Saturday, 19 May 2012

Human: herbivore or carnivore or omnivore

When searching the internet for dietary advices, one is easily mislead with propaganda and lack of scientific knowledge. We usually come across debates on whether human beings are herbivores, carnivorous or omnivores. In schools we have always learned that human come under omnivore. But a lot of blogs and sites back the idea of human being herbivore. Let’s look at some of their usual claims and the scientific fact.
Most of the arguments are not even related to the species digestion. Like the argument of relation between the facial muscles in a species to the food it eats. It’s like saying I know to speak English and therefore I am an English man. Absolutely absurd and ridiculous.
Even the length of the canine teeth could be misleading. Have you seen the canines on a gorilla? Can you infer that it is the largest meat eater?
gorilla canine
How about the Panda? Its diet is made of 99% bamboo shoots. Have you seen the canines on them?
Yes, there are carnivores with long canines and herbivores with flat canines. But you will have to look look at a more scientific way rather than measuring the length of canines.
cat_canine_teethcattle-teethimggoat teethdog caninehumanteethLion Teeth
A wolf eats a lot of meat but wolves will supplement their diet with fruit and vegetable matter; they willingly eat the berries of mountain ash, lily of the valley, bilberries, blueberries andcowberry. Other fruits include nightshade, apples and pears. They readily visit melon fields during the summer monthswolf-teeth
So looking at canine and saying something unscientific is another way of showing your ignorance.
Even more idiotic is looking at the nails. Comparing the manicured nails of human to that to wild animal is nothing short of being ludicrous in its highest form. And more outlandish is comparing that to hooves of cattle to determine the diet of human. Insane!!!
Let’s look at some of the main arguments.
1. The most common argument is the length of the intestines of human, herbivores and carnivores. I am posting below some of the images. I am sure many of you will recollect them from your school days.
The claim is actually a contradiction where the length is longer in carnivores and omnivorous but smaller in herbivorous.
2. Another famous misleading argument is the pH level of stomach.
The pH of gastric acid is 1.35 to 3.5 in the human stomach lumen, the acidity being maintained by the proton pump H+/K+ ATPase. The parietal cell releases bicarbonate into the blood stream in the process, which causes a temporary rise of pH in the blood, known as alkaline tide.The pH of your stomach is very acidic it ranges between 1.5-3pH, it is maintained by hydrochloric acid (HCL) and gastrin. A specific enzyme, pepsin, is activated and works best on digesting proteins in the acidic environment.
The stomach is acidic in order to kill any bacteria that enter the stomach. The acid does not break down food, but contains an enzyme called protease, a form of pepsin, which breaks down proteins into polypeptide chains. No further digestion takes place in the stomach, as this takes place in the ileum, small intestine. The stomach has to maintain its acidity for the enzyme protease to function. The stomach acid is very acidic, but is also quite dilute, and the acid (Hydrochloric Acid) is fairly harmless in this diluted state.
The pH of a cow's stomach is 6.5 to 7. Maintaining rumen pH levels between 5.9 to 6.2 can optimize microbial yield and VFA production. Cow has four stomachs: first two are weakly alkaline so bacteria can live in them, the fourth one=the real stomach=abomasum is acidic, like any stomach. the third one=omasum is somewhere in between, but probably much closer to the rumen and reticulum, as its function is mainly to absorb water, not acid hydrolysis.
The dog's stomach will produce some large amounts of strong acid, thus lowering the pH level down to somewhere between 1 and 2! Now, pH=1 corresponds to an acidity you would obtain with a 0.4% solution of Hydrochloric acid!
3. I like this argument a lot : When you see a dead animal on the road, do you feel to eat it? (A question in favour of vegetarians) In the same way, if you see a tomato in the gutter, do you grab it and devour it?
4. Now let’s look at the way a herbivore digests vegetation. A cow has 4 stomachs (actually 1 stomach but 4 compartments) which digest cellulose by fermentation. This is facilitated by the microbes (bacteria, protozoa, fungi, archaea, and viruses) in the rumen which digest the food. These microbes are the actually reason why herbivores digest the vegetation that it consumes. Humans on the other hand lack these cellulose breaking microbes and rumen. We cannot digest grass or leaves in its natural form.
5. Saliva indicate we could be omnivores. Saliva and urine data vary, depending on diet, not taxonomic group.
6.BAPN(beta-aminopropionitrile) is also a metabolic product of a compound present in sprouts of grasspea, pea and lentils. BAPN cause skeletal disorder because it affects the bones and connecting tissues.
Raw cashews contain urushiol, which is the same chemical that you’d find in poison ivy. It can cause the body to have a very similar reaction to one experienced from poison oak or ivy. If a high level of urushiol is ingested, it can be deadly.
If you’ve ever looked at a potato, you may have realized that some turn a greenish colour. This is due to levels of glycoalkaloid poison. In the past, there have been deaths due to potato poisoning. It is rare, but most happen due to someone drinking potato leaf tea, or eating green potatoes. Death doesn’t come suddenly. It usually results in weakness and then a coma. Don’t worry about having the occasional green potato chip, but do discard any potatoes that have green eyes, sprouts, or greenish skins, rather than prepare and serve them, especially to children.
Amonds without heating are poisonous, because it has cyanide. As well as Apple seeds have cyanide.
Eating too much of meat can lead to cancer and cholesterol.
Tomato leaves and parts contain glycoalkaloid which is actually very poisonous.
7. Only animal food have Vitamin B12 in human usable form. It’s easier to get protein from animal products than eating very substantial amount of protein rich vegetation. And minerals like iron, calcium and zinc come easy from meat.
human  Digest
Instead of me deriving the conclusion, accept the facts and eat healthy. The best diet is a balanced diet of green and meat. The answer at this point is certain, we are neither carnivore or herbivore, but a classic omnivore.
The best arguments in support of a meat-free diet remain ecological, ethical, and health concerns
NOTE: Milk is broken down by an enzyme called lactase in mammals. Humans being mammals have this ability in their infancy but as we grow old we produce less of this enzyme. By the child reaches 6-7 years, this ability is very diminished. So drinking milk is arguably not advantageous once you reach your adulthood compared to your childhood.
We get almost all our energy by burning oxygen in our body. That’s why we breathe. Let’s not breath in carbon di oxide which is actually our waste product. It’s like eating our shit. But better than inhaling carbon monoxide. Nicotine and tar. Stop smoking because its actually poisonous to you and the people around you.
I will be adding more of the arguments as I go along with the actual scientific facts behind them. Why because people believe whatever is written on the internet without verifying the facts.