Re: Kitavian diet eliminates obesity and cardiovascular disease

Arla Johnson (
Tue, 07 Dec 1999 10:02:52 -0600

The first thing that always pops up in my mind when I hear about some group or other such as the Kitavian's or Hunza's etc is what do these superbly healthy people
eventually die of??????



Doug Skrecky wrote:

> (Note #1: The exceptionally high arginine content of coconut protein
> may partly explain the absence of heart disease.
> Note #2: The exceptionally high satiating effect of tubers may
> help account for the absence of obesity.)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Citations: 1-4
> <1>
> Authors
> Lindeberg S. Berntorp E. Nilsson-Ehle P. Terent A. Vessby B.
> Institution
> Department of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Sweden.
> Title
> Age relations of cardiovascular risk factors in a traditional Melanesian
> society: the Kitava Study.
> Source
> American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 66(4):845-52, 1997 Oct.
> Abstract
> This study examined cross-sectional age relations of blood pressure,
> anthropometric indexes, serum lipids, and hemostatic variables in 203
> subsistence horticulturists aged 20-86 y in Kitava,
> Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea. The population is characterized by
> extreme leanness (despite food abundance), low blood pressure, low plasma
> plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 activity, and rarity of cardiovascular
> disease. Tubers, fruit, fish, and coconut are dietary staples whereas dairy
> products, refined fat and sugar, cereals, and alcohol are absent and salt
> intake is low. Although diastolic blood pressure was not associated with age
> in Kitavans, systolic blood pressure increased linearly
> after 50 y of age in both sexes. Body mass index decreased with age in both
> sexes. Serum total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, low-density-lipoprotein
> cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B increased in males between 20 and 50 y of
> age, whereas high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I
> decreased. There were no significant differences in these indexes with age in
> the few females studied. A slight linear age-related increase of
> lipoprotein(a) was present in males. Plasma fibrinogen, factor VII clotting
> activity, factor VIII clotting activity, and von Willebrand factor antigen
> increased with age in both sexes but plasminogen activator inhibitor 1
> activity did not. The modest or absent relations between the indexes measured
> and age are apparently important explanations of the virtual nonexistence of
> stroke and ischemic heart disease in Kitava.
> <2>
> Authors
> Lindeberg S. Berntorp E. Carlsson R. Eliasson M. Marckmann P.
> Institution
> Department of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Sweaden.
> Title
> Haemostatic variables in Pacific Islanders apparently free from stroke and
> ischaemic heart disease--the Kitava Study.
> Source
> Thrombosis & Haemostasis. 77(1):94-8, 1997 Jan.
> Abstract
> We cross-sectionally measured plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1)
> activity, fibrinogen, factor VII (FVII:C) and VIII (FVIII:C) coagulant
> activity, and von Willebrand factor antigen (VWF:Ag) in 162 traditional
> horticulturalists older than 40 years from the tropical island of
> Kitava, Papua New Guinea, where the intake of western food
> is negligible and where stroke and ischaemic heart disease appear to be
> absent. Identical analyses were made in Swedish subjects of comparable ages.
> Kitavams had markedly lower PAI-1 activity, with 85% of
> males and 100% of females having PAI-1 activity < or = 5 U/ml, as compared
> with 22 and 14% in Swedish males and females (p < 0.0001). Surprisingly,
> Kitavans also had higher FVII:C. FVIII:C and VWF:Ag.
> Fibrinogen was 10% lower in Kitavan males while 25% higher
> in Kitavan females. The very low PAI-1 activity in
> Kitavans may explain some of their apparent freedom from
> cardiovascular disease and probably relates to their extreme leanness.
> <3>
> Authors
> Lindeberg S. Nilsson-Ehle P. Vessby B.
> Institution
> Department of Community Health Sciences, Lund University, Sweden.
> Title
> Lipoprotein composition and serum cholesterol ester fatty acids in
> nonwesternized Melanesians.
> Source
> Lipids. 31(2):153-8, 1996 Feb.
> Abstract
> In this study, the relationships between dietary fat [as measured by serum
> cholesterol ester fatty acids (CE-FA)], age, smoking, body mass index, and
> serum lipids were analyzed in 151 subsistence horticulturalists, aged 20-86
> yr, from Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea. Their
> diet consists of tubers, fruit, coconut, fish, and vegetables with a
> negligible influence of western food and alcohol. Total fat intake is low
> [21% of energy (en%)], while saturated fat intake from coconuts is high (17
> en%, mainly lauric and myristic acid). In multivariate analysis, 11-43% of
> the variation of the serum lipoprotein composition was explained by CE-FA,
> age, and smoking habits. The proportion of CE20:5n-3 explained much of the
> variation of triglycerides (TG, negative relation) and high density
> lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C, positive) in both sexes and serum
> apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1, positive) in the males. CE16:0 was positively
> related to TG and negatively related to HDL-C and ApoA1 in both sexes, and in
> males it related negatively to total cholesterol (TC) and low density
> lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C). In males, negative relationships were
> present between CE18:2n-6 and TC and between CE14:0 and serum lipoprotein(a).
> Smoking was independently associated with lower ApoA1 in both sexes and with
> lower HDL-C and higher TG, TC, LDL-C, and apolipoprotein B in males. In
> conclusion, marine n-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid showed the same
> potentially beneficial relationships with lipoproteins and apolipoproteins as
> in western populations. The relations of palmitic acid to serum lipids may be
> explained in terms of endogenous fat synthesis at a low-fat intake, rather
> than reflecting its relative intake.
> <4>
> Authors
> Lindeberg S. Lundh B.
> Institution
> Primary Health Care Centre, Sjobo, Sweden.
> Title
> Apparent absence of stroke and ischaemic heart disease in a traditional
> Melanesian island: a clinical study in Kitava.
> Source
> Journal of Internal Medicine. 233(3):269-75, 1993 Mar.
> Abstract
> On the island of Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua New
> Guinea, a subsistence lifestyle, uninfluenced by western dietary habits, is
> still maintained. Tubers, fruit, fish and coconut are dietary staples. Of the
> total population, 1816 subjects were estimated to be older than 3 years and
> 125 to be 60-96 years old. The frequencies of spontaneous sudden death,
> exertion-related chest pain, hemiparesis, aphasia and sudden imbalance were
> assessed by semi-structured interviews in 213 adults aged 20-96. Resting
> electrocardiograms (ECG's) were recorded in 119 males and 52 females. No case
> corresponding to stroke, sudden death or angina pectoris was described by the
> interviewed subjects. Minnesota Code (MC) items 1-5 occurred in 14 ECG's with
> no significant relation to age, gender or smoking. ST items (MC 4.2 and 4.3)
> were found in two females and Q items (MC 1.1.2, 1.3.2 and 1.3.3) in three
> males. Stroke and ischaemic heart disease appear to be absent in this
> population.