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Br J Nutr. 2010 Jun;103(11):1558-61. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510000966. Epub 2010 Apr 26.

High dietary intake of prebiotic inulin-type fructans in the prehistoric Chihuahuan Desert.

Author information

  • 1Paleobiotics Laboratory, 2401 Burgundy Suite 7, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA. jeff@paleobioticslab.com

Abstract

Archaeological evidence from dry cave deposits in the northern Chihuahuan Desert reveal intensive utilisation of desert plants that store prebiotic inulin-type fructans as the primary carbohydrate. In this semi-arid region limited rainfall and poor soil conditions prevented the adoption of agriculture and thus provides a unique glimpse into a pure hunter-forager economy spanning over 10 000 years. Ancient cooking features, stable carbon isotope analysis of human skeletons, and well-preserved coprolites and macrobotanical remains reveal a plant-based diet that included a dietary intake of about 135 g prebiotic inulin-type fructans per d by the average adult male hunter-forager. These data reveal that man is well adapted to daily intakes of prebiotics well above those currently consumed in the modern diet.

PMID:
20416127
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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