A study of the DNA preserved in calcified bacteria on the teeth of ancient human skeletons has pointed out some of the negative health consequences of the change in diet and lifestyle from the Stone Age to the modern era and also the impact of food manufacturing in the Industrial revolution.
"This is the first record of how our evolution over the last 7500 years has impacted the bacteria we carry with us, and the important health consequences," says study leader Professor Alan Cooper, ACAD Director.
"Oral bacteria in modern man are markedly less diverse than historic populations and this is thought to contribute to chronic oral and other disease in post-industrial lifestyles. The composition of oral bacteria changed markedly with the introduction of farming, and again around 150 years ago. With the introduction of processed sugar and flour in the Industrial Revolution, we can see a dramatically decreased diversity in our oral bacteria, allowing domination by caries-causing strains", he added.