4

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Why does a Kitavan-style diet work for Kitavans, but would probably kill someone with IBS/Cronh's?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 01, 2012 at 7:07 PM

The Kitavans are an anomaly as far as carb consumption is concerned. According to Chris masterjohn, there's not too much variance in salivary amylase amounts, but it does vary slightly and the people who have more salivary amylase do better with carbs (and that's obvious why that would occur. We don't need studies to explain why more amylase enzyme = better carb control. )

But the differences in saliary amylase aren't enough to explain how the Kitavans can do just fine on a high-carb diet, but there are many people who would in all seriousness drop dead from such a high-carb diet, full of starch. What other reasons could there be for Kitavans having better carb-control than everyone else?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

So if this is true that raises the question; what genetic traits have the Kitavans acquired to thrive on high carb?

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on December 02, 2012
at 05:16 AM

I share your gluten problems. It seems to be a disease of opportunity.

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on December 02, 2012
at 02:49 AM

Nicely said. I think that disturbances in the microbiome is at the root of many illnesses. Have you had antibiotics in your lifetime that you think may have led to your health problems?

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on December 02, 2012
at 02:15 AM

Alex approves.

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 01, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Totally agree. Will add another factor: active lifestyle.

Ff5307d657eb7bbcc526dc7cf1ddd7fd

(460)

on December 01, 2012
at 09:12 PM

HA! Essentially what I said, but a much funnier way of saying it.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 01, 2012
at 09:00 PM

Intestinal permeability? True genetic disorders are extremely rare.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 01, 2012
at 07:31 PM

And do the Kitavans do well if they switched over to a high-fat/moderate protein diet?

  • 3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

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8 Answers

11
Ff5307d657eb7bbcc526dc7cf1ddd7fd

on December 01, 2012
at 08:27 PM

The more I learn about the paleo diet (and other traditional diets) and try to reconcile this knowledge with my own food reactions and digestive problems, the more I've come to see my food intolerances as symptoms rather than genetically predetermined reactions that are the root cause of my health problems. I might get in trouble for saying this, but I've even started to suspect that, for many people, gluten intolerance is a symptom of an underlying pathology and not necessarily a disease in itself. I say that as someone who is extremely gluten intolerant and wouldn't touch a piece of bread with a six-foot pole. It follows then, that I don't think starch intolerance is necessarily caused by eating too many sweet potatoes.

My main interest these days is not so much in the paleo diet but in the microbiome and its relation to disease. I suspect that changes in the microbiome trigger these intolerances and many modern diseases and that these changes are being passed on from mother to child. While removal of problematic foods from the diet can help, it is not necessarily a cure. The factors that affect the microbiome are many. Diet, of course, is one of them, but I don't think we can ignore the effects of antibiotics, c-section births, acid blocking medicines, chronic stress, too much time indoors, etc.

For me, following a paleo diet no longer means imitating the diet of our paleolithic ancestors. Rather, it means a new way of defining disease as a condition in which environmental factors clash with genetic/epigenetic factors. I say this with the recognition, of course, that truly amazing recoveries are possible through environmental and dietary manipulation in the direction of paleolithic/ancestral practices.

I don't understand enough about genetics and epigenetics to know if dramatic changes in the microbiome count as environmental changes or genetic/epigenetic changes, but I think we should be open to the possibility that some of these changes might be irreversible and might require a new modernolithic :) diet and behavior that doesn't look exactly like that of our ancestors.

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 01, 2012
at 11:02 PM

Totally agree. Will add another factor: active lifestyle.

De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on December 02, 2012
at 05:16 AM

I share your gluten problems. It seems to be a disease of opportunity.

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on December 02, 2012
at 02:49 AM

Nicely said. I think that disturbances in the microbiome is at the root of many illnesses. Have you had antibiotics in your lifetime that you think may have led to your health problems?

10
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 01, 2012
at 09:05 PM

I'm gonna go with industrial society inducing a disturbed gut microbiota for 1000, Alex.

Ff5307d657eb7bbcc526dc7cf1ddd7fd

(460)

on December 01, 2012
at 09:12 PM

HA! Essentially what I said, but a much funnier way of saying it.

7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on December 02, 2012
at 02:15 AM

Alex approves.

2
E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on December 01, 2012
at 07:14 PM

Because those people have been weeded out of the Kitavan gene pool. If you couldn't thrive on their diet you didn't survive. The only people left in their gene pool do well on high carbs.

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 01, 2012
at 07:31 PM

And do the Kitavans do well if they switched over to a high-fat/moderate protein diet?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

So if this is true that raises the question; what genetic traits have the Kitavans acquired to thrive on high carb?

1
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 02, 2012
at 01:35 AM

Carbs aren't bad as much as grains/legumes are bad. The Kitavans eat a high tuber diet, not a high grain diet.

Not to say that somebody with chron's would do well on a potato diet, but there are more populations than just the Kitavans who have subsisted comfortably on a high tuber diet. I'd also like to point out that the average male height of a Kitavan is 5'4" for males and 5'1" for females, so while they survive comfortably, they are questionably optimal if you include height in that equation.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 01, 2012
at 08:25 PM

Why do I do fine on peanuts but they would kill someone with peanut allergies? Why do some do fine with wheat but it could kill someone with celiacs?

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 01, 2012
at 09:00 PM

Intestinal permeability? True genetic disorders are extremely rare.

0
08ae2a888132639327bfafb561ec4a60

on December 04, 2012
at 06:39 AM

They eat low-protein (about 10% of calories), near ZERO PUFA and their 21% of calories from fat is nearly all saturated fat and MCT. Makes perfect sense to me. Starch is high, but much starch never gets digested and proceeds to the colon for fermentation. That part of it produces zero glucose because no oxygen in the colon. Protein is only for its primary purpose (cell repair) without a lot of extra to be turned into glucose. Most importantly, NO PUFAs.

Makes perfect sense to me. Stop obsessing on just carbs. There's more to it than that. The recent diabetes epidemic coincided (correllates) exactly with HUGE increases in the following from diet:

fructose glucose PUFA man-made trans-fats

along with HUGE decreases in:

saturated fat, especially from animal sources

All are suspects, Kitavan diet from birth being healthy not surprising. Doubtful if diabetics and others damaged by above could adopt it successfully mid-life, however.

0
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on December 02, 2012
at 09:25 AM

regarding the amylase i read theres what they call a "copy number variation" in the amylase gene so some people produce more salivary amylase than others and this helps make starchy foods more digestible.

Diet and the evolution of human amylase gene copy number variation

0
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on December 02, 2012
at 05:20 AM

Are those other people other HGs or sickly Westerners? I suspect the simple answer is that a high carb diet may be bad for you but just another form of stress. They don't have the vegetable oils, legumes, artificial light, chemicals, etc that we have so they're easily able to cope with the few stresses in their environment.

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