Sunday, January 15, 2006

Somali camel herdsmen

The Somali camel herdsmen have made a remarkable adaptation to a high-fat diet. The herdsmen drink up to five liters of camel milk per day. Five liters of camel milk contains about 335 g of fat and a calorie intake of 6,247 calories, yet serum cholesterol levels among the Somali do not exceed 153 mg. Nor do their body weight, serum cholesterol, and betalipoproteins increase significantly with age. Although the Somali showed a moderate rise in blood pressure from age 21-70, none of the subjects had any symptoms of artherosclerosis. Contrary to what one might expect with this high-calorie, high-fat diet, the Somali herdsmen do not seem to be affected by heart disease.
See also BUSHMEN OF KALAHARI DESERT; MASAI; NEW GUINEAN HIGHLANDERS; POLYNESIANS; SOLOMON ISLAND TRIBES; TARAHUMARA INDIANS; YANOMANO INDIANS.
Brocklehurst, J. C. Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1985.

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