3

votes

The Paleo nomad

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 21, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Hey guys,

Aren't the mongolians mostly paleo? Yeah, I know they consume a lot of dairy, but most of their calories seem to come from meat and fat, according to this wikipedia article. I've been giving meat a chance, since I've noticed that spinach has oxalates and shitaki has purine and tea has fluoride and mate is carcinogenic and cabagge has Goitrogen and cauliflower has purine... and goitrogen!

Still, what happens in practice weights more than what is predicted by theory, and take a look at the prevalence of cancer in Mongolia. Isn't this a good argument against a paleo diet based mostly on meat (contrasting it to a paleo diet based mostly on vegetables)?

Thanks

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:09 PM

You will notice that Paleo Dave answered your original question though. You asked "Isn't this an argument against a Paleo diet based mostly on meat" and he showed that the most common form of cancer in Mongolia can stem from hepatitis infection, which is incredibly common there. The source of the hepatitis isn't the issue; his point was that the hepatitis is (likely) the cause, not meat. If you disagree with his conclusion, best to do so in a comment on his answer. If you don't disagree with his conclusion, best to mark it as the correct answer so the question closes :)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 22, 2010
at 12:37 PM

Well, as Mongolia has modernized, wheat flour has become a very common staple. If you look at faostat.fao.org it shows they now import 100851 tonnes of wheat a year, up from 30200 in 1984.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 10:37 AM

Just to add to your answer, Melissa, when I lived in China and met Mongols and Tibetans, they mentioned the fact that they ate more buckwheat than wheat (and millet too), the land is too harsh to grow much wheat, or much of anything to be honest.

58a55f0986b8f49a8bc5666e10492569

on March 22, 2010
at 01:02 AM

RE your 2nd sentence about the oxalates, purines, fluoride, carcinogens, goitrogens, let's add fructose, lectins, ... are there *any* healthy plant foods left after applying all these filters?!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 22, 2010
at 12:52 AM

I can't open the 'prevalence of cancer' link without downloading a program onto a borrowed laptop (not going there)- so could you give me a short run down on the stats please?

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 22, 2010
at 12:16 AM

Don't know the answer, but I'm up-voting you because I think it's a legitimate question.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 21, 2010
at 11:10 PM

Hi Konrad -- interesting question. And yes, I think down-voting your question without providing an answer is lame. (For the record, I am upvoting your question.)

Fc7712b6a931b618ffaf4d6475b5d8f4

(200)

on March 21, 2010
at 10:01 PM

To my down-voters: http://www.irrationalrationalist.com/_/rsrc/1253456193892/home/problems-of-religion/the-differences-between-science-and-religion/2007-01-15-science-vs-faith.png

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3 Answers

11
5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

on March 22, 2010
at 03:12 AM

From http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol9no12/02-0520.htm :

In spite of the overall encouraging decline in hepatitis B carriage, the impact of chronic hepatitis remains a major health problem for the country. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common malignancy in Mongolia (followed by gastroesophogeal, cervical, and lung cancers), and cirrhosis remains common enough to justify a 54-bed ward at NRCID dedicated to the care of patients with the disease. Although injection drug use appears to be rare, alcohol abuse is very common and almost certainly contributes to Mongolia???s problem with chronic liver disease (12).

In case you aren't familiar with the term hepatocellular carcinoma (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatocellular_carcinoma ):

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, also called malignant hepatoma) is a primary malignancy (cancer) of the liver. Most cases of HCC are secondary to either a viral hepatitide infection (hepatitis B or C) or cirrhosis (alcoholism being the most common cause of hepatic cirrhosis).

So how serious is the hepatitis epidemic in Mongolia?

From http://fireprojects.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65&Itemid=61 :

Anecdotal estimates are as high as sixty percent of all Mongolians have Hepatitis B, C or both.

So what do you think, is it the meat or the hepatitis that's causing the problem?

I wonder how the Mongolians are doing with other forms of cancer that aren't caused by hepatitis?

From http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00860886 :

There are striking differences in breast cancer incidence rates between Asian and North American and Western European populations, but within Asia variation is also wide. Incidence in Mongolia is one of the lowest in the world (6.6/100,000) while China, its neighbor to the south, has about three times this rate (18.7/100,000). Furthermore, rates appear higher in urban than in rural areas in Mongolia.

So not only are breast cancer rates relatively non-existent in Mongolia compared to the US but it's even less prevalent in those rural areas where they are still consuming a diet that you identify as Paleo.

Usually, it's colon cancer that's blamed by the medical establishment and the vegetarians on meat consumption so I wonder what the colon cancer rates are like for those crazy meat-eating Mongolians?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colon_cancer :

the-paleo-nomad

Note that yellow means 'pretty much non-existent' and red means 'really bad' with shades of orange in between. For those who are geography-challenged, Mongolia is the bright yellow place between Russia and China towards the right side of the map.

So, sorry, I seem to have missed the "good argument against a paleo diet based mostly on meat".

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 22, 2010
at 03:16 AM

I worked with an environmental economist whose specialty was Mongolia and met some Mongolian grad students through her. Mongolian food is indeed rich in fat and some of what they eat is great, but they eat massive amounts of wheat, mainly as dumplings. They also seemed to dump massive amounts of salt in everything. It's very similar to Tibetan food, which is also very delicious, but oh so gluteny. Vodka abuse is similar to Russians I've known.

Koreans, Japanese, and Icelanders are also heavy salters who are healthy except for cancer. Stomach cancer rates seem to be particularly high in these countries. I love salt, but I try to be careful about it. I also don't do as much dairy as the Mongolians do.

Alcohol, massive amounts of salt, gluten, cured meats with nitrates, overcooking meat, too much dairy, pretty much no vegetables or fruits whatsoever...lots of bad things about Mongolia despite their love of fat.

There also is the possibility of a founder effect too, which could genetically predispose people.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 10:37 AM

Just to add to your answer, Melissa, when I lived in China and met Mongols and Tibetans, they mentioned the fact that they ate more buckwheat than wheat (and millet too), the land is too harsh to grow much wheat, or much of anything to be honest.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 22, 2010
at 12:37 PM

Well, as Mongolia has modernized, wheat flour has become a very common staple. If you look at faostat.fao.org it shows they now import 100851 tonnes of wheat a year, up from 30200 in 1984.

0
350bbbf48293b8d86b47839ab33477fa

on July 08, 2013
at 08:01 PM

"So what do you think, is it the meat or the hepatitis that's causing the problem?"

It´s sure that it´s not diet, but pure hygiene which is responsible for high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinom. Cleanliness is a real problem in Mongolia, especially among the rural herders. Hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body at least 14 days. Infection is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected with the virus during activities such as birth (spread from an infected mother to her baby during birth), sex with an infected partner, sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person, direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person , exposure to blood from needlesticks or other sharp instruments,etc.

You can find more on my FB page: http://www.facebook.com/MichalPijakMDPersonalizedPaleoNutrition

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on July 08, 2013
at 08:09 PM

You will notice that Paleo Dave answered your original question though. You asked "Isn't this an argument against a Paleo diet based mostly on meat" and he showed that the most common form of cancer in Mongolia can stem from hepatitis infection, which is incredibly common there. The source of the hepatitis isn't the issue; his point was that the hepatitis is (likely) the cause, not meat. If you disagree with his conclusion, best to do so in a comment on his answer. If you don't disagree with his conclusion, best to mark it as the correct answer so the question closes :)

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