I was thinking about the Inuit, the unofficial Primal mascots who ate basically nothing but fat and protein. In all the books I have read concerning the primal/paleo way of life, they are showcased as the premiere example of a group of people who defy Western conventional wisdom on how we should eat. They eat fat and red meat all day but don’t seem to be dying from heart attacks. So we should take their lead…right?

Maybe for the most part, but I remain convinced that genetically based differences in optimal nutrition should be researched more. Recently, researchers have been exploring how people could have survived in Siberia and other arctic areas and discovered several genes to be associated with peoples living in these areas. These included genes that regulate body heat, muscle development, and even diet. Across all the test groups, the frequency of the studied genes fluctuated based on specific circumstances, but one key gene ENPP7 seemed to be pretty constant across all study groups. ENPP7 is implicated in the metabolism of fats, especially those in meat and dairy products. This seems like a pretty usefully evolutionary adaption if vegetable matter is nonexistent. And while the Inuit are not directly mentioned in the article, Siberians are considered the source population for North American natives and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that ENPP7 is a staple of their genome.

How to Survive a Siberian Winter - ScienceNOW

This also brings up a point I made in a different thread about whether or not those who have practiced agriculture the longest have a higher tolerance to our “SAD” way of living. And as it turns out, there are genes that help in insulin regulation (and deter type 2 diabetes) that appear more frequently in those who are historically agricultural than those who aren’t.

Refining the impact of : : TCF7L2: : gene variants on type 2 diabetes and adaptive evolution : Abstract : Nature Genetics

So while eating like an Inuit might be a vast upgrade from bread and pasta, unless you are an Inuit, it might not be exactly what you should be doing.