Mozambican grass seed consumption during the Middle Stone Age.

Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 12/2009; 326(5960):1680-3. DOI: 10.1126/science.1173966
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The role of starchy plants in early hominin diets and when the culinary processing of starches began have been difficult to track archaeologically. Seed collecting is conventionally perceived to have been an irrelevant activity among the Pleistocene foragers of southern Africa, on the grounds of both technological difficulty in the processing of grains and the belief that roots, fruits, and nuts, not cereals, were the basis for subsistence for the past 100,000 years and further back in time. A large assemblage of starch granules has been retrieved from the surfaces of Middle Stone Age stone tools from Mozambique, showing that early Homo sapiens relied on grass seeds starting at least 105,000 years ago, including those of sorghum grasses.

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    ABSTRACT: International Journal of Exercise Science 7(2) : 128-139, 2014. The Paleolithic (Paleo) diet is one modeled after the perceived food consumption of early human ancestors of the Paleolithic Era, consisting of mainly meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, eggs, and nuts. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a Paleo diet on blood lipids, including high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), non-HDL cholesterol, triglycerides (TG), total cholesterol (TC), and the ratio between TC and HDL (TC/HDL) in a healthy population. Healthy subjects of both genders (24 males, 20 females) were asked to eat an ad libitum Paleo diet for 10 weeks. Prior to the intervention, body weight, body fat percentage (BF%), maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), TC, TG, HDL, and LDL were measured. These measurements were repeated following 10 weeks of a Paleo diet. As a whole, there was a significant increase in non-HDL (107.1±6.0 mg/dL to 120.2±6.5 mg/dL; P<0.01), LDL (93.1±5.4 mg/dL to 105.6±6.1 mg/dL; P<0.01), TC/HDL (3.0±0.2 to 3.3±0.2; P<0.05), and TC (168.8±5.4 mg/dL to 178.9±6.6 mg/dL; P<0.05) in healthy subjects following a Paleo diet. When stratified into groups based on initial blood lipid levels, deleterious changes were found in those with optimal HDL (82.1±3.2 mg/dL to 68.6±4.8 mg/dL; P<0.05), non-HDL (86.6±3.9 mg/dL to 101.4±4.8 mg/dL; P<0.01), TC (157.2±0.7 to 168.2±0.9 mg/dL; P<0.05), TC/HDL (2.5±0.1 to 2.7±0.1; P<0.05), and LDL (69.1±3.1 mg/dL to 83.5±4.1 mg/dL; P<0.01), whereas those within sub-optimal stratifications showed no significant changes. Subjects also decreased body weight (80.7±2.6 kg to 77.5±2.4 kg; P<0.001) and BF% (24.3±1.2% to 20.7±1.2%; P < 0.05). Our results demonstrate that an ad libitum unrestricted Paleo diet intervention is associated with deleterious changes to blood lipids in healthy subjects, despite concurrent improvements in body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness. Future research should focus on determining recommendations that embrace the positive aspects of the Paleo diet, while minimizing any deleterious impact on blood lipids in a healthy population.
    International Journal of Exercise Science. 01/2014; 7(2):128-139.
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract
    Journal of Human Evolution 01/2014; · 3.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eastern Africa is an important area to study early populations of Homo sapiens because subsets of those populations likely dispersed to Eurasia and subsequently throughout the globe during the Upper Pleistocene. The Middle Stone Age (MSA) archaeology of this region, particularly aspects of stone-tool technology and typology, is highly variable with only rare cases of geographic and temporal patterning. Although there are differences in timing and perhaps frequency of occurrence, those elements that make up the MSA lithic tool kit are also found at contemporaneous sites elsewhere in Africa and Eurasia, making it difficult to identify a unique archaeological signal for hominin dispersals out of eastern Africa. Rather, regional variation appears to be the outcome of possibly long-term interactions between particular physical and social environments experienced by hominin populations.
    Current Anthropology 12/2013; 54(S8):S234-S254. · 2.93 Impact Factor


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