Human evolution, nutritional ecology and prebiotics in ancient diet
Leach, J.D., Gibson, G.R. and J., V. L. (2006) Human evolution, nutritional ecology and prebiotics in ancient diet. Bioscience and Microflora, 25 (1). pp. 1-8. ISSN 1342-1441
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Official URL: http://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/browse/bifidus
Modern studies of prebiotic non digestible carbohydrates continue to expand and demonstrate their colonic and systemic benefits. However, virtually nothing is known of their use among ancient populations. In this paper we discuss evidence for prebiotic use in the archaeological record from select areas of the world. It is suggested that members of our genus Homo would have had sufficient ecological opportunity to include prebiotic-bearing plants in diet as early as ~ 2 million years ago, but that significant dietary intake would not have taken place until the advent of technological advances that characterized the Upper Paleolithic of ~40,000 years ago. Throughout human evolution, hominid populations that diversified their diet to include prebiotic-bearing plants would have had a selective advantage over competitors.