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Ancestral Health & Medicine

Optimizing the Exposome with Ancestral Wisdom

Our genes account for only about 10% of human disease. So if our genes are not causing disease, what is?

The exposome.

The “exposome” refers to the sum of all non-genetic exposures in an individual lifetime, starting from the moment of conception. It starts with the food we eat. With an ancestral perspective, we gain the ideal starting place for the optimal healthy diet. We call this a Paleo template.

But optimizing the exposome also encompasses everything from the water we drink and the air we breathe to the social interactions we have, the lifestyle choices we make, and the health of our parents at the time of our conception.

In short, it’s the word scientists are using to describe the full range of environmental exposures that influence our health.

Environmental Mismatch

Like all living organisms, humans are adapted to survive and thrive in a particular environment. When that environment changes faster than the organism can adapt, mismatch occurs. This mismatch—between our genes and our diet and lifestyle—is the driving factor behind the modern epidemic of chronic disease. This ancestral perspective:

  • Asks better questions. It’s a critical component to the trends that will define the future of healthcare.
  • Provides new insight. It deeply informs our understanding of diet, physical activity, stress management, sleep, and other lifestyle factors.
  • Realigns genome and exposome. It provides the key to offering customized nutrition and lifestyle plans for your patients.
kid in kitchen
August 23, 2016

Mercury Toxicity, Kids & Fish Consumption

Recent research suggests that kids may be more sensitive to mercury than adults and that toxic effects may occur at blood levels that are significantly lower than the conventional upper limit. But does that mean kids shouldn’t eat fish at all?

is organic meat better
August 16, 2016

Is Organic Meat Better?

Several recent scientific reviews have examined the nutritional differences between organic and conventional meat. Read on to learn what the researchers found, if organic meat is really better, and what other factors should be considered.

Revolution Health Radio Chris Kresser
August 4, 2016

RHR: Dispelling the Acid-Alkaline Myth

What are the three basic claims of the acid-alkaline hypothesis? I’ll clear up the confusion about what it all means for your health.

July 28, 2016

Why Your Genes Aren’t Your Destiny

At one time scientists believed our DNA held the key to preventing and reversing disease. But we now know that our environment—not our genes—is the primary driver of health and longevity.

Revolution Health Radio Chris Kresser
July 12, 2016

RHR: Why You Need to Eat More Vegetables—and How To Do It, with Dr. Tom Cowan

Did you know that many traditional hunter-gatherer societies ate as many as 100 different species of plants? For several years, I’ve known that the biggest difference between my diet and the ancestral diet was not the meat that I was eating, or the eggs, or even the nuts and seeds, but that it was the vegetables—specifically, the lack of diversity in the plant foods I was eating. This lack of diversity not only affects our phytonutrient intake, but it also affects our microbiome because different types of gut microbes prefer different types of nutrients. Today I’m talking with Dr. Thomas Cowan about his unique solution to adding more plant phytonutrients to every meal.

July 7, 2016

Do Gut Microbes Control Your Food Cravings?

Recent research on the gut-brain axis suggests that gut microbes could strongly influence food choices. Read on to learn how gut microbes can manipulate behavior and, in turn, how you might manipulate gut microbes to curb food cravings.

pills or paleo
June 21, 2016

Pills or Paleo? Preventing and Reversing Acne and Other Skin Problems

Acne and skin problems may not be life-threatening, but they’re associated with depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Conventional medicine has very little to offer for these conditions, but Paleo offers a safe and effective way to prevent and even reverse them.

May 31, 2016

Red Meat & Cancer—Again! Will It Ever Stop?

The media and blogosphere are abuzz with the latest report from the WHO, which classified cured and processed meats as carcinogens and put them in the same category as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic, and tobacco. But what does the research really tell us about the link between red meat and cancer?