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Anti-Nutritionism, L-Canavanine, And The Limitations of N=1 Self-Experimentation
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September 13, 2013
2:38 pm
Whitefox
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On the antinutrient topic, what about sweet potatoes and "cyanogenetic glycosides? They block cell breathing, cause gastrointestinal symptoms, influence carbohydrates and calcium transport and cause iodine deficiency deficiency at high doses" (from Adel at SuppVersity)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691500000405

The L-canavanine thing is interesting, but studies on primates and in-vitro cells is still not humans (though the one case study is interesting). It seems like the same thing with MSG - lots of scary rat studies and organ cells and excitotoxicity... but doesn't necessarily pan out in humans (as discussed above).

Also, I know that rice miRNA affects the LDL receptor in humans, but we haven't seen to what extent (if any) this has on long-term health. Cultures who eat rice+beans and sweet potatoes aren't dying in droves from autoimmunity or other ailments. I understand (and agree with) not eating certain things as a precaution (I don't eat gluten), but with less well-defined antinutrient effects I don't see legumes/milk/certain veggies being shunned anytime soon.

Examples: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21206508
http://synapse.koreamed.org/search.php?where=aview&id=10.4162%2Fnrp.2013.7.3.185&code=0161NRP&vmode=FULL

September 13, 2013
2:58 pm
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Whitefox:

That's a good point about sweet potatoes.  It's also important to note that there are many different "sweet potatoes", which vary greatly in nutrient and antinutrient content.  (White potatoes are the same.)

All plants contain antinutrients.  The important question is "Did our ancestors eat them frequently enough, and for enough generations, that an ability to metabolize or eliminate the antinutrient has arisen and been universally selected for?"  For instance, aspirin is toxic to cats, who have been purely carnivorous for so long that they've lost the ability to metabolize that class of plant toxins.

That is why I'm more suspicious of antinutrients in Neolithic foods: based on what we know of issues like gluten intolerance, celiac, Hashimoto's, etc., we know that the process of adaptation to Neolithic toxins is incomplete at best.  Thus my point: just because we eat something for a few months and "feel fine" doesn't mean it's healthy to eat. 

(There was a lot of that going around the paleo community when I wrote this article, e.g. "I ate corn for a few months and I feel fine, therefore corn is healthy to eat."  Fortunately, most of the people involved concluded paleo was "too limiting" for them and have explicitly abandoned the term...though a few of them refuse to go away, because they know the paleo community is where the action is.)

And yes, the jury is still out on most of these issues.  Whether and how often you "cheat" is a personal decision that I can't possibly make for anyone.

JS

September 26, 2014
12:37 am
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Halifax, UK
Gnoll
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J. Stanton said

All plants contain antinutrients.  The important question is "Did our ancestors eat them frequently enough, and for enough generations, that an ability to metabolize or eliminate the antinutrient has arisen and been universally selected for?"  For instance, aspirin is toxic to cats, who have been purely carnivorous for so long that they've lost the ability to metabolize that class of plant toxins.

... Thus my point: just because we eat something for a few months and "feel fine" doesn't mean it's healthy to eat.

JS

... and THAT is exactly why seasonality and localism is so important.

You've said it again and again, "the dose makes the poison"; something that is entirely wrong with the paleo formula. Let nature decide your plate (your intelligence is required here in a modern world of 'Food365' to understand what is in in season, your inner hunter/gatherer to seek out foods ACTUALLY grown in season, not just seasonal) and let fate decide the little things (whether something is in stock at the supermarket, or simply clearing out the reduced section). Not only seasonal, but what's available; what can be "hunted and gathered" in the modern world.

Ha! You and thought I was going to flower into an "everything in moderation" statement. What rot!

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

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