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Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Dec;40(6):1295-303.

Transition from a hunter-gatherer to a settled lifestyle in the !Kung San: effect on iron, folate, and vitamin B12 nutrition.


In 1969 a group of hunter-gatherer San were studied (Am J Clin Nutr 1971;24:229-42). Their state of hematological nutrition was excellent with a negligible incidence of iron, folate, or vitamin B12 deficiency. A genetically and linguistically similar San community who have been settled for the past 15 yr were the subjects of the present study. Anemia, due in the main to iron and/or folate deficiency, has become more common. Alcoholism has become rife in both sexes and all age groups. Our findings show that a settled lifestyle has resulted in a significant deterioration in the San's hematological nutrition.

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