About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Dietary Insights from Oldest Human Poop

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on June 26, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Font : A-A+

 Dietary Insights from Oldest Human Poop

More vegetables may have been consumed by Neanderthals than previously thought, as suggested in research published in June 25 in the open access journal PLOS ONE, by Ainara Sistiaga from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of La Laguna and colleagues.

Neanderthal diet reconstruction remains difficult. Current methods of dietary analysis use isotopes and focus on the role of meat in the diet, which may be overemphasized. For instance, some evidence suggests that plants may have contributed to their diet. To better understand contributions to the Neanderthal diet, the authors of this study used analytical techniques to quantify faecal biomarkers from five samples found in El Salt, Spain, dating back to about 50,000 years ago. These biomarkers can help researchers identify dietary sources by the way dietary sterols are broken down in the mammalian gut.

Advertisement

The samples in this study may be the oldest known human faecal matter. The analysis suggests that Neanderthals predominantly consumed meat, as indicated by high proportions of a one faecal biomarker formed by the bacterial reduction of cholesterol in the gut (coprostanol), but the authors also found evidence of significant plant intake, as shown by the presence of a compound often found in plant sources (5β-stigmastanol). In support of the finding, microscopic examination of sediment from the same context yielded the identification of human coprolites. The authors hope that future studies using this biomarker approach may provide further insights into the role of vegetables in the Neanderthal diet.

Ainara Sistiaga added, "This study represents the first approach to Neanderthal diet through the analysis of fecal markers found in archaeological sediment."

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Fruits and Vegetables for Healthy Weight Loss
For healthy weight loss, focus on consuming low-calorie foods such as fruits and vegetables because ...
Benefits of Dietary Fibre
Eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day takes care of the fiber your system needs to a ......
When Fruits and Vegetables are Bad
You've heard the pros, now it's time to gulp down the cons. Fruits and veggies can harm you too! ......
Fruits and Vegetable Intake Associated With Irregular Breakfast Habits and Snacking
A study from the Nutrition Journal demonstrated how irregular breakfast and snacks could affect the ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use