All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Society

Groups of people involved in social interaction, large social groups sharing the same geographical or social territory, often with similar cultural preferences - nations, communities, humanity.

  • Cobalamin Deficiency in Asian Indians

    In India, most people adhere to a vegetarian diet, which may lead to cobalamin deficiency. About 75% of the subjects had metabolic signs of cobalamin deficiency, which was only partly explained by the vegetarian diet.

    The study population included 204 men and women aged 27–55 y from Pune, Maharashtra, India, categorized into 4 groups:

    • patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes,
    • patients with CVD but no diabetes,
    • patients with diabetes but no CVD,
    • healthy subjects.

    Data on medical history, lifestyle, and diet were obtained by interviews and questionnaires. Blood samples were collected for measurement of serum or plasma total cobalamin, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), methylmalonic acid (MMA), and total homocysteine (tHcy) and hemetologic indexes.

    1. Methylmalonic acid, total homocysteine, total cobalamin, and holotranscobalamin did not differ significantly among the 4 groups.
    2. Total cobalamin showed a strong inverse correlation with total homocysteine (r = −0.59) and methylmalonic acid (r = −0.54). 
    3. 47% of the subjects had cobalamin deficiency (total cobalamin <150 pmol/L),
    4. 73% had low holotranscobalamin (<35 pmol/L),
    5. 77% had hyperhomocysteinemia (total homocysteine >15 μmol/L),
    6. 73% had elevated serum methylmalonic acid (>0.26 μmol/L).

    These indicators of impaired cobalamin status were observed in both vegetarians and nonvegetarians.

  • Serum Vitamin B12 in Children

    Dietary vitamin B12 intake was inadequate in 43% in an extremely impoverished indigenous population of Panamanian children aged 12 to 60 months.

    These children were poorer, had less frequent diarrhea, and obtained a higher percentage of their energy from carbohydrate than children with adequate intake. Energy intake positively predicted dietary vitamin B12 intake. In contrast, serum vitamin B12 concentrations were normal in all but 3% of the children. Serum vitamin B12 was positively associated with weekly servings of fruit, corn-based food, and name (a traditional starchy food), but not with animal-source foods. Finally, serum vitamin B12 was not associated with Ascaris intensity but was lowered with increasing frequency of diarrhea.

    Although inadequate dietary intake of vitamin B12 was common, most serum values were normal. Nevertheless, diarrheal disease emerged as a negative predictor of serum vitamin B12 concentration.

  • Vitamin B12 Levels in Long-Term Vegans

    Serum vitamin B12, serum folate and red blood cell folate levels were examined among 36 strict vegans of 5-35 years' duration.

    Vitamin B12 levels among the vegans were generally lower than in a control population. Most of the vegans had vitamin B12 values less than 200 pg/ml

    None of the vegans had any hematologic evidence of vitamin B12 deficiency, however four of them had neurologic complaints. Long-standing vegans should be monitored for vitamin B12 levels.

    Red blood cell folate levels were normal but serum folate levels among the vegans were higher than among the controls. 

  • B12 Oral Supplements and Cognitive Function

    Vitamin B-12 status did not change significantly after treatment in the placebo group with daily supplementation with high doses of oral vitamin B-12 alone or in combination with folic acid.

    Oral vitamin B-12 supplementation corrected mild vitamin B-12 deficiency.

    Vitamin B-12 + folic acid supplementation increased red blood cell folate concentrations and decreased total homocysteine concentrations by 36%.

    Improvement in memory function was greater in the placebo group than in the group who received vitamin B-12 alone. Neither supplementation with vitamin B-12 alone nor that in combination with folic acid was accompanied by any improvement in other cognitive domains.

  • Research Needed for B12 and Neurodegenerative Disease

    Having established the association of vitamin B12 insufficiency with neurodegenerative disease, the challenge is to discern the direction, if any, of causation.

    Most neurological impairments present a slow, progressive course (Josephs et al., 2009) and vitamin B12 levels may take a number of years to deplete (Herbert, 1988). Studies investigating causation would need to continue over an extended period of time.

    Low serum vitamin B12 levels may play a role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease; however, it is equally plausible that neurological impairment may lead to poor nutrition and hence to inadequate dietary intake. Also, any association may simply be coincident or the factors predisposing patients for neurodegenerative disease may simply also expose the patient to a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, poor nutrition. Further intervention studies in large samples followed over an extended period of time are required. This will allow for further investigation of the role, if any, of vitamin B12 in the onset or progression of neurodegenerative disease, as well as the latent period of effect of vitamin B12 insufficiency before cognitive deficits are evident.

  • Lotus-Eaters Lotophagi

    Lotus Tree Fruits

    Lotus-eaters (lotophagi or lotophaguses, lotophages) were fruitarians, whose primary foods were fruits and flowers of a lotus tree. 

    Herodotus, in the 5th century BCE, was sure that the lotus-eaters still existed in his day, in coastal Libya:

    A promontory jutting out into the sea from the country of the Gindanes is inhabited by the lotus-eaters, who live entirely on the fruit of the lotus-tree. The lotus fruit is about the size of the lentisk berry and in sweetness resembles the date. The lotus-eaters even succeed in obtaining from it a sort of wine.

    Polybius identifies the land of the lotus-eaters as the island of Djerba (ancient Meninx), off the coast of Tunisia. Later this identification is supported by Strabo.

    According to Greek mythology, lotophagi lived on an island dominated by lotus plants, and its flowers of fruits were narcotic, causing the people to sleep in peaceful apathy.

  • Vegetarianism

    Vegetarianism is the theory and practice of voluntary non-consumption of the flesh of any animal, including sea animals.

    The known history of vegetarianism begins civilizations of ancient India, Egypt, and Greece. Religious groups in Egypt (~ 3,200 BCE - Before Current Era) practiced abstinence from flesh and from wearing animal-derived clothing. The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice amongst a significant number of people concern the India and Greece civilizations. In both instances the diet was closely connected with the idea of nonviolence toward animals (Ahimsain India), and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers. In the ancient Vedic period vegetarianism was encouraged, but eating some kinds of meat was allowed by law. 

  • Humans and Biosphere

    Almost everywhere we went, humankind erased a world of wonders, changing the way the biosphere functions. For instance, modern humans arrived in Europe and Australia at about the same time – between 40 and 50,000 years ago – with similar consequences.

    In Europe, where animals had learned to fear previous versions of the bipedal ape, the extinctions happened slowly. Within some 10 or 15,000 years, the continent had lost its straight-tusked elephants, forest rhinos, hippos, hyenas and monstrous scimitar cats.

    In Australia, where no hominim had set foot before modern humans arrived, the collapse was almost instant. The rhinoceros-sized wombat, the ten-foot kangaroo, the marsupial lion, the monitor lizard larger than a Nile crocodile, the giant marsupial tapir, the horned tortoise as big as a car – all went, in ecological terms, overnight.

  • Humans Share Genes with Plants and Animals

    Humans share ~ 24% of genes with grapes, ~ 85% - with cows.

    All animals, plants, and fungi share an ancestor that lived about 1.6 billion years ago. Every lineage that descended from that progenitor retains parts of its original genome, embodying one of evolution’s key principles: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it

  • 70 Percent Antibiotics in US are for Farm Animals

    70% Of all antibiotics sold in the US are used for farm animals. Sales of antibiotics for agriculture climbed 16% in 3 years between 2009 and 2012.

Charles Darwin

There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery. 

Phytonutrients

Plant foods contain thousands of natural chemicals, which are called phytonutrients or phytochemicals ("phyto" means "plant"). These chemicals help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats. Phytonutrients are not essential, but they may help prevent disease.

More than 25,000 phytochemicals are found in plant foods, and six important phytonutrients are: 

  • Carotenoids
  • Ellagic acid
  • Flavonoids
  • Resveratrol
  • Glucosinolates
  • Phytoestrogens

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