Chris Kresser, and in the article they addressed the suppversity blog post. I guess they used seafood with a low selenium to mercury ratio. Fuckin bullshit man! I lost out on four months of seafood after I read this article. It's on now, I'm a go shuck me some oysters.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 24, 2013
at 01:31 AM

But DHA values of mother milk vary with their fish consumption epidemiologically (by a factor of 500%).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 22, 2013
at 04:07 PM

In N&PD by Weston Price, he writes about how indigenous people with goiter will frequently travel to find seafood to eat. There's also accounts of pregnant women given the ash of plants found at bodies of water to help them produce healthy children. I don't think ancestral humans necessarily conceptualized vitamins and minerals, but I think they had a lot of shit surprisingly figured out.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 22, 2013
at 01:08 PM

Things you said I disagree with: 1 human needs for DHA outside of growth are low. 2. That inland evolution is more plausible than aquatic ape (where are all the bones?). 3 DHA is relatively high in all breast milk (except that's in USA its 1/5th of Japan's, as I cited above) 4. That humans have a high conversion rate of ala to DHA, (will you make the argument for beta carotene also?) 5. That normal consumption of land plants and animals supply adequate iodine. 6. That we can make all the DHA we need for good health.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 22, 2013
at 01:06 PM

Nobody doubts that increasing DHA in diet is a good thing. I do doubt that prehistoric humans were necessarily consuming a DHA-rich diet - specifically seafood. Eventually man figured out that shellfish were easy prey and ate them in gobs, but he didn't think to himself, "This is a great source of DHA, selenium and iodide!"

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 22, 2013
at 12:56 PM

And inflammation, which some people think is the underlying issue in a host of diseases and illnesses. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967211/

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 22, 2013
at 12:55 PM

I've seen a lot of health benefits for DHA and it's effects on CHD, memory and learning into adulthood. This article touches on some of that, but google is really littered with supporting evidence. Even the FDA says DHA probably protects against CHD. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479465

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 21, 2013
at 11:08 PM

Pecan: that's my point. I think DHA is not inherently required in adulthood, but it is an essential compound which we must at least manufacture in the body. The same goes for carnitine and carnosine. I think we evolved to be able to handle not eating these things without suffering, but studies suggest we are better off getting them in our diet.

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:51 PM

Good post, though I would question whether it follows that the presence of DHA in breast milk means that we adults evolved to consume it. It's possible that DHA is important up until a certain age, then a developmental threshold is reached and we don't require it anymore.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:38 PM

@foreveryoung: Idk dude, I just have this gut feeling that in our prime as a species we ate shellfish in significant quantities. I'm a big proponent of the aquatic ape theory and the only other mammals that have a logarithmically equivalently large EQ are aquatic mammals that eat fish like dolphins and whales (manatees eat plants mainly and have a really low eq, just like hippos). And in addition to the best physical health I also want the best mental health and a superior anabolic hormone panel. The nutrients in fish and shellfish really scream at me as the most obvious low lying fruit.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:36 PM

Hey mscott, I hope you don't mind but since you referenced foreveryoung in your answer and since he deleted his answer before I submitted my comment and y'all answered at about the same time I'm just gonna post my response here:

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:25 PM

Also, what happened to foreveryoung's answer? Lol, it disappeared when I clicked to submit a comment on it and I got some kind of error.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:23 PM

Importance* . Also I've noticed that eating more shellfish increases my Craving for red meat, I'm not sure if this is just some sort of placebo, or coincidence but if its not then I'm theorizing that they balance each other out or something maybe.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:21 PM

Yea, I agree, we can definitely get by without seafood, even though it might not be optimal. There seems to be a lot of emerging evidence stressing the I portable of seafood for the brain but they test mainly DHA, and DHA can be found in other places like brains. I think different people might have slightly different definitions of what an optimal diet would be. For me though, and the degree of optimal I'm looking for, I think it shouts pretty loudly that seafood and oysters are going to be critical, though I concede that brains and glands could theoretically provide similar outcomes. +1

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 21, 2013
at 08:14 PM

For instance, just 3oz of cooked beef brain contains 727mg of DHA.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 21, 2013
at 08:13 PM

Sorry, Matt, but I downvoted you because of your "brain is largely absent from terrestrial diets" comment. I don't think so. Assuming our HG ancestors ate the whole animal, they ate the brain as well, and all brains contain DHA.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 21, 2013
at 06:45 PM

Living on the French Atlantic coast I got used to being able to buy scallops in the shell. They weren't ever very cheap, but having spent a lifetime eating clams it's nice to get the deluxe version. You're after the big muscles, and with a whole scallop you also get an edible foot and two nice baking dishes.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 05:10 PM

Speaking of iodine and selenium, we need minute amounts of these elements, not grams, not milligrams, but mere micrograms are necessary for good health. Humans don't necessarily need high concentration of these in their food, but rather normal consumption of plants and animals grown on non-depleted soil is sufficient. DHA is in the same class as these elements, we need a tiny fraction of our fat to be DHA for good health, an amount that our own biology can manufacture itself or obtain from bioconcentrated animal sources.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:59 PM

Back to the breast milk issue, humans like other animals bioconcentrate valuable nutrients. It makes sense feeding fish (DHA) to humans increase the the DHA content of their milk. But the DHA content itself does not necessarily mean that we evolved eating it. In fact, because DHA is relatively high in all human breast milk, that suggests that it's relatively a non-factor, we make this important nutrient ourselves, from plentiful ALA.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:51 PM

Overstating our nutrient needs and saying that it must be our evolution by the sea... that's not supported. My point is that you've picked one nutrient and one source and concluded they must be related. Human breast milk is an argument against DHA from the sea. Human needs for DHA outside of growth being low argues does not support a DHA from the sea theory. Human evolution occurring inland and in the tropics argues against DHA coming from the sea theory. Certainly these are more plausible than aquatic ape theory!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:46 PM

Years *

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:45 PM

Critical seafood is, or how it helped us evolve. Because if it did help us to evolve as a more opportune food resource I think that would be pretty significant, and I'd like to know the process by which that happened. (even though I understand we're talking hundreds of thousands of ears here, and scant fossil records.)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:44 PM

"I'm more interested in our ability to adapt to eating it as primary nutrient and thrive for 20-100 generations", +1. I've recently introduced seafood, and I'm loving it. It really compliments the other animal products nicely during the day and leaves me feeling like I've been missing something by not eating significant quantities all these years (I used to eat like 1 serving every 2-3 weeks probably). I think it's pretty obvious that we need the DHA and selenium, iodine for healthy modern bodies and I really want to know any tidbits of information people here might have that either show how

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:46 PM

-1 only because you say probably not, a fairly certain statement, without providing what I'd consider sufficient evidence to warrant that statement.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:42 PM

Lol, except I would argue that seafood is behind our selenium and iodine requirements also... Also, you just made 4 straw man arguments.. Just sayin.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:34 PM

Evolution is not concerned with maximizing everything. You could point to our selenium needs and conclude that our diet should optimally be brazil nuts. Iodine needs? Kelp. Thiamine needs? Pork. DHA needs? Salmon.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:30 PM

If DHA is higher in human breast milk than in other animals and mother's breast milk DHA concentration is correlated with fish consumption (http://www.dhaomega3.org/Other-Health-Conditions/DHA-Levels-in-Breast-Milk-Worldwide) then it would seem like we are evolved to eat more seafood.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:29 PM

If DHA is higher in human breast milk and human breast milk dha consumption is correlated with dietary fish consumption then it would seem as if we are evolved to eat more fish. http://www.dhaomega3.org/Other-Health-Conditions/DHA-Levels-in-Breast-Milk-Worldwide

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 12:36 PM

Very interesting. Ty for the n=1!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:31 AM

The developing brain gets its DHA from breast milk (which is why women have better conversion rates from ALA than men). Don't necessarily think bigger brain means seafood-sourced DHA.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:41 AM

@Stephen, thanks for the link that does help. I wish there were a blog like Jack's written for the lay person with a focus on seafood. I find a lot of his ideas interesting but they're a little over my head.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:32 AM

@Mscott, after reading about mercury binding with selenium and not being absorbed, I upped my fish intake considerably but after reading this SuppVersity post I was turned off a little. http://suppversity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/mercury-in-fish-not-harmless-regardless.html.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 01:58 PM

I wouldn't say everything points to grasslands. The dha's for bigger brains seem to point more towards wetlands/coastal, but I get what you're saying.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 18, 2013
at 01:04 PM

Elaine Morgan makes a rather convincing case for Aquatic Ape theory, see her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/elaine_morgan_says_we_evolved_from_aquatic_apes.html But don't stop there, as you dig into the criticisms of the theory, it's quickly falls apart. See, the Wikipedia entry on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 18, 2013
at 12:57 PM

This is a point where we look at pre-humans, where was the diversity/evolution occuring? I haven't seen evidence this was happening in coastal environments, everything points to forest/grasslands.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:43 AM

@colin, nice ncbi article, and check out this video, it addresses some of your toxicology concerns, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AxBxpB-fEw&feature=youtube_gdata_player .

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:39 AM

@CoconutBliss, yes I think it's normal for sure, @Matt that vid I posted shows our ancestors definitely lived by the coast and were eating hella lotta seafood 160k years ago. It's one of the best theories to account for our eq, dolphins are the only other mammal with a similarly large eq. What theory do you choose to believe? It's my understanding that the savana ape theory has been debunked also, is this not the case? @foreveryoung, that vid was pretty cool, I'm loving the houses they live in.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:27 AM

Toxicity from the mercury? Or other things?

42cd0feeeda5fa2e2fe1c4fd8255073a

(1930)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:59 AM

stephen, I usually eat 2 servings a day on average. Canned sardines with my lunch, usually salmon (canned if I can't get fresh) with my breakfast, and once or twice a week, white fish for dinner. Oysters thrown in there to mix it up once or twice a week as well. I freaking love the stuff. Is this normal??

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:34 AM

You might enjoy this- modern day aquatic tribes who only go to the mainland for more gasoline and rice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfhcFKQBqKA&feature=plcp

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:33 AM

You might enjoy this. Modern-day aquatic tribes who only go to the mainland for more gasoline and rice.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 18, 2013
at 03:33 AM

The water-monkey theory of evolution is not well supported, it just sounds good the layperson.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 02:56 AM

When you say you eat a ton of seafood, how much and what kind do you eat? Doyou eat it for any specific reason?

42cd0feeeda5fa2e2fe1c4fd8255073a

(1930)

on January 18, 2013
at 02:47 AM

hope so because I eat a butt load!

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9 Answers

best answer

3
0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on January 21, 2013
at 12:16 PM

Even if our ancestors hadn't adapted to a wet environment in the same way as aquatic mammals, it seems they would still have evolved to eat a lot of seafood due to settling near water. Perhaps it would have been easier for them to catch and cook fish than land animals. Seafood is extremely nutritionally dense - moreso than land animals - which should be an indication.

3
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 21, 2013
at 08:56 PM

I don't feel like I've seen enough slam dunk evidence either way, so here's just my pondering thoughts:

Seafood is much richer in DHA than terrestrial meat, which is likewise richer than seafood in carnitine and carnosine. These are all essential in biological processes, but are not essential nutrients because, deprived of a source, we can still synthesize them (though likely in suboptimal amounts).

As foreveryoung pointed out in his answer, DHA isn't only found in seafood. Brains are a source. Same with iodine; thyroid glands, eggs, and certain vegetables (e.g. potatoes) are also sources that may have been exploited.

And as Matt pointed out of DHA, it's interesting that DHA and iodine are concentrated into breast milk to make sure the infant has a good source. I think it speaks to the importance of seafood but also our ability produce healthy children without it.

So my current opinion is that yes, we evolved to eat a lot of seafood, just like we evolved to eat terrestrial animals, probably winged animals, and maybe insects too. But moreover I think we evolved to eat animals period and can do fine without any in particular.

Though if you ask me, an optimal diet will probably utilize them all.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 21, 2013
at 11:08 PM

Pecan: that's my point. I think DHA is not inherently required in adulthood, but it is an essential compound which we must at least manufacture in the body. The same goes for carnitine and carnosine. I think we evolved to be able to handle not eating these things without suffering, but studies suggest we are better off getting them in our diet.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:36 PM

Hey mscott, I hope you don't mind but since you referenced foreveryoung in your answer and since he deleted his answer before I submitted my comment and y'all answered at about the same time I'm just gonna post my response here:

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 22, 2013
at 12:56 PM

And inflammation, which some people think is the underlying issue in a host of diseases and illnesses. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967211/

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:51 PM

Good post, though I would question whether it follows that the presence of DHA in breast milk means that we adults evolved to consume it. It's possible that DHA is important up until a certain age, then a developmental threshold is reached and we don't require it anymore.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:21 PM

Yea, I agree, we can definitely get by without seafood, even though it might not be optimal. There seems to be a lot of emerging evidence stressing the I portable of seafood for the brain but they test mainly DHA, and DHA can be found in other places like brains. I think different people might have slightly different definitions of what an optimal diet would be. For me though, and the degree of optimal I'm looking for, I think it shouts pretty loudly that seafood and oysters are going to be critical, though I concede that brains and glands could theoretically provide similar outcomes. +1

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 22, 2013
at 04:07 PM

In N&PD by Weston Price, he writes about how indigenous people with goiter will frequently travel to find seafood to eat. There's also accounts of pregnant women given the ash of plants found at bodies of water to help them produce healthy children. I don't think ancestral humans necessarily conceptualized vitamins and minerals, but I think they had a lot of shit surprisingly figured out.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 22, 2013
at 01:06 PM

Nobody doubts that increasing DHA in diet is a good thing. I do doubt that prehistoric humans were necessarily consuming a DHA-rich diet - specifically seafood. Eventually man figured out that shellfish were easy prey and ate them in gobs, but he didn't think to himself, "This is a great source of DHA, selenium and iodide!"

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:25 PM

Also, what happened to foreveryoung's answer? Lol, it disappeared when I clicked to submit a comment on it and I got some kind of error.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:38 PM

@foreveryoung: Idk dude, I just have this gut feeling that in our prime as a species we ate shellfish in significant quantities. I'm a big proponent of the aquatic ape theory and the only other mammals that have a logarithmically equivalently large EQ are aquatic mammals that eat fish like dolphins and whales (manatees eat plants mainly and have a really low eq, just like hippos). And in addition to the best physical health I also want the best mental health and a superior anabolic hormone panel. The nutrients in fish and shellfish really scream at me as the most obvious low lying fruit.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 22, 2013
at 12:55 PM

I've seen a lot of health benefits for DHA and it's effects on CHD, memory and learning into adulthood. This article touches on some of that, but google is really littered with supporting evidence. Even the FDA says DHA probably protects against CHD. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479465

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 10:23 PM

Importance* . Also I've noticed that eating more shellfish increases my Craving for red meat, I'm not sure if this is just some sort of placebo, or coincidence but if its not then I'm theorizing that they balance each other out or something maybe.

3
7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

on January 21, 2013
at 09:22 AM

When I go to youtube and I watch a bunch of guys able to pull out a giant catfish pretty easily with just their hands ("noodling"), it does not seem impossible humans evolved eating lots of fish throughout our existence. As a hunter, if I couldn't catch a deer, go to the river pull out a fish.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:25 PM

In the case of whether we evolved to eat seafood I don't really care. Ancient shell middens don't lie - whether we evolved to crack oysters and make shell heaps is another story. I'm more interested in our ability to adapt to eating it as primary nutrient and thrive for 20-100 generations. Based on my Nordic ancestors and the Inuit the answer is yes. This might help explain my taste for, and lack of allergies to, seafood of every kind. But it won't track back 50,000 years.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:44 PM

"I'm more interested in our ability to adapt to eating it as primary nutrient and thrive for 20-100 generations", +1. I've recently introduced seafood, and I'm loving it. It really compliments the other animal products nicely during the day and leaves me feeling like I've been missing something by not eating significant quantities all these years (I used to eat like 1 serving every 2-3 weeks probably). I think it's pretty obvious that we need the DHA and selenium, iodine for healthy modern bodies and I really want to know any tidbits of information people here might have that either show how

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:45 PM

Critical seafood is, or how it helped us evolve. Because if it did help us to evolve as a more opportune food resource I think that would be pretty significant, and I'd like to know the process by which that happened. (even though I understand we're talking hundreds of thousands of ears here, and scant fossil records.)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:46 PM

Years *

1
3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

on January 21, 2013
at 05:21 AM

Well, when I moved to a coastal region in Spain the seafood was really cheap at the local farmer's market.

This meant I ate a lot of crabs, mussels, oysters, tuna, flounder, and SALMON!

I never felt better than when I'd have a nice fresh caught steamed salmon and a spinach w/ swiss chard salad covered in olive oil and tuna.

Now that I'm back in America, I'm not as clear or energetic and a lot more hungry than usual. I think there was something about the seafood!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 12:36 PM

Very interesting. Ty for the n=1!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 21, 2013
at 06:45 PM

Living on the French Atlantic coast I got used to being able to buy scallops in the shell. They weren't ever very cheap, but having spent a lifetime eating clams it's nice to get the deluxe version. You're after the big muscles, and with a whole scallop you also get an edible foot and two nice baking dishes.

1
7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on January 18, 2013
at 04:12 AM

I think it deserves some discussion. The only thing that holds me back from more seafood is the issue of toxicity, well that and high pufa intake. I'm definitely open minded though as I think seafood had an impact on our brain size.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257695/

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 18, 2013
at 06:27 AM

Toxicity from the mercury? Or other things?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:43 AM

@colin, nice ncbi article, and check out this video, it addresses some of your toxicology concerns, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AxBxpB-fEw&feature=youtube_gdata_player .

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:41 AM

@Stephen, thanks for the link that does help. I wish there were a blog like Jack's written for the lay person with a focus on seafood. I find a lot of his ideas interesting but they're a little over my head.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:32 AM

@Mscott, after reading about mercury binding with selenium and not being absorbed, I upped my fish intake considerably but after reading this SuppVersity post I was turned off a little. http://suppversity.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/mercury-in-fish-not-harmless-regardless.html.

7a6529ea25b655132fe58d793f95547a

(2030)

on March 24, 2013
at 02:59 AM

So I came across this interview with Dr Ralston and Chris Kresser, and in the article they addressed the suppversity blog post. I guess they used seafood with a low selenium to mercury ratio. Fuckin bullshit man! I lost out on four months of seafood after I read this article. It's on now, I'm a go shuck me some oysters.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on January 18, 2013
at 03:30 AM

Obviously some portions of humankind evolved eating lots of seafood, and just as obviously, some evolved without it. Humans thrived and evolved in many parts of the world with no water such as arid and land locked regions and so clearly found a way to thrive without seafood.

Seafood has a lot of nutrients but so does naturally raised mammal. If seafood were necessary for survival in a way not satisfied by land animals, humans would not have evolved in non-coastal regions, which doesn't appear to be the case.

Interestingly, allergies to fish and shellfish is a lot more common than allergies to beef and game meat, suggesting that humans as a whole are better adapted to eating land animals.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on January 21, 2013
at 08:21 PM

My answer is that we may not be meant to consume seafood, but we're meant to consume DHA. Despite seemingly widespread belief, seafood is not the only rich source of DHA. Brains of land mammals contain significant amounts of the nutrient http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_(food). I think this explains why so many traditional tribes who reside in rain forests or in the middle of Africa remain healthy despite little-to-no seafood consumption- they eat the brains of their prey. Seafood is just another source of the nutrient, and whether our consumption of seafood pre-dated our consumption of whole land animal I think is irrelevant to some extent. What is relevant is that regardless of whether it came from the land or the see, it does seem that we evolved eating a rich supply of DHA from one source or the other.

oh and also, let's not forget that we can convert ALA to LA to DHA and AA, respectively. Brian Peskin http://www.brianpeskin.com/ makes the case that all we need is the parent omega-3/6 fatty acids and that it's best to have our bodies make the conversion for us to prevent some sorts of imbalances.

-1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 02:55 PM

Did we evolve eating a lot of seafood? Probably not. Certainly doesn't mean it's not good for us or that we shouldn't consume it.

Talking brain size... the assumption here (as I'm seeing it) is that brain size is proportional to nutrient consumption and the nutrient in question being long-chain PUFAs such as DHA. DHA is largely absent from terrestrial diets, therefore it must have been obtained from aquatic environments.

There's a couple problems with that in my mind. Firstly, DHA isn't found in amounts in warm-water fish found in the tropics (where human evolution occurred). Compare catfish and tilapia with salmon - DHA as a proportion of fat is 5% in catfish and tilapia vs 15% in salmon. Not to mention that salmon is 3-4 times fattier than catfish, we're talking around 10 times less DHA in tropics fish versus cold-water fish.

Second, demands for DHA are highest in utero and as a neonate. Fat in breast milk is 10% DHA. It is variable but human milk is uncommonly high in DHA. It's also not a surprise then that women have better long-chain fatty acid conversion rates than do men. They simply have an evolutionary need to convert plentiful ALA into more useful EPA/DHA forms for developing fetuses and neonates.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:30 PM

If DHA is higher in human breast milk than in other animals and mother's breast milk DHA concentration is correlated with fish consumption (http://www.dhaomega3.org/Other-Health-Conditions/DHA-Levels-in-Breast-Milk-Worldwide) then it would seem like we are evolved to eat more seafood.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:59 PM

Back to the breast milk issue, humans like other animals bioconcentrate valuable nutrients. It makes sense feeding fish (DHA) to humans increase the the DHA content of their milk. But the DHA content itself does not necessarily mean that we evolved eating it. In fact, because DHA is relatively high in all human breast milk, that suggests that it's relatively a non-factor, we make this important nutrient ourselves, from plentiful ALA.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:42 PM

Lol, except I would argue that seafood is behind our selenium and iodine requirements also... Also, you just made 4 straw man arguments.. Just sayin.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:34 PM

Evolution is not concerned with maximizing everything. You could point to our selenium needs and conclude that our diet should optimally be brazil nuts. Iodine needs? Kelp. Thiamine needs? Pork. DHA needs? Salmon.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:46 PM

-1 only because you say probably not, a fairly certain statement, without providing what I'd consider sufficient evidence to warrant that statement.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 05:10 PM

Speaking of iodine and selenium, we need minute amounts of these elements, not grams, not milligrams, but mere micrograms are necessary for good health. Humans don't necessarily need high concentration of these in their food, but rather normal consumption of plants and animals grown on non-depleted soil is sufficient. DHA is in the same class as these elements, we need a tiny fraction of our fat to be DHA for good health, an amount that our own biology can manufacture itself or obtain from bioconcentrated animal sources.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 21, 2013
at 08:14 PM

For instance, just 3oz of cooked beef brain contains 727mg of DHA.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:29 PM

If DHA is higher in human breast milk and human breast milk dha consumption is correlated with dietary fish consumption then it would seem as if we are evolved to eat more fish. http://www.dhaomega3.org/Other-Health-Conditions/DHA-Levels-in-Breast-Milk-Worldwide

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 21, 2013
at 04:51 PM

Overstating our nutrient needs and saying that it must be our evolution by the sea... that's not supported. My point is that you've picked one nutrient and one source and concluded they must be related. Human breast milk is an argument against DHA from the sea. Human needs for DHA outside of growth being low argues does not support a DHA from the sea theory. Human evolution occurring inland and in the tropics argues against DHA coming from the sea theory. Certainly these are more plausible than aquatic ape theory!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on January 21, 2013
at 08:13 PM

Sorry, Matt, but I downvoted you because of your "brain is largely absent from terrestrial diets" comment. I don't think so. Assuming our HG ancestors ate the whole animal, they ate the brain as well, and all brains contain DHA.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 22, 2013
at 01:08 PM

Things you said I disagree with: 1 human needs for DHA outside of growth are low. 2. That inland evolution is more plausible than aquatic ape (where are all the bones?). 3 DHA is relatively high in all breast milk (except that's in USA its 1/5th of Japan's, as I cited above) 4. That humans have a high conversion rate of ala to DHA, (will you make the argument for beta carotene also?) 5. That normal consumption of land plants and animals supply adequate iodine. 6. That we can make all the DHA we need for good health.

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