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In Macleans.Ca: Cavemen who walk among us

Well I think this is the best of the lot, so far. While I don’t like the "cavemen" moniker at all and still some aspects seem goofy or obsessed in the way they’re portrayed, the article greatly makes up for that by touching of the science from a number of sources and also the author, Katie Engelhart, shares her own personal exposure to paleo by means of her dad’s paleoesque practices.

That gives it a lot more credibility in my book.

Good job, Katie. Thanks for including me. Here’s the link again, folks. Go have a look. Comments, supportive or critical are welcome. Oh, and if you’ve got a story to tell the article itself accepts comments. Tell your story.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

20 Comments

  1. Brett Legree on February 27, 2010 at 10:05

    Yeah, not a bad article – I’m going to forward it to a bunch of folks (and send them here too).

    I am still amazed by how well this works and how good I feel. People keep coming up to me at work and asking me about “my secret” – obviously they are noticing the changes. I’ve got one other colleague on it right now and he is doing well.

  2. Lucky on February 27, 2010 at 10:36

    A decent article, and nice that she is focusing on the positive changes folks have experienced from the lifestyle and not so much on the “funny caveman” aspects. Nice to hear her dad’s story, too, that just adds credibility to the entire article. Loved it!

  3. jess on February 27, 2010 at 11:02

    good article. But, what is with the blood letting thing? The only time I ever hear about it seems to be in articles in the conventional media. Where is this coming from?

    • Jen on February 27, 2010 at 17:19

      I think the “paleo” rationale behind blood donation is to mimic the effect of parasites on iron stores.



  4. JUPITER BOONE on February 27, 2010 at 11:16

    i was also wondering about the blood, i donate blood often but not because it is primal, but because there is a need for it and i can always make more, it is a renewable resorce, but as far as being primal i just don’t get it, i’m sure cavemen did anything they could to avoid loss of blood.

    • jerome on February 27, 2010 at 11:45

      Good point. The health benefits of donating blood include reducing levels of iron storage
      in the body, which otherwise can build up to a harmful level; especially as we age.
      Obviously, some primal-eater sometime mentioned it to a media type, who decided “blood”
      made good copy.
      Hasn’t got anything to do with paleo; even vegans should do it.



    • Patrik on February 27, 2010 at 14:07

      The health benefits of donating blood include reducing levels of iron storage in the body, which otherwise can build up to a harmful level; especially as we age.

      @Jerome

      This doesn’t make any sense from an evolutionary perspective. Why do you think the following:

      a) we need to reduce iron levels in our bodies?
      b) that iron storage can be harmful at some level?



    • djinn on February 27, 2010 at 16:51

      Hi, Patrik

      Normally the body controls iron uptake to keep it within reasonable levels. Some of us are genetically predisposed to take up more iron than ferritin can keep under control, and iron can build up to toxic levels. Apparently this doesn’t happen very fast, but the older you get, the more it’s a problem. (I’m over 70, and it ain’t killed me yet) Large excess iron stores contribute to excess oxidation and provide a substrate for pathogens. Most research has been done as a reaction to the problems faced by people who need a lot of transfusions – so it works both ways.
      A problem that might sicken or kill at age 60 or more and is probably exacerbated by civilization may not be important evolutionarily. Also, as you know, there are other genetic mutations that stick around because the effects occurr well after childbearing years.
      For people with the gene blood donation is a positive good, and for others it’s not bad; except for the anemic, who generally know it.

      So “we” in general don’t need to reduce iron stores, but unless we are anemic it won’t hurt. And “we” with the problem gene – one copy is a problem, two copies is a big problem – do need to. And most poeple who have the problem don’t know it.

      Patrik, If I’d known you were around I’d have been more careful with my posting. 😉



    • Patrik on February 28, 2010 at 14:28

      Hi djinn

      I responded to your comment at PaleoHacks.com as there was discussion about this going on simultaneously.

      See here:



    • djinn on February 27, 2010 at 17:33

      Patrik –

      Google hemochromatosis (iron overload)



  5. Zach on February 27, 2010 at 11:43

    Been following your contributions to this community almost since they began in full swing with the blog. It’s been a real pleasure during that time period communing with you, hearing your story, and seeing a lot of people out there work together to figure out how to best craft all of these messages to get the biggest distribution and acceptance for people still, frankly, quite sick and getting sicker everyday following the nonhuman high carbohydrate diet. This Maclean gig is real cool, kudos to you.
    Best Regards,
    Zach

  6. Aaron M Fraser on February 27, 2010 at 12:19

    I left my paleo story on there, but it seems the comment – which was a tad long, but very thoughtfully written, at least it seemed to me, has been removed; or is at least not viewable by me for some bizarre reason.

    Oh well.

  7. Rob on February 27, 2010 at 14:54

    Cool, I just wish they would stop dropping Loren “Faileo” Cordain’s name everywhere. Seriously, he needs to go away.

    • Patrik on February 28, 2010 at 17:05

      @Rob

      Why do you feel that way? Cordain has done much to promote Paleo in general. I don’t always agree with him, for example, I don’t buy the lean meat/sat fat is bad meme, but in general, I’d say we agree much more than we disagree.



  8. Don Wiss on February 27, 2010 at 18:02

    The problem I have with the MacLeans article is the picture. The people are too wimpy. They should be more muscular. The wimpiness is what happens after eating Neolithic “food.”

    And it is oh so politically correct with a mix of races.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 27, 2010 at 18:06

      I’ll agree, Don. Kinda we take what we can get right now and thins is a definite step up in my view.

      Shoulda got as photo shoot with John Durant and Erwan.



    • Organic Gabe on February 28, 2010 at 06:55

      Yes, we’ll take what we can – but I hope the tide is turning. It seems so to me.



    • John Campbell on February 28, 2010 at 09:15

      This glass is a lot more than half full – given a main stream new magazine – great message for the masses referring to some great people involved in this revolution.

      Of course the models in the photo are less than ideal human specimens – so are most of us and even more so for the masses out there who have not discovered this. I was the same way two years ago. We are here at Richard’s great site so we already know what we hope others will discover. And they will discover it in baby steps. That is how the human animal learns – incrementally – not by being hit over the head by the perfect air-tight argument.

      Lets rejoice that the truth is getting out there and that there are so many wonderful resources on the web such as this one. This is turning into a bit of a rant, but we cannot underestimate how resistant people are to new ideas – it takes time and perfection in the message is not possible nor necessary.

      As Bill Murray has told us – “baby steps”. This article was a great baby step – kudos to all involved.



    • John Campbell on February 28, 2010 at 09:17

      Oops “news” magazine – as a Canadian I grew up with McLeans on the coffee table.



  9. […] get an email from Whitney Deane of CHQR Radio, AM770 out of Alberta, Canada. Doubtless fruit of the Maclean's piece, I'm just really grateful to be able to take part in this new semi-movement in this […]

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