3

votes

Living as an Inuit for a year?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 13, 2010 at 4:04 PM

This isn't really a question but I thought it would be of interest from the BBC News.

Scientist will live as an Inuit for one year

A Cambridge University researcher will set out on 15 August on a year-long expedition to Greenland to document the threatened Inuit culture.

Dr Stephen Pax Leonard will spend a year living with a community in Qaanaaq in the far north of the country.

Once he has learned their dialect - Inuktun - he plans to record and archive the literature, songs and myths that form the basis of the culture.

and this...

The biggest challenge though, is likely to be adapting to a diet of sea mammals.

"It'll be seal, walrus and narwhal - an extremely fatty diet, very low in carbohydrate and very few fruit and vegetables, so I'll be living on vitamin supplements as well."

I expect the locals manage without the supplements?

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 08, 2011
at 06:37 PM

There's Vitamin D in the cold-water mammals and fish they eat.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on July 08, 2011
at 04:23 PM

His specialty is not diet. Just because he is a scientist does not mean he is any more knowledgeable about other scientific fields than the average person.

Fd0633a7758ad83a5fa785e88a0cc00f

(281)

on August 14, 2010
at 05:40 PM

Dr. Leonard responded to my email... Dear Ellen, No, I am not doing a blood draw but I would be very interested in knowing the results of one. Nobody has mentioned this to me and I am leaving tomorrow! With best wishes, Stephen. So...nobody thought of it because the focus was linguistic...not diet related. Maybe he will do it?

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on August 13, 2010
at 05:51 PM

Yeah I wonder if he'll ever look at the natives NOT eating vitamin pills and wonder.

Fd0633a7758ad83a5fa785e88a0cc00f

(281)

on August 13, 2010
at 04:57 PM

I sent Dr. Leonard an email...if he responds I will post it. The article was fascinating, it will be interesting to follow him.

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5 Answers

3
4310630972b25b6ed4fbd0fe7a7201d0

on August 13, 2010
at 04:21 PM

Why do people (and a scientist, no less?!) assume that diets heavy in animal products are bereft of vitamins and minerals?

On the other hand, properly done, those diets are high in organ meats, marrow, etc, which will provide a bulk of those nutrients. If this guy doesn't go whole hog and partake of the whole animal, then I could see the potential need for supplementation.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on July 08, 2011
at 04:23 PM

His specialty is not diet. Just because he is a scientist does not mean he is any more knowledgeable about other scientific fields than the average person.

2
Fd0633a7758ad83a5fa785e88a0cc00f

(281)

on August 13, 2010
at 04:49 PM

It would be interesting to see a pre-, mid- and post blood draw for some more accurate data than his journal and how he feels...

Fd0633a7758ad83a5fa785e88a0cc00f

(281)

on August 14, 2010
at 05:40 PM

Dr. Leonard responded to my email... Dear Ellen, No, I am not doing a blood draw but I would be very interested in knowing the results of one. Nobody has mentioned this to me and I am leaving tomorrow! With best wishes, Stephen. So...nobody thought of it because the focus was linguistic...not diet related. Maybe he will do it?

Fd0633a7758ad83a5fa785e88a0cc00f

(281)

on August 13, 2010
at 04:57 PM

I sent Dr. Leonard an email...if he responds I will post it. The article was fascinating, it will be interesting to follow him.

1
88905cfc5bb098ad3830671a1af373a8

on August 14, 2010
at 09:02 AM

Isn't he aware of his predecessor Vilhjalmur Stefansson doing the same thing - sans supplements - and enjoying perfect health?

http://www.apinchofhealth.com/resources/lowcarb/stefansson-adventures-in-diet-part-two.html

0
145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

on July 08, 2011
at 06:30 PM

OK, I am good with this guy not needing vitamin supplements.....except for one....the sun will be away for many months. What about Vitamin D? Are there other sources for D (which is getting a LOT of exposure these days for how valuable it is)? I know the natives won't be supplementing, so what part of their diet provides the D?

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on July 08, 2011
at 06:37 PM

There's Vitamin D in the cold-water mammals and fish they eat.

0
C674d43f8ce2a0fb93470a33eeca51ae

on July 08, 2011
at 02:31 PM

No kidding! "With vitamin supplements"? Not necessary at all! Yes, he should definitely know the work of Steffansson. I would honestly like to do a similar kind of test with all the rigorous testing, just to increase the sample size that such diets are perfectly healthy for ANY human. (my descent is from balkan, Mediterranean), meaning, there's no genetic component at all.

I am also aware that such groups as the Kitavans do perfectly well with a starchy diet (and lots of healthy fatty fish), but for me personally, I really feel that carbs are not NECESSARY. They are merely fillers. The Kitavans and other similar groups do not rely on the starches for nutrients. They rely on fish/meat and also coconut (for Pacific Islanders). See how that works?

Anyway, interesting post!

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