- 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!
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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