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Thread: early european farmers suffered from malnutrition?

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    early european farmers suffered from malnutrition?

    https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pna...gg7Bu6XoI7hk3I

    some surprising results, allthough further investigations are needed :


    We united previously disparate osteological and paleogenomic datasets for 167 prehistoric European individuals on a per-individual basis. Our results represent an advance in the study of whether and how a major cultural transition in human evolution affected physiological health. In particular, we show that the average Neolithic individual may have been relatively short even when correcting for expected individual genetic contributions to adult stature. This result may reflect reduced nutrition and/or increased infectious disease burden. We also preliminarily developed a framework for further consideration of these results in the context of particular paleopathological indicators of childhood stress. Looking forward, our model can be expanded in various dimensions (for example, to different world regions or to more constrained spatial and temporal contexts) in order to further the study of emergent physiological trade-offs across periods of dramatic cultural or environmental change. Integrated osteological–genetic approaches will increasingly become important components of the tool kit for studying the dynamics of past human health.


    at first sight both quality of food and quality of life for those early farmers seem not to have been very good

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    I just logged in to post it.

    Have you read the full article?

    There are so many qualifications as to make the conclusions almost meaningless, in my opinion.

    Height can be a very misleading indicator of overall health. Look at the Chinese and Japanese, for example, or the Sardinians, famously long lived, and very short. I see it in Ligurians as well. Many of them, including my maternal grandfather, are (were) quite short, and very gracile, which I think is partly the result of their diet. Their traditional diet would place them among the closest of any Europeans to being vegetarians, and in addition they drank no milk, and their use of cheese was very sparing; just sprinklings of their own sheep or goat's milk cheese. In the old days they lived off their own orto or vegetable garden, foraged greens, eggs, a chicken once in a while, some cured pork products, an occasional piece of fish (I say occasional because the Ligurian stretch of the Mediterranean is unfortunately a very poor fishing area), beans, olive oil, wine, and bread and pasta made mostly of chestnut flour.

    I'm also sure if their skeletal structure had been examined forensically it would have shown incredible wear and tear, because they worked like mules, climbing up and down the foothills and mountains to bring up soil, and bring down the grapes and olives, often on their heads or on their backs. Their mules were actually treated better.

    Yet, most of the men lived into their 80s and the women well into their 90s. Granted, TB took its toll before antibiotics, but other than that they were hale and hearty and sharp as tacks into advanced old age, like the Sardinians who had a similar lifestyle.

    Speaking of disease burden, this research is somewhat in contradiction to another recent paper which came out which found that many of the diseases which were held to have developed "after" the development of agriculture, actually existed before the transition.

    So, I'm a bit skeptical.


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    Diodorus mentioned that they lived in villages and made a difficult living from the rocky, mountainous soil.

    They also haven't changed much physically from the Classical Era, when they were described thus, "The physical type, however, of the Ligurian differed as widely as possible from that of the Celt or Gaul, for the Ligurian was of small stature, nervous and wiry, far more capable of enduring fatigue than the 'Gaul,'... [in] the scorching sun of Italy and Provence. In a stand-up fight a Ligurian was considered a match for a Gaul twice his size. At field labour the Ligurian men and women alike were renowned for their endurance." (I think we can take it that 'twice" his side was exaggeration.)

    The poverty of their land led many of the men to serve as mercenaries throughout the Mediterranean and they also turned to piracy, which is one of the things the Romans held against them.

    Attachment 13184
    Attachment 13185

    Click on the two above to enlarge.







    Their descendants are now sitting at computers, and they're taller, but the build is the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I just logged in to post it.

    Have you read the full article?

    There are so many qualifications as to make the conclusions almost meaningless, in my opinion.

    Height can be a very misleading indicator of overall health. Look at the Chinese and Japanese, for example, or the Sardinians, famously long lived, and very short. I see it in Ligurians as well. Many of them, including my maternal grandfather, are (were) quite short, and very gracile, which I think is partly the result of their diet. Their traditional diet would place them among the closest of any Europeans to being vegetarians, and in addition they drank no milk, and their use of cheese was very sparing; just sprinklings of their own sheep or goat's milk cheese. In the old days they lived off their own orto or vegetable garden, foraged greens, eggs, a chicken once in a while, some cured pork products, an occasional piece of fish (I say occasional because the Ligurian stretch of the Mediterranean is unfortunately a very poor fishing area), beans, olive oil, wine, and bread and pasta made mostly of chestnut flour.


    I'm also sure if their skeletal structure had been examined forensically it would have shown incredible wear and tear, because they worked like mules, climbing up and down the foothills and mountains to bring up soil, and bring down the grapes and olives, often on their heads or on their backs. Their mules were actually treated better.

    Yet, most of the men lived into their 80s and the women well into their 90s. Granted, TB took its toll before antibiotics, but other than that they were hale and hearty and sharp as tacks into advanced old age, like the Sardinians who had a similar lifestyle.

    Speaking of disease burden, this research is somewhat in contradiction to another recent paper which came out which found that many of the diseases which were held to have developed "after" the development of agriculture, actually existed before the transition.

    So, I'm a bit skeptical.
    Milk among other things have bovine growth hormone, maybe that is one of the reasons why the yamnaya were taller, but it is a known unhealthy food , apart from diarhea and vomiting among lactose intolerant, excess consumption of milk is known to cause anemia and its high amount of saturated fat and bovine strogenic hormones are definitly not beneficial.
    On the neolithic farmers i have seen that very possibly they sometimes practiced cannibalism(matriarcal peaceful societies?), maybe that was linked to bad diets wich maybe was linked to unfavorable conditions for agriculture across much of europe.
    We can´t ignore the role of sexual selection lowering their hight too, among yamnaya being big and wide meant a stronger warrior and desired member of tribe, among neolithic agriculturalists it had no intrinsic advantage to be huge, actualy those depleted too much of the grains and food stored for the winter lol.

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    Some numbers from the abstract:

    We found that individuals from the Neolithic were shorter than expected (given their individual polygenic height scores) by an average of −3.82 cm relative to individuals from the Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic (P = 0.040) and −2.21 cm shorter relative to post-Neolithic individuals (P = 0.068), with osteological vs. expected stature steadily increasing across the Copper (+1.95 cm relative to the Neolithic), Bronze (+2.70 cm), and Iron (+3.27 cm) Ages. These results were attenuated when we additionally accounted for genome-wide genetic ancestry variation: for example, with Neolithic individuals −2.82 cm shorter than expected on average relative to pre-Neolithic individuals (P = 0.120).

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    They also looked at porosity etc indicating childhood malnutrition. The level of that was similar across all periods.

    So, neolithic people were slightly shorter than contemporary people wih similar genes. I didn’t notice any reference to the cultures where these people were from.

    A diet rich in grains is generally considered unhealthy these days, but I doubt that the diet changed much in later periods. Could it still have been the amount of food available?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papayaseeds View Post
    Milk among other things have bovine growth hormone, maybe that is one of the reasons why the yamnaya were taller, but it is a known unhealthy food , apart from diarhea and vomiting among lactose intolerant, excess consumption of milk is known to cause anemia and its high amount of saturated fat and bovine strogenic hormones are definitly not beneficial.
    On the neolithic farmers i have seen that very possibly they sometimes practiced cannibalism(matriarcal peaceful societies?), maybe that was linked to bad diets wich maybe was linked to unfavorable conditions for agriculture across much of europe.
    We can´t ignore the role of sexual selection lowering their hight too, among yamnaya being big and wide meant a stronger warrior and desired member of tribe, among neolithic agriculturalists it had no intrinsic advantage to be huge, actualy those depleted too much of the grains and food stored for the winter lol.
    We now know from archeogenetics that the Yamnaya people were lactose intolerant, as were all the steppe peoples. Those among them who did have domesticated animals (not all did) would most probably have been eating cheese, like the Neolithic farmers, not drinking milk, or they would have been incapacitated from dehydration. As for milking horses we now have the recent paper about the introduction of sheep and goats onto the steppe, and it specifically says milking horses only started during the Iron Age.

    I'm afraid a lot of the staple mythology about the steppe people, including the Yamnaya, was just flat out wrong, as I've maintained for ten years or more. Even without archaeogenetics, the clues were there in the archaeological papers, which were very selectively interpreted by David Anthony.

    They did have the alleles that have been discovered to code for height, and a meat heavy diet would also have contributed to their size.

    I don't think the diet of European farmers would have changed much during the Copper Age, and there was no admixture with steppe people to explain it at that point. Nor, as I pointed out above, does a mostly vegetarian diet necessarily mean ill health, although it certain wouldn't build tall, big boned people.

    Periods of drought, too heavy rains, too much cold, the latter as the farmers moved north into Central Europe, all would contribute to poor harvests and periods during the life span of an individual when food would be scarce, but weather changes would have affected the steppe as well, which is why they flooded out of it in all directions.

    Just generally speaking, people don't choose to do things which don't benefit them. Why did the hunter-gatherers of the Near East adopt agriculture? Perhaps because they didn't want to keep roaming for food; perhaps because women got tired of having their babies killed to keep population numbers down; perhaps because they thought they'd have more control over their destiny, being able to store surplus for the lean years, although they'd still be slaves to mother nature no matter what. The result was exponential population growth, which insured mankind was no longer always living on the edge of extinction.

    Btw, it just occurred to me I didn't check if they distinguished between the males and females. As always in human societies, as even the Lombard dna from thousands of years later showed us, when times are difficult, women and girl babies get less food.

    You're correct in that big people consume more calories, which are usually in short supply no matter the culture, so not always a plus. However, as I said, some big men can easily dominate a small group of hunter-gatherers on the steppe, or later, pastoralists, and secure the food for themselves; it's a common story. Whether it happened in Neolithic Europe I don't know.

    Also, when food got scarce in the later part of the Neolithic in Europe, the farmers were violent enough, although a lot of that violence was also directed against the incoming steppe people.

    So, it's complicated, and requires more study, study which controls the variables better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    We now know from archeogenetics that the Yamnaya people were lactose intolerant, as were all the steppe peoples. Those among them who did have domesticated animals (not all did) would most probably have been eating cheese, like the Neolithic farmers, not drinking milk, or they would have been incapacitated from dehydration. As for milking horses we now have the recent paper about the introduction of sheep and goats onto the steppe, and it specifically says milking horses only started during the Iron Age.

    I'm afraid a lot of the staple mythology about the steppe people, including the Yamnaya, was just flat out wrong, as I've maintained for ten years or more. Even without archaeogenetics, the clues were there in the archaeological papers, which were very selectively interpreted by David Anthony.

    They did have the alleles that have been discovered to code for height, and a meat heavy diet would also have contributed to their size.

    I don't think the diet of European farmers would have changed much during the Copper Age, and there was no admixture with steppe people to explain it at that point. Nor, as I pointed out above, does a mostly vegetarian diet necessarily mean ill health, although it certain wouldn't build tall, big boned people.

    Periods of drought, too heavy rains, too much cold, the latter as the farmers moved north into Central Europe, all would contribute to poor harvests and periods during the life span of an individual when food would be scarce, but weather changes would have affected the steppe as well, which is why they flooded out of it in all directions.

    Just generally speaking, people don't choose to do things which don't benefit them. Why did the hunter-gatherers of the Near East adopt agriculture? Perhaps because they didn't want to keep roaming for food; perhaps because women got tired of having their babies killed to keep population numbers down; perhaps because they thought they'd have more control over their destiny, being able to store surplus for the lean years, although they'd still be slaves to mother nature no matter what. The result was exponential population growth, which insured mankind was no longer always living on the edge of extinction.

    Btw, it just occurred to me I didn't check if they distinguished between the males and females. As always in human societies, as even the Lombard dna from thousands of years later showed us, when times are difficult, women and girl babies get less food.

    You're correct in that big people consume more calories, which are usually in short supply no matter the culture, so not always a plus. However, as I said, some big men can easily dominate a small group of hunter-gatherers on the steppe, or later, pastoralists, and secure the food for themselves; it's a common story. Whether it happened in Neolithic Europe I don't know.

    Also, when food got scarce in the later part of the Neolithic in Europe, the farmers were violent enough, although a lot of that violence was also directed against the incoming steppe people.

    So, it's complicated, and requires more study, study which controls the variables better.
    I just looked up the lactose persistence issue and found:
    Furthermore, ancient DNA studies found that the LP mutation was absent or very rare in Europe until the end of the Bronze Age [2629] and appeared first in individuals with steppe ancestry [19,20]. Thus, it was proposed that the mutation originated in Yamnaya-associated populations and arrived later in Europe by migration of these steppe herders.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7302802/

    And this:

    The Bronze Age of Eurasia (around 3000-1000 BC) was a period of major cultural changes. However, there is debate about whether these changes resulted from the circulation of ideas or from human migrations, potentially also facilitating the spread of languages and certain phenotypic traits. We investigated this by using new, improved methods to sequence low-coverage genomes from 101 ancient humans from across Eurasia. We show that the Bronze Age was a highly dynamic period involving large-scale population migrations and replacements, responsible for shaping major parts of present-day demographic structure in both Europe and Asia. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesized spread of Indo-European languages during the Early Bronze Age. We also demonstrate that light skin pigmentation in Europeans was already present at high frequency in the Bronze Age, but not lactose tolerance, indicating a more recent onset of positive selection on lactose tolerance than previously thought.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26062507/

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    You might find the following discussion interesting.
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...se+persistence

    Also:
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...se+persistence

    As to the Ukrainian individual, "To the best of my recollection there were very ancient samples from Iberia which also had the lactasepersistence allele. However, I can't seem to find it in my files. Regardless, a few stray mutations are not going to tell us the story." Also, the paper cited indicates that the individual was of mixed farmer and steppe ancestry, if I'm reading it correctly, the farmer ancestry presumably coming from Cucutemi.

    As to the Allentoft paper, which is seven years old: I will quote from the Burger et al 2020 paper.

    "
    Eastern Europeans Steppes Are Not the Source for Lactase Persistence

    The spread of the rs4988235-A allele has previously been attributed to a Steppe-associated expansion during the early Bronze Age [36
    ]. Based on imputed data, Allentoft et al. [4
    ] reported a low allele frequency (5%) of the rs4988235-A allele in Bronze Age Europeans, similar to that reported here, but a much higher frequency (∼25%) among Bronze Age samples from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, indicating a possible Steppe origin of lactase persistence. Because imputing allele presence in ancient samples using modern reference individuals may be problematic in regions of strong recent selection, we investigated this hypothesis by genotyping the rs4988235 locus using PCR in Eneolithic and Early Bronze Age samples from Eastern Europe and the Steppe region.
    The majority of the sampled individuals were buried in barrow graves dating from the end of the 4th millenium BCE to the end of the 2nd millenium BCE and are representative for the Early Bronze Age in Eastern Europe (Figure 3A; Table 1). We could not detect the rs4988235-A allele among any of these samples (n = 37), suggesting that the frequency of this allele was very low, possibly close to zero, and almost certainly lower than the 5.4% previously reported for a geographically, culturally, and temporally diverse sample with “Steppe ancestry” [2
    ]. Additionally, we re-analyzed published data from the Eastern European steppe area (5,600–4,300 BP) and that of the Corded Ware Culture in Central and North-eastern Europe (4,900–4,300 BP)—based on pseudo-haploid random allele picking—obtaining frequencies of 0% and 1.8%, respectively; this corresponds to a single LP-associated allele in 92 individuals (Table 1). Although these estimates are not directly informative about the origin of the rs4988235-A allele, they appear inconsistent with a major contribution of the Steppe-associated expansion to the high frequencies observed after the Bronze Age in Europe."

    https://www.cell.com/current-biology...822(20)31187-8

    I don't see how it's possible to reach any other conclusion than that Allentoft was incorrect, and the people of the steppe were "not" lactose tolerant, and so their purported milk drinking propensities had nothing to do with their conquest of western and southern Europe.

    The chart:

    They did consume dairy products, of course, but relatively late, much later than was the case in Anatolia or Western Europe.



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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    You might find the following discussion interesting.
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...se+persistence

    Also:
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...se+persistence

    As to the Ukrainian individual, "To the best of my recollection there were very ancient samples from Iberia which also had the lactasepersistence allele. However, I can't seem to find it in my files. Regardless, a few stray mutations are not going to tell us the story." Also, the paper cited indicates that the individual was of mixed farmer and steppe ancestry, if I'm reading it correctly, the farmer ancestry presumably coming from Cucutemi.

    As to the Allentoft paper, which is seven years old: I will quote from the Burger et al 2020 paper.

    "
    Eastern Europeans Steppes Are Not the Source for Lactase Persistence

    The spread of the rs4988235-A allele has previously been attributed to a Steppe-associated expansion during the early Bronze Age [36
    ]. Based on imputed data, Allentoft et al. [4
    ] reported a low allele frequency (5%) of the rs4988235-A allele in Bronze Age Europeans, similar to that reported here, but a much higher frequency (∼25%) among Bronze Age samples from the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, indicating a possible Steppe origin of lactase persistence. Because imputing allele presence in ancient samples using modern reference individuals may be problematic in regions of strong recent selection, we investigated this hypothesis by genotyping the rs4988235 locus using PCR in Eneolithic and Early Bronze Age samples from Eastern Europe and the Steppe region.
    The majority of the sampled individuals were buried in barrow graves dating from the end of the 4th millenium BCE to the end of the 2nd millenium BCE and are representative for the Early Bronze Age in Eastern Europe (Figure 3A; Table 1). We could not detect the rs4988235-A allele among any of these samples (n = 37), suggesting that the frequency of this allele was very low, possibly close to zero, and almost certainly lower than the 5.4% previously reported for a geographically, culturally, and temporally diverse sample with “Steppe ancestry” [2
    ]. Additionally, we re-analyzed published data from the Eastern European steppe area (5,600–4,300 BP) and that of the Corded Ware Culture in Central and North-eastern Europe (4,900–4,300 BP)—based on pseudo-haploid random allele picking—obtaining frequencies of 0% and 1.8%, respectively; this corresponds to a single LP-associated allele in 92 individuals (Table 1). Although these estimates are not directly informative about the origin of the rs4988235-A allele, they appear inconsistent with a major contribution of the Steppe-associated expansion to the high frequencies observed after the Bronze Age in Europe."

    https://www.cell.com/current-biology...822(20)31187-8

    I don't see how it's possible to reach any other conclusion than that Allentoft was incorrect, and the people of the steppe were "not" lactose tolerant, and so their purported milk drinking propensities had nothing to do with their conquest of western and southern Europe.

    The chart:

    They did consume dairy products, of course, but relatively late, much later than was the case in Anatolia or Western Europe.


    That's interesting, i totally missed the Burger et al. 2020 paper. So in the steppe there was no milk consumed at all, only dairy products like cheese and maybe a early version of "Ayran". I guess that most of the dairy products were probably from sheep, as demonstrated by the recent paper on dairying in the Caucasus and Steppe.

    Regarding the Ukrainian individual, he was redated to the late Bronze Age and part of the Srubnaya culture (≈1700BC),before that he was dated to the Eneolithic. He picked up European farmer ancestry from either Cucuteni/Tripolye or Globular Amphora in Central Europe. The LP gene might have entered the gene pool through his European farmer ancestry, like you already assumed.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    It comes as it comes:
    The average height among the most of the the Neolithic pop's was around 1m62.
    Some later Megalithic pops raised the 1M67/68 in West.
    That said westernmost WHG pop's were rather short (Teviec; ~ 1m56). But robust skeletons, so height # robustness and robustness # always good bone quality
    As says Angela, height is not always a good index of health between different pop's.
    I 'll add that even within the same pop, height modification doesn't always imply a one-direction result concerning health, so numerous are the factor, spite things were rather simpler in ancient times.
    a bit of red meat is rather good for a person doing some physical activity, whatever the kind. But too much red meat (beaf B I) can be very bad, even for the muscles solidity (mass is not robustness).
    On another side, peasants of a region are almost always shorter than the local middle class people, but wider shouldered and almost laways stronger: training? another cause? their span also is longer. Stated in diverse countries and regions.
    The Gauls were diverse but as a whole a bit larger than Italics (in fact a mix with a lot of Neolithic people) of their times, and more fleshy. It's often said by Romans they were less "endurant". I suppose the 'alpinelike' type (an element among Gauls) was a bit stronger but less enduring than southern people of Europe, spite we have not scientific means to measure it. (BTW Celt warriors went to fight after drinking nights, not the better way to endure long efforts!). I don't know what was the reality concerning Gaulish peasants. Their warrior nobility was more trained to riding horses than to march long distances as professional legionaries. Gauls became estimed legionaries by time.
    Mulitfactorial.
    Concerning "canibalism", I don' know it didn't concern members of the same family, after their death. Not by force killings to insure food supplies.
    Somany curious burying modes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anfänger View Post
    That's interesting, i totally missed the Burger et al. 2020 paper. So in the steppe there was no milk consumed at all, only dairy products like cheese and maybe a early version of "Ayran". I guess that most of the dairy products were probably from sheep, as demonstrated by the recent paper on dairying in the Caucasus and Steppe.

    Regarding the Ukrainian individual, he was redated to the late Bronze Age and part of the Srubnaya culture (≈1700BC),before that he was dated to the Eneolithic. He picked up European farmer ancestry from either Cucuteni/Tripolye or Globular Amphora in Central Europe. The LP gene might have entered the gene pool through his European farmer ancestry, like you already assumed.
    I don't think we know for a fact that milk wasn't consumed, but I think it's highly unlikely since they did not carry the LP alleles.

    I am homozygous for LP, yet despite that I lost the ability to easily digest milk products in my mid thirties. It took six months of testing before my incompetent doctor thought to tell me to completely cut dairy out of my diet. In the meantime I was in a lot of pain and had become highly dehydrated. I also lost about 20 pounds, which I really couldn't afford to lose. It took another six months for everything to calm down. Today, if I take supplemental LP tablets I can eat a slice of pizza or a serving of lasagna once in a while, but even if I liked drinking milk it would be impossible. I tried it just to see if the tablets would let me drink it with cookies or whatever if I wanted to, and it was a disaster.

    So, I highly doubt that the men of the steppe were guzzling milk from any animal, much less horses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    It comes as it comes:
    The average height among the most of the the Neolithic pop's was around 1m62.
    Some later Megalithic pops raised the 1M67/68 in West.
    That said westernmost WHG pop's were rather short (Teviec; ~ 1m56). But robust skeletons, so height # robustness and robustness # always good bone quality
    As says Angela, height is not always a good index of health between different pop's.
    I 'll add that even within the same pop, height modification doesn't always imply a one-direction result concerning health, so numerous are the factor, spite things were rather simpler in ancient times.
    a bit of red meat is rather good for a person doing some physical activity, whatever the kind. But too much red meat (beaf B I) can be very bad, even for the muscles solidity (mass is not robustness).
    On another side, peasants of a region are almost always shorter than the local middle class people, but wider shouldered and almost laways stronger: training? another cause? their span also is longer. Stated in diverse countries and regions.
    The Gauls were diverse but as a whole a bit larger than Italics (in fact a mix with a lot of Neolithic people) of their times, and more fleshy. It's often said by Romans they were less "endurant". I suppose the 'alpinelike' type (an element among Gauls) was a bit stronger but less enduring than southern people of Europe, spite we have not scientific means to measure it. (BTW Celt warriors went to fight after drinking nights, not the better way to endure long efforts!). I don't know what was the reality concerning Gaulish peasants. Their warrior nobility was more trained to riding horses than to march long distances as professional legionaries. Gauls became estimed legionaries by time.
    Mulitfactorial.
    Concerning "canibalism", I don' know it didn't concern members of the same family, after their death. Not by force killings to insure food supplies.
    So many curious burying modes.
    Interesting you bring that up. I edited a quote I posted on another thread because I didn't want people to feel insulted.
    "Some modern writers assert them to be akin to Celts, and to belong to the Aryan family. But Strabo expressly states that the Ligurians are of a different race from the Celts, although they closely resemble them in their manner of life.2The physical type, however, of the Ligurian differed as widely as possible from that of the Celt or Gaul, for the Ligurian was of small stature, nervous and wiry, far more capable of enduring fatigue than the 'Gaul,' whose huge, soft body melted away like wax before the scorching sun of Italy and Provence. In a stand-up fight a Ligurian was considered a match for a Gaul twice his size. At field labour the Ligurian men and women alike were renowned for their endurance."

    My mother was like that. She was very slender her whole life (115 pounds when she died at 61, even though she was 5'6 tall), like her Ligurian ancestors, but with long, strong muscles. During harvest time she and her cousins and aunts worked right along side the men on her uncle's farm to bring in the grapes and later the olives. When my father decided to put in a stone wall around his vegetable garden in the U.S. she could lift the big stones as easily as he did. Had they not bought property near high tension wires I think she would have lived into her 90s like her aunts and uncles.

    So, I think climate had something to do with it. You don't want to be carrying a lot of weight around if you're working in the direct sun of Liguria, even if you go in the shade from 12-3. I see tourists in the Cinque Terre from more northern latitudes turning beet red in the face and struggling to breathe even on the relatively level paths, while the locals in their 80s are scrambling up and down the mountain trails like goats.

    Of course, the Ligurians became the Celt-Ligurians. However, perhaps there was selection for the old body type, tanning ability etc., because the climate didn't change. In the Po Valley, perhaps there was more Gallic admixture, and the climate is continental, with lots of days full of fog and mist, because the people tend to have a quite different body type, tending more to weight gain in mid-life. Of course, the amount of butter, cream, pork products and other meat they consume probably has a lot to do with it as well. They don't call Bologna the "Grassa" or "Fat" for nothing.

    Ed. 91 year old Mirella, still foraging for greens for food on her mountain paths in Liguria.

    <font color="#000066"><span style="font-family: &amp;quot"><span style="font-family: Verdana">

    There's a picture of her at 3:30 from when she was young. Looks like my mother and her sister; very elegant. I just love her; especially when she says, "I danced at the Moulin Rouge, you know!"




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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    It comes as it comes:
    The average height among the most of the the Neolithic pop's was around 1m62.
    Some later Megalithic pops raised the 1M67/68 in West.
    That said westernmost WHG pop's were rather short (Teviec; ~ 1m56). But robust skeletons, so height # robustness and robustness # always good bone quality
    As says Angela, height is not always a good index of health between different pop's.
    I 'll add that even within the same pop, height modification doesn't always imply a one-direction result concerning health, so numerous are the factor, spite things were rather simpler in ancient times.
    a bit of red meat is rather good for a person doing some physical activity, whatever the kind. But too much red meat (beaf B I) can be very bad, even for the muscles solidity (mass is not robustness).
    On another side, peasants of a region are almost always shorter than the local middle class people, but wider shouldered and almost laways stronger: training? another cause? their span also is longer. Stated in diverse countries and regions.
    The Gauls were diverse but as a whole a bit larger than Italics (in fact a mix with a lot of Neolithic people) of their times, and more fleshy. It's often said by Romans they were less "endurant". I suppose the 'alpinelike' type (an element among Gauls) was a bit stronger but less enduring than southern people of Europe, spite we have not scientific means to measure it. (BTW Celt warriors went to fight after drinking nights, not the better way to endure long efforts!). I don't know what was the reality concerning Gaulish peasants. Their warrior nobility was more trained to riding horses than to march long distances as professional legionaries. Gauls became estimed legionaries by time.
    Mulitfactorial.
    Concerning "canibalism", I don' know it didn't concern members of the same family, after their death. Not by force killings to insure food supplies.
    Somany curious burying modes.

    According to this study, 80% of height is from genetic makeup and 20% is from the environment. Nevertheless, certain environmental factors such as nutrition and exercise can have an effect on how rapidly a given child grows. The body does not make adequate hormones in childhood until kids get older because of inadequate nutrition and a lack of activity. Common environmental influences were found to play an important role in influencing variability in body weight, height, and BMI in early childhood in both sexes. But also childhood diseases, in particular infections, can affect growth. These and other proximate biological determinants are further associated with social and economic conditions manifesting as socio-economic differences in height both within and between populations.

    Genetic and environmental influences on height from infancy to early adulthood: An individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts


    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28496


    Anyway, as Angela correctly pointed out short stature as such isn't (by default) an indicator of poor health and an unhealthy diet. Besides, in Africa folks like the Dinka, Tutsi, and Masai can be extremely tall and they consume primary milk and organic food. So it's believed that their nutrition of milk, blood, and occasional meat may be a contributing factor to their height.


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    Quote Originally Posted by real expert View Post
    According to this study, 80% of height is from genetic makeup and 20% is from the environment. Nevertheless, certain environmental factors such as nutrition and exercise can have an effect on how rapidly a given child grows. The body does not make adequate hormones in childhood until kids get older because of inadequate nutrition and a lack of activity. Common environmental influences were found to play an important role in influencing variability in body weight, height, and BMI in early childhood in both sexes. But also childhood diseases, in particular infections, can affect growth. These and other proximate biological determinants are further associated with social and economic conditions manifesting as socio-economic differences in height both within and between populations.

    Genetic and environmental influences on height from infancy to early adulthood: An individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts


    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep28496


    Anyway, as Angela correctly pointed out short stature as such isn't (by default) an indicator of poor health and an unhealthy diet. Besides, in Africa folks like the Dinka, Tutsi, and Masai can be extremely tall and they consume primary milk and organic food. So it's believed that their nutrition of milk, blood, and occasional meat may be a contributing factor to their height.

    indeed, the study does not mention heigth as such
    it compares real heigth with potential heigth as programmed by DNA
    if real heigth is less, there is some environmental reason for this

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I don't think we know for a fact that milk wasn't consumed, but I think it's highly unlikely since they did not carry the LP alleles.

    I am homozygous for LP, yet despite that I lost the ability to easily digest milk products in my mid thirties. It took six months of testing before my incompetent doctor thought to tell me to completely cut dairy out of my diet. In the meantime I was in a lot of pain and had become highly dehydrated. I also lost about 20 pounds, which I really couldn't afford to lose. It took another six months for everything to calm down. Today, if I take supplemental LP tablets I can eat a slice of pizza or a serving of lasagna once in a while, but even if I liked drinking milk it would be impossible. I tried it just to see if the tablets would let me drink it with cookies or whatever if I wanted to, and it was a disaster.

    So, I highly doubt that the men of the steppe were guzzling milk from any animal, much less horses.
    What a shame, I can not imagine living without cheese or other dairy products. A friend of mine is lactose intolerant, I remember how he couldn't even eat cheese without pain in his stomach. Must be awful.

    By the way, i´ve just looked at my raw data from 23andme and I am G/G for rs4988235, so I don't have the LP alleles. Still I can drink milk and consume dairy products like cheese. Maybe there are more genes involved in LP ?

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    Digestion of milk and dairy is really a complex matter. The lactose content is not the only factor, some people have trouble digesting casein, which is probably the cause of your friend problem cause lactose should not cause problem until fermented in the bowel.
    The milk quality and source is also a big part. Some people do better with raw milk, others with U.H.T milk which is almost sterilized. According to Ayurveda raw milk should be drunk only while still warm after milking otherwise should be boiled.
    There is a big difference between A1 dairy (from cows) and A2 (goats,sheeps.camels,horses,yask,some cows breed) they contain a different type of casein, A2 is tolerated better, some poeple found easier to digest goat milk.
    Angela have you tried goat dairy or slowly introducing lactose free milk, starting from very little amounts?
    It also depend on one digestive system health and the current gut permeability. I am A/G on rs4988235 and during a period of high stress i completly lost the ability to digest milk, even the lactose free one. After a couple of years i slowly reintroduced a lactose free one (half a glass a day) and now i can drink two glasses a day, on ocasion i can tolerate small amounts of non lactose free in ice-cream, cakes and other foods.
    I have still hard time digesting cheese mainly for their high fat and high casein content.


    Also there are other snp involved in it for example G on rs41380347 for arab bedouins, and there is a different one for sub-saharan africans.


    from wikipedia "Regular consumption of dairy foods containing lactose can promote a colonic bacteria adaptation, enhancing a favorable microbiome, which allows people with primary lactase deficiency to diminish their intolerance and to consume more dairy foods.[46][49][70] The way to induce tolerance is based on progressive exposure, consuming smaller amounts frequently, distributed throughout the day.[71] Lactose intolerance can also be managed by ingesting live yogurt cultures containing lactobacilli that are able to digest the lactose in other dairy products.[72]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anfänger View Post
    What a shame, I can not imagine living without cheese or other dairy products. A friend of mine is lactose intolerant, I remember how he couldn't even eat cheese without pain in his stomach. Must be awful.

    By the way, i´ve just looked at my raw data from 23andme and I am G/G for rs4988235, so I don't have the LP alleles. Still I can drink milk and consume dairy products like cheese. Maybe there are more genes involved in LP ?
    If you love milk and milk products but suffer from lactose intolerance, then you're missing out on some good treats in your life. I know a guy who suffered from lactose tolerance yet he pushed himself to drink milk because of the nutrition, and protein. The result was he got an intense stomach ache, a bloated stomach, and severe diarrhea. In Germany, people make jokes about lactose intolerance but drinking milk is not a joke for people with that condition. Besides, although goat’s milk contains lactose, it‘s still easier to digest and contains less lactose than cow’s milk. Futhermore, If I remember correctly lactose tolerance can be built up with exposure, at least in cases of a mild form and not severe lactose intolerance. Hence, there are lactose intolerant people who eat milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice creams regularly and only get mild stomach discomfort.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stefano View Post
    Digestion of milk and dairy is really a complex matter. The lactose content is not the only factor, some people have trouble digesting casein, which is probably the cause of your friend problem cause lactose should not cause problem until fermented in the bowel.
    The milk quality and source is also a big part. Some people do better with raw milk, others with U.H.T milk which is almost sterilized. According to Ayurveda raw milk should be drunk only while still warm after milking otherwise should be boiled.
    There is a big difference between A1 dairy (from cows) and A2 (goats,sheeps.camels,horses,yask,some cows breed) they contain a different type of casein, A2 is tolerated better, some poeple found easier to digest goat milk.
    Angela have you tried goat dairy or slowly introducing lactose free milk, starting from very little amounts?
    It also depend on one digestive system health and the current gut permeability. I am A/G on rs4988235 and during a period of high stress i completly lost the ability to digest milk, even the lactose free one. After a couple of years i slowly reintroduced a lactose free one (half a glass a day) and now i can drink two glasses a day, on ocasion i can tolerate small amounts of non lactose free in ice-cream, cakes and other foods.
    I have still hard time digesting cheese mainly for their high fat and high casein content.


    Also there are other snp involved in it for example G on rs41380347 for arab bedouins, and there is a different one for sub-saharan africans.


    from wikipedia "Regular consumption of dairy foods containing lactose can promote a colonic bacteria adaptation, enhancing a favorable microbiome, which allows people with primary lactase deficiency to diminish their intolerance and to consume more dairy foods.[46][49][70] The way to induce tolerance is based on progressive exposure, consuming smaller amounts frequently, distributed throughout the day.[71] Lactose intolerance can also be managed by ingesting live yogurt cultures containing lactobacilli that are able to digest the lactose in other dairy products.[72]
    I think it's both lactose intolerance and casein intolerance for me. For some reason the LP alleles aren't doing their job, but I also think it's difficulty with digesting casein, because it's never stomach pain; it's the abdomen.

    I never drank milk as a child; it's just not something we do in my part of the world and I don't find it at all appealing, so that's not a problem. What bothers me is having to ration cheese consumption, in particular, and butter, although I also miss being able to eat ice cream as often as I would like in the summer. :)

    Hard, long aged cheeses are not really much of a problem. Thank God, because I put grated Parmigiano and Romano on so many of the dishes I make. It's the semi-soft and soft cheeses which are a much bigger problem, and ice cream, even with the LP pills, and I love pizza, lasagna, munching on brie or camembert with fruit or having a grilled cheese sandwich with muenster cheese, or eating a bowl of ricotta and fruit for breakfast, and on and on. That's what makes me suspect it's also the casein.

    I do use the lactose free milk for coffee or putting on oatmeal, but that's about it, and as I said, I ration the soft cheeses. Just can't give them up because I love them. I've always loved them. I was the Italian version of the child picky eater: cured pork products, cheese, bread, fruit, and nuts. :)

    Dairy products can even cause death in certain circumstances. A boy in my son's school, a big strapping lacrosse player was so allergic to it that they had to keep an epi pen in the house. They were very careful, but one day the mother bought a loaf of bread which the bakery assured her didn't have dairy. However, it was made with butter and he had a half a loaf after practice. He had an attack and couldn't find the epi pen apparently, so he died.

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    Malnutrition??
    Well, definetely IndoEuropeans got it better. Because of the milk and meat.

    But, those grains were good for farmers. They produced a lot of food that is the staple for us. Not to talk about all the food that we have invented later.

    Even if it makes you more gracile and weak, if you protect yourself from dangerous tasks that require a lot of brutality, if you reject drugs and their stupid and dumb addiction.

    Nothing happens to you.

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    I wonder why this is specific for early european farmers, and less for later farmers.
    We know after a while the WHG component in European farmers increased.
    There are no indications LBK farmers hunted or fished.
    Later farmers seem to have complemented their diet with hunting and fishing.
    And herding became more important.

  22. #22
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    I would make sense that at times of malnutrition, those with the LP mutation survived and thrived more than others and passed the gene on more than the others theirs

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by real expert View Post
    If you love milk and milk products but suffer from lactose intolerance, then you're missing out on some good treats in your life. I know a guy who suffered from lactose tolerance yet he pushed himself to drink milk because of the nutrition, and protein. The result was he got an intense stomach ache, a bloated stomach, and severe diarrhea. In Germany, people make jokes about lactose intolerance but drinking milk is not a joke for people with that condition. Besides, although goat’s milk contains lactose, it‘s still easier to digest and contains less lactose than cow’s milk. Futhermore, If I remember correctly lactose tolerance can be built up with exposure, at least in cases of a mild form and not severe lactose intolerance. Hence, there are lactose intolerant people who eat milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice creams regularly and only get mild stomach discomfort.

    global-lactose-intolerance-by-country-2017-1.jpg

    Now I understand why MacDonald's and Burger King don't sell milkshakes and cheese and mayonnaise are expensive and hard to find here in Thailand.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by firetown View Post
    global-lactose-intolerance-by-country-2017-1.jpg

    Now I understand why MacDonald's and Burger King don't sell milkshakes and cheese and mayonnaise are expensive and hard to find here in Thailand.
    Greenland should be a good market for that.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur 2 View Post
    Greenland should be a good market for that.
    It's actually missing from the list:
    https://milk.procon.org/lactose-intolerance-by-country/

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