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J Obes. 2012;2012:258624. doi: 10.1155/2012/258624. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

The carnivore connection hypothesis: revisited.

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  • 1The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders, The University of Sydney, G89 Medical Foundation Building K25, NSW 2006, Sydney, Australia.

Abstract

The "Carnivore Connection" hypothesizes that, during human evolution, a scarcity of dietary carbohydrate in diets with low plant‚ÄČ:‚ÄČanimal subsistence ratios led to insulin resistance providing a survival and reproductive advantage with selection of genes for insulin resistance. The selection pressure was relaxed at the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution when large quantities of cereals first entered human diets. The "Carnivore Connection" explains the high prevalence of intrinsic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in populations that transition rapidly from traditional diets with a low-glycemic load, to high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic index diets that characterize modern diets. Selection pressure has been relaxed longest in European populations, explaining a lower prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, despite recent exposure to famine and food scarcity. Increasing obesity and habitual consumption of high-glycemic-load diets worsens insulin resistance and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in all populations.

PMID:
22235369
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3253466
Free PMC Article

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