Books of Interest

sportsgeneevolution

The Sports Gene is taking the athletic world by storm since its release. Having recently read it, I can tell you it is a fascinating read for any sports junkie or athlete who appreciates the science behind elite sports performance. Nature vs Nurture? It’s hard to say which factor is more important or contributes more to world class performance. Regardless of which theory you subscribe to, you will walk (or should I say run) away with a better understanding of and appreciation for the genetic diversity of human movement and performance. Whether you’re discussing how virtually all descendants of sub-saharan western Africa possess more fast twitch muscle fibers (thanks to the ACTN3 Gene) than their east African counterparts, who possess more slow twitch muscle fibers and greater aerobic capacities (VO2 max), it’s hard not to be in awe of the genetic range of human performance.

I’ll stop there for now and let the book do most of the explaining.

Check out The Paleo Manifesto as well, courtesy of Mark’s Daily Apple. John Durant, the mastermind behind the manifesto, delves into the anthropological and archaeological underpinnings behind our paleolithic ancestors way of life. These ancestral remnants reveal robust teeth, jaws and femurs, courtesy of their natural diet. The Paleolithic skeleton depicts how humans optimally functioned and thrived before the domestication of wheat and agricultural advances.

Consider this short excerpt about the enamel quality of our Paleolithic pal, Skhul V.

skhul5front

“Notice anything?” Dr. Lieberman asked. “Look at the teeth. They’re straight. And no cavities. His wisdom teeth came in just fine. Humans, like all animals, have evolved teeth that are well suited to their natural diet. An infected tooth can easily kill you, and there were no dentists in the Paleolithic.”

In light of this, should we all stop going to the dentist? Probably not, but it does speak to how what you eat will affect the quality of your teeth. Consider this, my teeth have never been cleaner or healthier since adopting the Paleo diet. On a standard American diet, (otherwise known as SAD), my teeth and gums were inflamed. A casual dental cleaning turned into a festive blood bath. As a result of adhering to a produced based diet, my teeth are much cleaner and not nearly as inflamed. I should add that I don’t brush anymore than I used to.

Skhul V’s cheshire cat grin probably represents his delight in figuring out something modern humans haven’t: how to physically function the way humans were designed to thrive.

It’s so easy a caveman can do it.

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