Hack thyself better is our bean-break this morning. Something has been bothering me for a while in the food department. It came up in my thinking yesterday (again) as I was reading and writing the latest on the Chronicle Project’s latest outputs.
If you missed, it, the main point (top of the org chart, so to speak) is that “We (humans) seem to have been planted here by a race (or races) of physical and spiritual entities who go around the Universe “creating” suitable planets under the direction of one called “Creator”.
And the “second in command” – the Nakash – steal control and here we are in the long-running battles over religion and such. But, comments of an insightful reader reminded me that the evolution of fully functional humans is a relatively recent event. And that got me looking at food more closely…
So let’s go back to how and why it seems that Egypt arose as a high civilization: Largely because of how the River Nile worked, it was good with periodic flooding, easy irrigation and sha-zam! High culture when people can do more than forage for food.
We note that although there are plenty of other cultures in Africa, they rarely got into high culture, with a few very notable exceptions in the southern parts of Africa where ruins stand testament to their efforts.
The idea that has been working its way through my head is that the reason people were not so bright until historically recent time was that we were mostly starving to death.
Even in areas that had reasonable seasonal food stocks there was little awareness of storage. And given that we were basically just smart apes with all of our thinking going on in one side of our heads (after Jayne) then it sure did sound like the “Voice of God” (*or some-such) when the other hemisphere fired and OMG….you hear that voice?
The magic is that when people are severely malnourished over long periods of time, they get stupid. But, when they get ample food (and nutrients) then the body is able to optimize a few things – and one of these is the thin coating of myelin that protects nerves.
Oh – does one other thing: Growth the myelin sheath which is the formerly non-work, then upgraded to 300 baud connection between the halves of the brain.
Not like fiber was laid in – just the neuron connectivity overall got much better. As the Biomedical Wiki here explains it:
“Many neurons in vertebrates are electrically insulated by a fatty layer called the myelin sheath produced by supportive cells called glial cells. There are different types of glial cells, oligodentrocytes surround neurons in the Central nervous system and schwann cells surround periphral neurons, they produce the myelin sheath by the plasma membrane migrating around the neurons axon in a tight spiral. A single oligodentrocyte can myelinate up to 10-15 neurons whereas schwann cells only myelinate one. Myelinated neurons are refered to as white matter as the myeline sheath is white.
An action potential travels down a myelinated axon by saltatory conduction which is where an action potential depolarises the axon enough to initiate the opening of the voltage gated sodium ion channels at the next node. This jumping of the action potential results in faster propagation and conservation of energy
Which is why – thanks to dynamite nutrition resources – we are enjoying what is akin to T-1 (or lambdas, depending on Ure IQ) between the brain halves – because the “long lines” are in. And it’s why we can think in “arty terms” one minute and then “run the numbers on it” the next.
So picture African origins migrating all over the world. Where food could be done well and plentifully, people got smart and high cultures arose.
But what about Biblical food prohibitions?
My late father had thought (being a well-read literalist) in just about everything, that the best explanation he could think of was the lack of refrigeration and meaningful ways to test for food poisoning. Still a damn good reason for “foody rules” to be bound up in religions.
But what about pigs, shellfish, and such? Was that something special?
A firm maybe.
As I’ve told you many times I have gout – which is from having serum uric acid levels that are too high. A little allopurinol and popping some optimized saffron now and they and the issue is gone. BUI, from my gout battles in years past (before I took health more seriously, it was just a “given” once upon a time) I found that some seafoods and PORK do have higher levels of uric acid.
And THAT (this is a long-[chain logical discussion, but go with me on this ) brings us to diseases like multiple sclerosis. On which point the School of Biomedical Sciences Wiki says…
“Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where the myelin sheath is degenerated, causing random areas of inflammation called lesions. The glial cells can also be destroyed so regeneration cannot occur so the myelin sheath is replaced by scar tissue. The degenerated neurons can’t transmit the action potential as quickly causing symptoms such as loss of control of muscles and numbness. Preventing brain atrophy may have important clinical implications affecting treatment decisions in the future. In recent years, research efforts have directed towards finding agents to modify the disease and reduce brain volume loss. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) may have some potential roles in this regard.
Invertebrates do not have myelinated neurons.”\
So here comes a wild proposition:
We know the people who came out of Egypt were smart – but the earliest may still have been in the “coming out” stages from Jaynes’ breakdown of their bicameralism into something more unified as a thinking platform.
To big ponders here:
One is – did they know (or did aliens coach them?) on the notion that certain foods would slow or retard the expansion of myelin sheathing?
The other is, were they diseases that people from that part of the world were susceptible to (just as some people are genetically susceptible to MS) that the stated food regimens worked on?
That is an amazingly interesting concept. And this related to Ure’s study’s of gout and uric acid how?
Meantime, I continue on my nutritional self-optimization path which includes (among others) Huperzine-A on a regular basis because I just “feel sharper” on it.
About a month back over on SelfHacked.com I read this little bit on point and wanted to share it with you because it is exactly on point:
“Cholinergic treatments, such as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs), may have beneficial effects on myelination, myelin repair, and myelin integrity (R).
Increasing cholinergic stimulation helps the myelination process (R).
The acetylcholine muscarinic receptors can increase the survival of precursor cells that increase myelin (R).”
Take some time and go read the whole article here. Because those “foody rules” in religions may be there for brain expansion and disease reduction in addition to not having refrigeration handy.
Making article Sunday (if I get off my butt and make something) Elsewise, Peoplenomics tomorrow and our funeral for markets Monday.
Be well, or weller, and well, er, Write when you get rich…