Author Topic: Eating brains for a healthy brain?  (Read 17485 times)

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Offline Hannibal

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2010, 01:11:36 am »
As for the issue of DHA in marrow and brains, do bear in mind that birds like vultures can easily get at the stuff inside the bones as they routinely drop the bones/skulls from very great heights.
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Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2010, 06:52:32 am »
Whales are a poor example as, not being limited by gravity due to living in the ocean, then can grow any body-part to huge sizes with few or no consequences.

Great white sharks have very small brains, 34g according to the site below. Great whites average about 900kg. Sperm whales average 41,000 kg and have brains that are 7800g. The sperm whales are about 45 times bigger yet have brains that are well over 200 times as large. The sperm whales also have significantly more blubber so their brain size to lean weight ratio is going to be even bigger. But of course brain size is just one factor that can determine the successfulness of a species. For whatever reason, mammals seem to be able to develop large brains. Fish and reptiles do not. An alligator's brain is a mere 8g, yet they do just fine and like I said previously have much better sensory mechanisms than mammals which probably make up for the small brain.

Dolphins also have one of the highest brain to body weight ratios as well.

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As for the issue of DHA in marrow and brains, do bear in mind that birds like vultures can easily get at the stuff inside the bones as they routinely drop the bones/skulls from very great heights. Yet they aren't as intelligent as humans by any means.

Marrow is devoid of DHA and AA. On land, DHA is only found in significant quantities in brain and egg yolk. Birds again are not mammals. Birds are closely related to dinosaurs with many of the same traits. Birds are also extremely light weight and though they have small brains, their ratio of brain to body weight is relatively large. Larger brained birds could have difficulty flying.

Mammals seem to have an advantage with respects to obtaining larger brains. The reptilian brain is the oldest of all and still present in all of us and all mammals. The mammalian brain was next to evolve after the dinosaurs left the earth.

Offline yon yonson

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2010, 07:42:23 am »
just to interject...

i ate that goat brain yesterday! it's really some good stuff. i would describe it as having the consistency of pancreas, but it tastes really creamy and fatty. if you have ever had beef or lamb neck and found the spinal fluid, it's very similar in taste and texture. also, i noticed it smelled a little fishy (not in a bad way) and thought that was pretty interesting seeing as how DHA is high in both fish and brain. maybe that smell is DHA?

anyways, i think goat or lamb brain is pretty common at halal meat markets and it's usually relatively good quality meat. i would recommend it. i bought 6 goat brains for around $8.50 at $7.99/lb

i will say though, i still prefer marrow over brain. but i suspect that after a few more brains, i might prefer it over marrow. it's pretty damn good and i just might not be well acquainted enough with it.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 08:43:22 am by yon yonson »

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2010, 06:56:50 pm »
Hmm, in the UK, halal or kosher would normally be considered low-quality by RPDers, because they don't seem to care at all where their meat comes from re organic/grassfed sources.At least that's what I've experienced. Plus, I've heard that letting out the blood makes the meat lose its taste to some extent.
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Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2010, 07:05:26 pm »
Great white sharks have very small brains, 34g according to the site below. Great whites average about 900kg. Sperm whales average 41,000 kg and have brains that are 7800g. The sperm whales are about 45 times bigger yet have brains that are well over 200 times as large. The sperm whales also have significantly more blubber so their brain size to lean weight ratio is going to be even bigger. But of course brain size is just one factor that can determine the successfulness of a species. For whatever reason, mammals seem to be able to develop large brains. Fish and reptiles do not. An alligator's brain is a mere 8g, yet they do just fine and like I said previously have much better sensory mechanisms than mammals which probably make up for the small brain.

Dolphins also have one of the highest brain to body weight ratios as well.

Dolphins, like whales, are a very poor example. For instance, it was pointed out some years ago, that dolphins need large brains for quite different reasons than intelligence(for example 1 half of the brain sleeps while the other half is always awake so as to be able to go up to the surface for air. plus it was found that a huge proportion of the dolphin's brain is involved with sonar, not IQ). I'm pretty sure the same holds for whales and other marine mammals.

Quote
Marrow is devoid of DHA and AA. On land, DHA is only found in significant quantities in brain and egg yolk. Birds again are not mammals. Birds are closely related to dinosaurs with many of the same traits. Birds are also extremely light weight and though they have small brains, their ratio of brain to body weight is relatively large. Larger brained birds could have difficulty flying.

Mammals seem to have an advantage with respects to obtaining larger brains. The reptilian brain is the oldest of all and still present in all of us and all mammals. The mammalian brain was next to evolve after the dinosaurs left the earth.
LongĀ“chain fatty acids in marrow are cited, along with those in brains, as contributing to larger brain-size, according to Cordain et al.


But, realistically speaking, the whole argument falls apart when one considers mamalian carnivores who routinely eat and digest their prey whole along with the brains, as they should be as intelligent as humans therefore, what with all the DHA-intake. And there is no proof that ancient hominids only ate brains and marrow, it is extremely unlikely that they would have focused on just 2 organ-meats for their survival.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 07:23:07 pm by TylerDurden »
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Offline raw

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2010, 09:02:26 pm »
my toddler's eating fresh grassfed brain regularly. i just give him and i don't have enough to share with him. i guess i'm following mother's instinct...
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Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2010, 03:32:20 am »
But, realistically speaking, the whole argument falls apart when one considers mamalian carnivores who routinely eat and digest their prey whole along with the brains, as they should be as intelligent as humans therefore, what with all the DHA-intake. And thee is no proof that ancient hominids only ate brains and marrow, it is extremely unlikely that they would have focused on just 2 organ-meats for their survival.


None of this argument falls apart by what you've written. Thanks for bringing up these points, it gives me a chance to further clarify my position.


I believe you are assuming that a big brain is the ultimate key to a species success. This is far from reality as dinosaurs, being a great example, ruled the earth with walnut-sized brains for 160 million years. There are clearly much more important factors to consider when evolving than a big brain. Mammalian carnivores likewise had other more pressing matters to do with their energy intake than use it to develop a large brain. Given their body-type, they had to focus on staying strong and mobile. If they used their energy intake to build large brains they would have had to have sacrificed something else - probably muscle tissue. Animals cannot simultaneously evolve top-notch specialized systems at the same time. There is a reason they don't have big brains. They would have failed as a species.


Humans seem to have sacrificed muscle strength and mobility for larger brains as well as and more importantly a larger gut. But, fortunately we are blessed with something that carnivores don't have and that is extraordinarily good limb dexterity and opposable thumbs which enable us to more easily exploit our environment and utilize our intelligence. Its very hard to imagine an intelligent lion trying to figure out how to make a spear or set a trap. They can easily kill their prey with their extremely coordinated attack system built within them. Humans are very weak compared to other apes. Similarly sized chimps are much stronger than the strongest human and would destroy even our best much heavier fighters no problem.


Also, the paper does not state that humans only ate brains and marrow. I never implied that. A species can probably develop a larger brain without eating brain but the addition of brain probably did help. The main point I was trying to make was that it seems that eating foods with only trace amounts of DHA would likely not be optimal for the human diet. We might not need much of it but why not add it in?


There is a reason no "super-creature" has evolved that is both intelligent and a non-tool using ferocious predator in the 4 billion years or so that life has been on earth.

Offline kurite

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2010, 06:44:22 am »
Actually theres no reason that a species couldn't simultanously evolve two important systems at once but it is very unlikely.
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Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2010, 07:34:04 am »
The main reason that species don't simulataneously evolve to have both superior intellenge and superior predatory skills is because it is not an evolutionary stable strategy. In essence if the species were to become so powerful it would quickly extinguish its natural food supply and thus go extinct itself quite fast, unless it was intelligent enough to find alternative means of fuel in the universe. Humans might be coming to this crossroad fairly soon.

Offline cherimoya_kid

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2010, 09:42:01 am »
The main reason that species don't simulataneously evolve to have both superior intellenge and superior predatory skills is because it is not an evolutionary stable strategy. In essence if the species were to become so powerful it would quickly extinguish its natural food supply and thus go extinct itself quite fast, unless it was intelligent enough to find alternative means of fuel in the universe.

That's a good point.  I never thought of that.


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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2010, 12:38:48 pm »
The main reason that species don't simulataneously evolve to have both superior intellenge and superior predatory skills is because it is not an evolutionary stable strategy. In essence if the species were to become so powerful it would quickly extinguish its natural food supply and thus go extinct itself quite fast, unless it was intelligent enough to find alternative means of fuel in the universe. Humans might be coming to this crossroad fairly soon.

It is called devolutionary strategy.
Humans with both superior intellenge and superior predatory skills maintained a stable ecosystem for hundreds of thousands of years, then they devolved into modern man, with the results we see around us.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2010, 07:28:16 pm »
I would agree that something unnatural that humans did was the reason for bigger brains. Tool-use, is a classic one to consider, as humans in apeman days were still far more advanced with tools than other species. I doubt, though, that eating dha-rich foods in a big way helped all that much. Perhaps eating a very minimal amount is necessary though to maintain human brains at optimum size.
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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2010, 11:27:56 pm »
Perhaps eating a very minimal amount is necessary though to maintain human brains at optimum size.

People have been eating a minimal amount of brain for the last 10,000 years while their brains shrank 11%.

Tyler, get a grip.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2010, 05:43:45 pm »
People have been eating a minimal amount of brain for the last 10,000 years while their brains shrank 11%.

Tyler, get a grip.
Given that body-size shrank in tandem with the decline in brain-size, there may have been no difference in IQ whatsoever. After all, one of the key points made is that humans are more intelligent that other animals, not because of bigger brains as such , but because they have a much higher brain-to-body size than other animals. In other words, brain-growth/decline in the Neolithic may well be totally irrelevant.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
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Offline MaximilianKohler

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2011, 12:16:49 pm »
so there's no AA or DHA in regular fat? do you know what types of fat are in regular animal fat then?

Offline Techydude

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2011, 11:25:44 pm »
Brains! BRAINS!!!? Where can I acquire ZEE brains?!!  :D /zombie


Seriously I can't find any cow/lamb/w/e grassfed brains/spinal cords cause of mad cow worry sources?

Offline Johan August

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Re: Eating brains for a healthy brain?
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2011, 11:56:04 pm »


Gary Taubes in his chapter on triglycerides and cholesterol analyses out red meat fat from a typical porterhouse steak:

[Fifty-one percent of the fat is monounsaturated, of which 90 percent is oleic acid. Saturated fat constitutes 45 percent of the total fat , but a third of that is stearic acid, ... The remaining 4% of the fat is polyunsaturated,...]

 

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