Saturday January 18, 2020

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.
  • 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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Next Story

Know About the Health Benefits of Walnuts

Eat walnuts daily for better gut, heart health

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Walnuts
Walnuts could lead to better heart health. Pixabay

Walnuts may not just be a tasty snack, they may also promote good-for-your-gut bacteria, say researchers, adding that these ‘good’ bacteria could lead to better heart health.

The study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests walnut as a part of healthy diet may be a heart- and gut-healthy nut.

Additionally, those changes in gut bacteria were associated with improvements in some risk factors for heart disease.

“Substantial evidence shows that small improvements in diet greatly benefit health. Eating two to three ounces of walnuts a day as part of a healthy diet could be a good way to improve gut health and reduce the risk of heart disease,” said study researcher Kristina Petersen from Penn State University in the US.

Walnuts
Walnuts as a part of healthy diet may be a heart- and gut-healthy nut. Pixabay

According to the researchers, another research has found that changes to the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract — also known as the gut microbiome — may help explain the cardiovascular benefits of walnuts.

For the study, the researchers recruited 42 participants with overweight or obesity who were between the ages of 30 and 65.

Before the study began, participants were placed on an average American diet for two weeks.

After this “run-in” diet, the participants were randomly assigned to one of three study diets, all of which included less saturated fat than the run-in diet.

 

Walnuts
Researchers found that after consuming walnuts, there were significant associations between changes in gut bacteria and risk factors for heart disease. Pixabay

The diets included one that incorporated whole walnuts, one that included the same amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids without walnuts, and one that partially substituted oleic acid (another fatty acid) for the same amount of ALA found in walnuts, without any walnuts.

In all three diets, walnut or vegetable oils replaced saturated fat, and all participants followed each diet for six weeks with a break between diet periods.

 

Also Read- Consumption of Soybean Oil May Affect Neurological Conditions: Study

The researchers also found that after the walnut diet, there were significant associations between changes in gut bacteria and risk factors for heart disease.

According to the study, Eubacterium eligens was inversely associated with changes in several different measures of blood pressure, suggesting that greater numbers of Eubacterium eligens was associated with greater reductions in those risk factors. (IANS)