Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homo Purgare

'Angel' Feral Kitten: Alloparenting
Here's Angel our feral kitten that we fostered for a couple of weeks until she could eat solids on her own. My kids brought her home one day from the pet store where she was apparently dropped off. My kids are in fact anaphylactically allergic to cats yet cannot seem to stay away from them (KITTYCR*CK). At ~ 4 weeks old she was the size of a teacup. I've been busy and we just gave her back this week to be adopted hopefully at the store. In the beginning she had to be handfed softened food every 2 hours and had diarrhea. My kids and I gave her fish oil, probiotics (Flora Balance) and vitamin D supplements as well and as a result the diarrhea ended and she apparently grew like the carnivore that she is! When she first arrived, she walked with a wobbly gait and hopped on her hind legs like a d*ng bunny, but now at 8 weeks old she strides fast and long, like a predator ...bites like one too... then disappears into thin air.

Lactation and Weaning

It is interesting how quickly carnivores are weaned from their mothers and adapt to solid and semi-solid foods compared to primates. Kennedy reports that 'Though humans have a longer period of infant dependency than other hominoids, human infants, in natural fertility societies, are weaned far earlier than any of the great apes: chimps and orangutans wean, on average, at about 5 and 7.7 years, respectively, while humans wean, on average, at about 2.5 years.' Why? Because we're predators, not bunnies.

HunterAngel acts like a predator, day and night. She practices hunting, capturing and stalking her prey. Only predators are playful in the animal kingdom. Here is a picture, she leaped 12-18 inches to grab the camera flash! Other targets including our face, our feet and plump fingers! I have dozens of microscropic puncture wounds from her lovely feral baby claws. After her nails were clipped, it wasn't so painful playing with her. Naturally she practices HIIT -- bursts of hyperactivity and playful brutality with our body parts or her toys, then long, extended naps. She's young and sleeps all day. Unfortunately the pet store feeds the S.A.D. version of cat-kibble, but with us she was given something similar to the below Canadian brand and real food (raw yolks, meat, bone broth).

Orijens: 'biologically appropriate' (grain-free) food for cats and dogs sourced from free-range meat or wild-caught seafood (80/20/0 = meat/vegfruit/grain).

Homo Purgare, Scavenger

Somewhere in our hominid timeline, humans have regressed and are de-evolving -- our guts, our brains, our skeletal system, our fertility/gonads... See top. Like captured predators, zoo humans eat pre-digested and refined, mass manufactured 'food'. Where's our playfulness? Our carnivory lifestyles? The RAW?? On forums and digital savannahs??? Recently we moved from the cement suburbia into the cement jungle of the big city of Shanghai... A lot of adjustments but in some ways neat adventures for us.

Purgare is Latin for 'to clean' (according to my handy dandy Latin dict) or to salvage or scavenge. [please correct me!] Are we as a species in the modern, tech age and interstate/intercountry commerce, more homo purgare than sapien sapien ('doubly wise')?

Milton states that 'As human evolution progressed, young children in particular, with their rapidly expanding large brain and high metabolic and nutritional demands relative to adults would have benefited from volumetrically concentrated, high quality foods such as meat [and fat, I say]. Today, many humans, particularly those in high income nations, have a variety of high quality, non-ASF [animal sourced food] dietary alternatives, but such foods were not generally available to paleolithic human ancestors nor to many people today in low income nations.' Yes. GMO soy products, formula, hydrized high-gluten wheat, GMO rice and refined packaged foods are not available in some third world countries but that is rapidly changing. Big Agra and Fast Food Nation have hit. India, China and Africa are besot with mass produced, manufactured foods now and it shows. Feedlot eggs, dairy, poultry and meat are commonplace as well. Fields of GMO rice and crops growing on vast landscapes (on industrial waste typically, like Pearl River). Obesity and T2DM are epidemic, especially in China where the rule is one child per family, leading to 3 sets of over-feeding influences (parents, 2 sets of grandparents).

ATB ft Tiff Lacey - Ecstasy (Chill In The Sunrise Mix)
Predator of Prized Brain Nutrients Admittedly, Angel's never going to hunt except a few lost flies or mosquitoes, unless she escapes to the outdoors. We did let her scavenge at the dinner table with my kids alloparenting her with pre-chewed scraps (and human mouth flora!)... Going back to Kennedy... Competition with other carnivores (like Angel's predecessors like saber tooth tigers, leopards, etc) may have encouraged selection for earlier weaned humans and scaling the care-giving role from mother to extended family or pack members. What were the nutrients they were competing for? Kennedy argues that acquisition of protein (and thus fats) selected for brain survival and early weaning. Like carnivores, mother's milk wasn't enough to continue growing the predator brain. Like some carnivores, one, single mother alone wasn't enough and alloparenting evolved. Humans are mega-caregivers for long-lived offspring requiring intensive rearing, as well as mega-consumers of specific brain nutrients from protein sources: omega-3, minerals, amino acids, fats. It's a curious combination deeply forged in evolution. Eating tongue-to-testicle and muzzle-to-marrow are the only ways to source the required nutrients for optimal brain maturation and growth. For predators with big brains.
"Assuming that living great apes demonstrate the ancestral weaning pattern, modern humans display a derived pattern that requires explanation, particularly since earlier weaning may result in significant hazards for a child. Clearly, if selection had favored the survival of the child, humans would wean later like other hominoids; selection, then, favored some trait other than the child's survival. It is argued here that our unique pattern of prolonged, early brain growth--the neurological basis for human intellectual ability--cannot be sustained much beyond one year by a human mother's milk alone, and thus early weaning, when accompanied by supplementation with more nutritious adult foods, is vital to the ontogeny of our larger brain, despite the associated dangers. Therefore, the child's intellectual development, rather than its survival, is the primary focus of selection. Consumption of more nutritious foods--derived from animal protein--increased by ca. 2.6 myr ago when a group of early hominins displayed two important behavioral shifts relative to ancestral forms: the recognition that a carcass represented a new and valuable food source-potentially larger than the usual hunted prey-and the use of stone tools to improve access to that food source. The shift in the hominin "prey image" to the carcass and the use of tools for butchery increased the amount of protein and calories available, irrespective of the local landscape. However, this shift brought hominins into competition with carnivores, increasing mortality among young adults and necessitating a number of social responses, such as alloparenting. The increased acquisition of meat ca. 2.6 Ma had significant effects on the later course of human evolution and may have initiated the origin of the genus Homo."
References: 1. Boaz N. Eco Homo. 1997. Basic Books. [Chapter One, NYT] 2. Shlain L. Sex, Time and Power. 2003. Penguin, New York, NY. 3. Switek B. Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record and Our Place in Nature. 2010. Bellevue Literary Press, New York, NY. 4. Cunnane S. Survival of the Fattest: The Key to Human Brain Evolution. 2004. World Scientific. 5. From the ape's dilemma to the weanling's dilemma: early weaning and its evolutionary context. Kennedy GE. J Hum Evol. 2005 Feb;48(2):123-45. 6. Meat-adaptive genes and the evolution of slower aging in humans. Finch CE, Stanford CB. Q Rev Biol. 2004 Mar;79(1):3-50. 7. The critical role played by animal source foods in human (Homo) evolution. Milton K. J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11 Suppl 2):3886S-3892S. Internet sources: Alloparenting -- John Hawks Neolithic Equids -- Why the Long Face? Jamie Scott, That Paleo Guy post


praguestepchild said...

I'm guessing there might have been a tear or two shed when you returned this ridiculously cute foster kitty? My kid would've definitely cried a river.

Interesting you mention weaning and carnivores, I was just wondering out loud over on Richard's blog why lactose intolerance would've been so heavily selected for, it never really occurred to me to think about it, but there must be a reason for it. Why go out of your way (in an evolutionary sense) to shut off a gene like that? Because it stops being an optimal food or because it can over-commit the mother?

Dr. B G said...


*sniffle sniffle* YUP.

Clearly adults can't hold it in as well as kids... *ha*

I like your 'over-commit the mother' thought. After 9months gestation + 2.5 yrs lactation, time to reboot the nutrient reserves for mom! I don't know chimps and oranguatans do it! OMG 7 YRS? Thank God we evolved!! A baby on a boob that long needs multiple boobs so hoorah for alloparenting but your idea for 'shutting off the gene' and the milk machinery just makes so much more sense for nomadic or mobile HG's. Hhhmmm, the idea for multiple wives/boobs does have merit, no? Most men agree *haa* As long as there is one that does laundry.


praguestepchild said...

Wait, what just happened? Last thing I remember I was reading something about multiple wives and boobs--then I woke up on the floor.

Dr. B G said...


Allo-wifery... *haa ahaaa!!!* I'm not opposed.

Dr. Funkenstein said...

Love, love, love your kitten photos, Dr. BG. And the line about practicing HIIT.

Thanks for recommending grain-free cat food. I'm going to forward the suggestion to friends and relatives with cats. (Can you believe I know people who are trying to convert their cats to veganism? WTF?!?) While she was in your care, Angel ate better than a lot of people I know. Your kindness sets a good example.

Dr. Funkenstein

PS: Terrific presentation at AHS.

Dr. B G said...

Dr. F,

Love ur funky name ;)

Thank you for your kind words. Crazy cat owners!


Anonymous said...

Dr. B G,

Enjoy reading your posts, as always.

Question: I'm confused about apoe4 being meat/fat adaptive. I read elsewhere that apoe4's should eat lower-fat diets. Something about them not processing fat the way they should; any thoughts on that?

Thanks as always for your insight,

Dr. B G said...


Apolipoprotein E Isoform Phenotype and LDL Subclass Response to a Reduced-Fat Diet, ATVB. 1995;15:105-111.

Abstract: We investigated the association of apolipoprotein (apo) E isoform phenotype with lipoprotein response to reduced dietary fat intake in 103 healthy men (apoE3/2, n=10; apoE3/3, n=65; and apoE4/3, 4/4, n=28). In a randomized, crossover design, subjects consumed high-fat (46%) and low-fat (24%) diets for 6 weeks each. High-fat LDL cholesterol differed among phenotypes, with apoE4/3, 4/4>apoE3/3>apoE3/2. Reduction of LDL cholesterol on the low-fat diet was greater for apoE4/3, 4/4 than apoE3/3 (P<.05). There was no significant change in plasma apoB level within any of the apoE phenotype groups on the low-fat diet. This result, together with measurements of LDL subfraction mass by analytical ultracentrifugation, indicated that the primary basis for the diet-induced reduction in LDL cholesterol was not reduced LDL particle number but rather a shift from large, buoyant, cholesterol-rich LDL particles (flotation rate, 7 to 12) to smaller, denser LDL particles (flotation rate, 0 to 7). The magnitude of this effect was related to apoE phenotype, with progressively greater reductions in levels of large LDL (P<.01) from apoE3/2 to apoE3/3 to apoE4/3, 4/4. These results indicate that reduced dietary fat lowers levels of large, buoyant LDL particles by an apoE-dependent mechanism.

Dr. B G said...

Hi Alana,

Great question which I briefly addressed in the prior apo E4/4 tagged posts. Like a lot of reduced fat ridiculousness out there, I believe the scientific conclusions are inaccurate and misinformed. Both the apoE book and Dr. Davis I believe are incorrectly concluding that reduced fat, high carb are the best for apoE4 in light of the nutritional science. In a study by Dreon, Krauss et al, it showed that indeed total LDL calculated is reduced with the reduced fat and high carb diet however this results in higher atherogenic, dense LDL particles. The LDL is quite lower but at the cost of LDL functionality and buoyancy.

I don't buy into the false LDL-heart hypothesis. It is wrong. It widens people's waistlines, visceral fat (fatty liver/heart/pancreas) and shortens lifespans. The LDL-IV subfraction ('death band') is correlated to death, MIs, mortality in countless clinical trials. This is the best way to ascertain risk for both cancer, heart disease and any inflammatory condition (along with other markers like insulin, hsCRP, ANA, ESR, thyroid, cortisol, etc).

High fat 46% of diet was dramatically better across each ApoE match compared with Reduced fat 24% of diet for LDL-IV, and particularly significant for apoE4 folks. Reduced fat diets (high carb) raises this dangerous marker LDL-IV the most. High carb and low saturated fat is absolutely dangerous for E4 and this is reflected in increased neural degeneration of the fattiest organ, the brain in Alzheimer's (diabetes type 3.0) and autistic/ASD individuals where E4 is prevalent.

Table 4
LDL-IV, Sfo ['death band']

high fat 10.7 ±3.3
low fat 18.2±5.1

high fat 10.9±1.4
low fat 17.4±2.0

high fat 11.8±1.5
low fat 19.1 [**most suboptimal and lethal]

HDL2 is another marker and the higher the better. Framingham showed this is the best marker for least mortality and anti-inflammatory status. The identical results were shown in Table 4 for HDL2: reduced fat worsened and high saturated fat produced the best subfractions, especially in the E4 allele carriers.

Table 4
HDL2 [longevity biomarker]

high fat 43.5 ±13.6
low fat 27.1±8.0

high fat 36.0±4.2
low fat 23.6 ±2.8

high fat 35.3±5.2
low fat 24.4 [** significantly suboptimal]

Does that help? Diet determines many things and genetics can reveal the rest... It is misunderstood but this is precisely what I love about nutrigenomics. Obviously gluten grains are the most inflammatory but I believe any carbs for certain phenotypes and genotypes can potentially interact and only lab testing make it clear and obvious. Neurodegeneration, calcified arteries (CAC, carotid u/s) and fatty livers are target organ disease caused by inflammation (related to sdLDL). All reversible but would be nice to catch early rather than when causing detriment. These are being identified in children and young adults now...

Let me know if I can provide better clarification!


Marisa said...

Hi, Love, good to see back in cyberspace, spreading your thoughts and knowledge. - M

Dr. B G said...


Miss you TONS CHICKY :( Cyberspace isn't big enough...


Anonymous said...

Dr. B G,

You are awesome. Huge thanks for the amazingly thorough, thoughtful reply. Your take on things makes sense.

I was curious about apoe4 fat intake because I found out I'm actually apoe4/4. I've found your and Dr. Deans' blog especially informative in researching apoe4 info, and am basically doing a Perfect Health Style diet and also trying to watch stress and sleep. (And knowing your stance metal toxicity, I've refused metal in my crown [went with porcelain], and no longer eat from metal lunch containers, but I'm not sure of other preventative measures to take.)

Anyway, again, many thanks for your wonderful insight; your blog is a seriously valuable resource.


Dr. B G said...


If we could clarify misinformation and reduce the number of people taking the soma/koolaid... then it's a step toward a more enlightened world... I hope!

Thanks for your questions! The best sources on minimizing metal exposure that I found is in fact from the WAPF foundation by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD and Galen D. Knight, PhD. It is VERY THOROUGH. See below. It sounds like you discovered a mercury-free dentist but here's another link for mercury-free resources.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the additional info re: metal toxicity -- much appreciated! You really are fantastic. :)