The Dietary Lessons of Teeth

We can draw many important lessons on human diet from history. In particular, examination of human teeth provides some of the most important insights we have into what humans should eat, what we should not eat, or at least are poorly adapted to eating.

Prior to around 10,000 years ago, tooth decay was uncommon–despite the lack of fluoridated toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrushes, and dentists. When grains were added to the diet, there was an explosion of tooth decay: 16-49% of all teeth recovered showed decay or abscess formation.

Modern efforts at dental hygiene help subdue the extravagant tooth decay that now occurs because of grain (and sugar) consumption. But in this historical observation an important dietary lesson can be learned: Humans were never meant to consume the seeds of grasses, i.e., “grains.”


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Dr. William Davis

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