Why Dietary Diseases Look Like Genetic Diseases #1

The high level of disease in modern man is a stark contrast to the low level of those diseases in unacculturated hunter gatherers. Paleolithic diet buffs believe this is due to differences in their diet. We believe that diet is the main cause of disease. Why then is so much research focused on finding genetic causes of disease? The reason is a simple logical fallacy- as nearly everybody eats a Neolithic diet, most lines of research won’t show up the dietary cause as the researchers are looking at groups who are all on the same harmful diet. Therefore it looks like diseases are genetic, when in fact they are dietary. While some diseases are clearly entirely caused by a gene, they represent a fairly small and well documented number. in the rest of cases, the genes have a variable influence, probably representing gene nutrient interactions.

I am grateful to salt expert Dr Trevor Beard www.saltmatters.org for bringing this to my attention. He quotes one of the best-known publications of a British epidemiologist named Geoffrey Rose, now deceased (a sad loss). The exact words from page 32:

If everyone smoked 20 cigarettes a day, then clinical, case-control and cohort studies alike would lead us to conclude that lung cancer was a genetic disease; and in one sense that would be true, since if everyone is exposed to the necessary agent, then the distribution of cases is wholly determined by individual susceptibility.

On page 33 he also says:

The hardest cause to identify is the one that is universally present, for then it has no influence on the distribution of disease.

The references is:

2 Responses to Why Dietary Diseases Look Like Genetic Diseases #1

  1. […] smoked then epidemiologists would tell us that lung cancer is a genetic disease (reference<https://paleolithicdiet.wordpress.com/2008/08/03/why-dietary-diseases-look-like-genetic-diseases-1/&gt;), but we know it is not true. Similarly everyone eats a Neolithic disease which is more cancer […]

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