Aren't the mongolians mostly paleo? Yeah, I know they consume a lot of dairy, but most of their calories seem to come from meat and fat, according to this wikipedia article. I've been giving meat a chance, since I've noticed that spinach has oxalates and shitaki has purine and tea has fluoride and mate is carcinogenic and cabagge has Goitrogen and cauliflower has purine... and goitrogen!
Still, what happens in practice weights more than what is predicted by theory, and take a look at the prevalence of cancer in Mongolia. Isn't this a good argument against a paleo diet based mostly on meat (contrasting it to a paleo diet based mostly on vegetables)?
In spite of the overall encouraging decline in hepatitis B carriage, the impact of chronic hepatitis remains a major health problem for the country. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common malignancy in Mongolia (followed by gastroesophogeal, cervical, and lung cancers), and cirrhosis remains common enough to justify a 54-bed ward at NRCID dedicated to the care of patients with the disease. Although injection drug use appears to be rare, alcohol abuse is very common and almost certainly contributes to Mongolia’s problem with chronic liver disease (12).
In case you aren't familiar with the term hepatocellular carcinoma (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hepatocellular_carcinoma ):
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, also called malignant hepatoma) is a primary malignancy (cancer) of the liver. Most cases of HCC are secondary to either a viral hepatitide infection (hepatitis B or C) or cirrhosis (alcoholism being the most common cause of hepatic cirrhosis).
So how serious is the hepatitis epidemic in Mongolia?
Anecdotal estimates are as high as sixty percent of all Mongolians have Hepatitis B, C or both.
So what do you think, is it the meat or the hepatitis that's causing the problem?
I wonder how the Mongolians are doing with other forms of cancer that aren't caused by hepatitis?
There are striking differences in breast cancer incidence rates between Asian and North American and Western European populations, but within Asia variation is also wide. Incidence in Mongolia is one of the lowest in the world (6.6/100,000) while China, its neighbor to the south, has about three times this rate (18.7/100,000). Furthermore, rates appear higher in urban than in rural areas in Mongolia.
So not only are breast cancer rates relatively non-existent in Mongolia compared to the US but it's even less prevalent in those rural areas where they are still consuming a diet that you identify as Paleo.
Usually, it's colon cancer that's blamed by the medical establishment and the vegetarians on meat consumption so I wonder what the colon cancer rates are like for those crazy meat-eating Mongolians?
Note that yellow means 'pretty much non-existent' and red means 'really bad' with shades of orange in between. For those who are geography-challenged, Mongolia is the bright yellow place between Russia and China towards the right side of the map.
So, sorry, I seem to have missed the "good argument against a paleo diet based mostly on meat".
I worked with an environmental economist whose specialty was Mongolia and met some Mongolian grad students through her. Mongolian food is indeed rich in fat and some of what they eat is great, but they eat massive amounts of wheat, mainly as dumplings. They also seemed to dump massive amounts of salt in everything. It's very similar to Tibetan food, which is also very delicious, but oh so gluteny. Vodka abuse is similar to Russians I've known.
Koreans, Japanese, and Icelanders are also heavy salters who are healthy except for cancer. Stomach cancer rates seem to be particularly high in these countries. I love salt, but I try to be careful about it. I also don't do as much dairy as the Mongolians do.
Alcohol, massive amounts of salt, gluten, cured meats with nitrates, overcooking meat, too much dairy, pretty much no vegetables or fruits whatsoever...lots of bad things about Mongolia despite their love of fat.
There also is the possibility of a founder effect too, which could genetically predispose people.
"So what do you think, is it the meat or the hepatitis that's causing the problem?"
It´s sure that it´s not diet, but pure hygiene which is responsible for high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinom. Cleanliness is a real problem in Mongolia, especially among the rural herders. Hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body at least 14 days. Infection is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected with the virus during activities such as birth (spread from an infected mother to her baby during birth), sex with an infected partner, sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person, direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person , exposure to blood from needlesticks or other sharp instruments,etc.
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