Diets are not equal for all people, ancestral homelands can make a difference

genome study adaptation vegetables vegan or paleo
lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo
Thinking about going vegan or paleo?

Proponents of specific food class-centric diets such as paleo, vegan, gluten-free, ketogenic, or the Mediterranean diet often but not always tend to prescribe their plans for everyone. Not so fast, says a group from the University of California, Berkeley. Biologists at UC Berkeley and other institutions around the world have published research that shows genetic differences from natural selection based on dietary changes in Europe, Ars Technica reports.

According to the research, for example, if you live in Europe, and particularly in southern Europe, your body is optimized to digest and process plant-based diets. Natives of Greenland, specifically the Inuit, are better at processing meat fat.

The researchers compared genomes from hundreds of contemporary humans and 101 genome sequences from Bronze Age humans who lived in Europe 5,000 years ago. They found DNA changed significantly in the last 5,000 years.

The science behind the studies is based on examining two genes that regulate how fatty acids in foods are converted into the “long-chain” form used by humans for tissue health, including the brain and muscles. Plants such as wheat and vegetables provide “short-chain” fatty acids and must be converted to the long-form type in order for the human body to use them.

In its genome studies, the researchers found that southern European genomes mutated to produce more long-chain fatty acids from the shorter variation. This change, they argue, is due to evolutionary “pressure” from a diet that changed to accommodate more plant-based foods. The Inuit genome, however, had no such influence, which means Inuit genes aren’t equipped to convert as great a quantity of long-chain fatty acids because they don’t as much need it.

The general take on this research: There is no one best diet or nutritional bias for all people. If your ancestors are all from the 10 countries that make up northern Europe, for example, the study indicates you could be more likely better equipped to thrive on a diet having a higher proportion of meat. People of southern European ancestry, however, might do better with diets that lean toward plant-based foods.

Smart Home

Starbucks coffee delivery lands in 6 more cities via Uber Eats

Starbucks is in the process of expanding its coffee delivery service far beyond Miami. Available via the Uber Eats app, the service has just launched in San Francisco, with five additional cities joining in the coming weeks.
Computing

Zipping files on a Chromebook? Follow these four easy steps

Chromebooks support file compression, though they work a little differently than on Windows or Mac. Here's the step-by-step process to zipping files on a Chromebook, and then unzipping them again for extraction.
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.
Emerging Tech

Water-based fuel cell converts carbon emissions to electricity

Scientists from Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have developed a system which can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in an aqueous solution.
Deals

Start your fitness journey with the best Fitbit deals available now

If you're ready to kick-start your fitness regimen (or just take your current one to the next level), we've created a quick rundown of the best, most current Fitbit deals to help you decide which one is best for you.
Health & Fitness

Futuristic mask filters out air pollution for cyclists and runners

A concern for cyclists in urban environments is staying safe from airborne pollutants. A cycling mask shown off at CES 2019 could help combat this problem by blocking out air pollution to keep cyclists' lungs clear as they ride.
Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.
Emerging Tech

Face-scanning A.I. can help doctors spot unusual genetic disorders

Facial recognition can unlock your phone. Could it also be used to identify whether a person has a rare genetic disorder, based on their facial features? New research suggests it can.
Deals

Walmart slashes prices on the Fitbit Versa smartwatch and Charge 3

We are officially halfway through January, and for a lot of us, that means the struggle to stick to our New Year's resolutions is in full force. Walmart is offering some great discounts on Fitbits to help you stay on track.
Outdoors

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.
Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Wearables

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.
Photography

Here are 8 GoPro tips to get the most out of your action cam

There's more to your GoPro camera than just mounting it to your skateboard. Whether it's finding the best accessories or understanding the settings more thoroughly, learn to shoot video like a pro with these simple GoPro tips and tricks.