Lifestyle and nutritional imbalances associated with Western diseases: causes and consequences of chronic systemic low-grade inflammation in an evolutionary context
This is one of the best and most comprehensive papers on evolutionary health and nutrition that has been published to date. It outlines how humans’ diet and lifestyle have changed in the time that has passed since the Paleolithic era, and how these changes have affected our health via inflammatory pathways.
What Darwin Never Knew
This documentary, which is an installment of the science series NOVA, outlines the fundamentals of Darwin’s evolutionary theory, as well as describes how recent discoveries related to genes and heritability enhance our understanding of evolutionary processes.
Medicine in the 21st century: towards a Darwinian Medical epistemology
This is one of the most original and intriguing papers on Darwinian medicine that has ever been published. In the article, the author, Dr. Ángel A. Román-Franco, reflects on the relevance of evolutionary theory to medicine and looks into the ultimate causes of human illness. It’s well-worth a read. You can download the full paper here, as well as another similar paper by the same author here.
Evolutionary aspects of nutrition
Cardiovascular Disease Resulting From a Diet and Lifestyle at Odds With Our Paleolithic Genome: How to Become a 21st-Century Hunter-Gatherer
This scientific paper provides a concise overview of the evolutionary health concept. It’s a great place to start for people who are new to the idea that we – contemporary humans – have a lot to learn from hunter-gatherers and who want to familiarize themselves with Darwinian nutrition and lifestyle principles.
Dr. Graham Rook is a Darwinian thinker and experienced scientific researcher. He’s perhaps the world’s foremost expert on the evolution of human-associated microbial ecosystems. In several of his scientific papers (e.g., this one and this one), he details how our microbial environment has changed over the millennia and how these changes have affected out health, with an emphasis on the immunoregulatory effects of microbes and helminths. He’s also written a book on the subject – The Hygiene Hypothesis and Darwinian Medicine – and has his own website, which is dedicated to his scientific ideas and work.
Probiotic lactic acid bacteria – the fledgling cuckoos of the gut?
In this scientific paper, Dr. Tore Midtvedt, who was among the first scientists who recognized that gut bacteria play a vital role in shaping human health, and colleagues look into the role that lactic acid bacteria play in the ecosystem of the human body, as well as explain why it’s a bad idea to bombard one’s gut with probiotics. The paper is a welcome breath of fresh air in a scientific environment that’s congested by literature portraying probiotics as benign disease repressors.
Current Hunter-Gatherer Diets
In this interesting video, anthropologist Alyssa Crittenden talks about the composition of hunter-gatherer diets. She mainly focuses on the Hadza diet, which is particularly relevant to discussions about human nutritional requirements, seeing as the Hadza live in a part of the world (East Africa) where much of human evolution took place.
The Highs and Lows of Carbohydrates
In this video, Professor Kerin O’Dea talks about the seminal and fascinating study on evolutionary health & nutrition she conducted some 35 years ago, in which ten full-blood, diabetic Aborigines temporarily reverted to a traditional, hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
The Maasai, a semi-nomadic group of people inhabiting central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, are both fascinating and impressive. They are among the tallest people on Earth, wear remarkable clothing, and are highly skilled jumpers. Moreover, they are lean and healthy, despite the fact that they consume a very unorthodox, fatty diet.
The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization
This research paper is arguably one of the greatest – if not the greatest – scientific papers on health & nutrition that has ever been published. The authors, who are all leading figures in the scientific section of the evolutionary health movement, look into and explain, from an evolutionary point of view, why so many modern humans are in poor health, as well as what it would take to combat the diseases of civilization. The paper is a must-read for anyone who’s interested in health, medicine, and nutrition.
The late Staffan Lindeberg (MD, PhD) was instrumental in spearheading the research on evolutionary health and nutrition. He’s probably best known for having conducted the Kitava study – a thorough examination of the lifestyle and health status of a group of traditional people living on the Island of Kitava in Papua New Guinea. As a professor and researcher at Lund University, he also initiated and led the Swedes efforts into elucidating the viability and therapeutic potential of Paleolithic-type diets.
– Order Staffan’s book – See his research papers