Monday July 23, 2018

Consumption of Dairy Products Changed the Shape of Human Skull: Study

We all know milk makes our bones stronger. But a new study suggests that the consumption of milk and other dairy products did not make skulls of our ancestors stronger or bigger. Read on to know how!

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Human Skull
The diet consumed during one's growing years has a major impact on our bones, jaws and even the face structure. Pixabay.
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  • According to a new study, change in Human skull structure could be due to the consumption of a specific diet
  • Researchers believe the practice of chewing altered face structures
  • Skull morphology also varies between people of different genders

New York, August 25, 2017: Do you belong to the category of people who read the label on every food item they purchase? Do you count your calories and keep an account of your daily calorie consumption? Are you the person who religiously reads articles on health and nutrition on the internet? Even if not, this article is going to take you by surprise. What if we tell you that an individual’s diet alters the construction of the human skull?

Having processed food that lacks several important nutrients exposes us to an increased risk of various medical problems like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc. However, recent studies have found that the diet you consume, particularly in your growing years, has a major impact on the development of your bones, jaws and even the face structure/human skull!

ALSO READ: Evolution of Human Proboscis: Nose Shape Influenced by Local Climate, say Researchers

A team comprising of David Katz, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Calgary, Professor Tim Weaver and statistician Mark Gote from the University of California-Davis accessed a collection of 559 crania and 534 lower jaws (skull bones) from different corners of the world that ranged from more than a two dozen population from the pre-industrial era. These bones were then studied to analyze the influence that the diet consumed had on the form, size and shape of the human skull during the time man shifted to consumption of agricultural products.

The research found that the advent of farming practices, especially the consumption of dairy products significantly affected the shape of human skull.

The researchers observed modest changes in human skull morphology for groups that were dependent on cereals, dairy, or a combination of the two. This effect was more evident in populations suspected to consume softer foods like cheese.

According to Katz, for the early farmers of the time, “milk did not make for bigger, stronger skull bones.”

Katz found that the primary difference between the skulls of a hunter-gatherer and that of a farmer “are where we would expect to find them, and change in ways we might expect them to.” This he believes, could happen if the demand of chewing decreased within the farming groups.

According to the study, different foods determined how often or how hard one had to chew. The constant movement of the bones in order to properly chew food is what is believed to have altered the shape.

Chewing on hard foods activates bone cells which promote the growth of strong and big jaws. Alternatively, consumption of softer foods like dairy products led to people having smaller jaws with tooth-crowding.

Apart from dietary consumption, the researches claim human skull morphology was also altered by the gender of the people, or between individuals who consumed the same diet but were from different populations.

The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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Obesity Alone Does not Increase Death Risk: Study

Earlier, a study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, found that women with metabolically healthy obesity were at 39 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease

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The researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors.
The researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors. Pixabay

Patients who have metabolically healthy obesity but are free from other metabolic risk factors do not have an increased rate of mortality, a new study has found.

Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Obesity, showed that unlike dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes — each one of which is related to high mortality risk — obesity alone does not pose any threat to life.

“We are showing that individuals with metabolically healthy obesity are actually not at an elevated mortality rate,” said lead author Jennifer Kuk, Associate Professor at the York University in Canada.

“We found that a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors,” Kuk added.

Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications.
Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications. Pixabay

For the study, the research team followed 54,089 men and women from five cohort studies who were categorized as having obesity alone or clustered with a metabolic factor, or elevated glucose, blood pressure or lipids alone or clustered with obesity or another metabolic factor.

The researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors.

They found that one out of 20 individuals with obesity had no other metabolic abnormalities.

Also Read: Abdominal Obesity Linked to Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

“This is in contrast with most of the literature and we think this is because most studies have defined metabolic healthy obesity as having up to one metabolic risk factor,” said Kuk.

“This is clearly problematic, as hypertension alone increases your mortality risk and past literature would have called these patients with obesity and hypertension, ‘healthy’. This is likely why most studies have reported that ‘healthy’ obesity is still related with higher mortality risk,” Kuk noted.

Earlier, a study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, found that women with metabolically healthy obesity were at 39 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease. (IANS)