Why did the iceman have bad teeth?

Posted: June 16, 2011 in LCHF/Paleo

I’m loving discovery news lately, they have some great articles that have caught my attention..

The first is called Iceman had bad teeth. I was curious to see what it said because I know from my reading of Paleolithic lifestyle that our ancestors had a great set of teeth, so why did this guy have bad teeth? Well apparently Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old mummy found in the Italian Alps 20 years ago was suffering from cavities, worn teeth and periodontal disease because he started finding and eating grains. Here’s some quotes from the article for ya..

“These dental pathologies are a sign of change in the Neolithic diet,” Albert Zink, head of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at EURAC in Bolzano, told Discovery News.

Although the Iceman did not lose a single tooth until the his death at an age of about 40 years, he had an advanced abrasion of his teeth, profound carious lesions, and a moderate to severe periodontitis,” the researchers said.

In particular, the molars of the upper jaw showed loss of alveolar bone as a sign of periodontitis (inflammation of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth), while evidence of “mechanical trauma” was found on two teeth.

“We already know that he was eating grains, such as einkorn or emmer. The contained carbohydrates clearly increased the risk of developing dental diseases,” Zink said.

Interesting… but then today I saw this article called People Grew shorter growing crops

“Many people have this image of the rise of agriculture and the dawn of modern civilization, and they just assume that a more stable food source makes you healthier,” Mummert said in an Emory press release.

“But early agriculturalists experienced nutritional deficiencies and had a harder time adapting to stress, probably because they became dependent on particular food crops, rather than having a more significantly diverse diet,” Mummert said.

Starting around 10,000 years ago, and continuing to relatively recently, no matter where and what crop, the pattern was the same. Agriculture led to shorter, less healthy people.

Makes ya think doesn’t it? Maybe just maybe science and new foods and agriculture didn’t make things better, it’s made things worse.. I know Celiac Disease is getting worse, heart disease, diabetes, obesity just to name a few.. Draw your own conclusions…

I did and feel a million times better for it…

Make sure to check out and read the full articles above!

  1. Sarah Allard says:

    Agriculture was the reason that many disease were able to spread to humans from animals and also very quickly through populations after people started living sedentary lifestyles.

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