A new study by Norwegian scientists is calling into question the concept of the "paleo diet" that became fashionable a few years ago. Its main postulate is that in the absence of a developed civilization, ancient people did not have highly processed factory food with all its inherent shortcomings. Therefore, the healthiest diet is the one that our distant ancestors adhered to. However, the Norwegians found that such a paleo diet, it seems, was by no means perfectly sustainable.
The attention of scientists from the University of Tromsø was attracted by "kjökkenmedings" - large layers of household, mainly kitchen waste at the sites of human camps at the end of the Stone Age, 6, 3-3, 8 thousand years ago. In the absence of the remains of the people themselves, they are the most valuable sources of information about those times. The Norwegians have focused on studying the bones of the Atlantic cod and harp seal as the simplest and most sought-after food sources from the sea.
The study of the isotopic composition of bones greatly surprised and upset scientists. The level of toxic cadmium in cod of those times exceeded the norm by 22 times, and lead by 3-4 times. The same indicators for seals are also bleak - an excess of 15 and 4 times, respectively. There were a lot of bones in the garbage, which means that ancient people lived in a state of permanent poisoning with heavy metals. Traces of mercury were also found, which are very close to dangerous values.
Scientists have not yet undertaken to judge the reasons for such an increased content of toxic metals in ancient seafood. As well as they have no explanation why our distant ancestors were seriously ill from generation to generation, but did not leave dangerous places and continued to eat poisoned food. Although, it may not be all that bad. The next step is to study the bones of hares, deer and waterfowl from the same garbage - maybe there is an answer, what was the real paleo diet?