Navigation Links
Nomad people baffle with good health in spite of malnourishment
Date:5/17/2010

This release is available in German.

(Jena/Germany) The human body is a true miracle. For that Nadja Knoll found new proof in the nomad people of the Maasai in Kenya in Eastern Africa. For her thesis the nutritionist from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) analyzed the diet of a nomadic tribe in the Kajiado District. The surprising results of the field study show that the Maasai are in a good health status in spite of a one-sided and poor diet.

The blood investigations showed that there is a high content of healthy omega-3 fatty acids in their erythrocyte membranes, the cell walls of the red blood cells, even though they are not ingested. "We were surprised by these results. They are proof for the enormous adaptability of the human organism", says Prof. Dr. Gerhard Jahreis of the Department of Nutritional Physiology, under whose guidance the study was conducted.

Yet another finding was the outcome of the fieldwork in Africa. Nadja Knolls study shows that the traditional story patterns about the Maasai diet are wrong. Travelers in Africa like Gustav Adolf Fischer (1848-1886) and the Englishman Joseph Thomson (1858-1895) spread the image of the blood thirsty Maasai. According to their reports the herdsmen consume mainly meat, milk and blood. A particularly high percentage of fermented milk a kind of yoghurt was also said to be part of their diet. Nadja Knolls findings paint a very different picture. The scientist of Jena University discovered that the Maasai have strongly sweetened milk tea for breakfast. Some Maasai eat a kind of "porridge" in the morning, a liquid mixture of cormeal, water, some milk and sugar.

For lunch there will be milk and "Ugali", a kind of polenta being made from cormeal and water. "Dinner is similar to lunch", says Knoll who points out that she did her field study at the end of the dry season. There may be slightly different results in the remarkably shorter rainy season, because then the Maasai livestock produces more milk. This milk will then ferment in calabashes. The outcome of the fermenting process will be a yoghurt-like drink that might have pro-biotic benefits.

It is clear though that meat features only rarely on the Maasai menu. The main part - more than 50 percent - consists of vegetarian food. The preferred meat is that of sheep and goats, whereas the meat of traditional Zebu cattle is only rarely eaten. "A cow will only be slaughtered for ritual festivities by the Maasai", says Knoll.

Knoll conducted her study together with colleagues of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology of Juja/Nairobi (Kenia). Before the fieldwork could begin an ethics commission had to give their approval. Given the high HIV rate in the country especially the planned blood tests were questioned.

The achievements of the Jena nutritionists will be published in an international, renowned scientific journal.


'/>"/>

Contact: Axel Burchardt
presse@uni-jena.de
49-364-193-1031
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitt Jena
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Did the gene for ADHD help our nomadic ancestors?
2. Plants can be used to study how and why people respond differently to drugs
3. Fungus genome yielding answers to protect grains, people and animals
4. People who skip meals: are they better off?
5. Energy drinks may pose risks for people with high blood pressure, heart disease
6. Ozone can affect heavier people more
7. Rising food prices threaten worlds poor people
8. New study finds biodiversity conservation secures ecosystem services for people
9. 100 percent of people carry at least 1 type of pesticide
10. Half of the people suffering from head injuries fake to receive financial help
11. People not always needed to alleviate loneliness
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Nomad people baffle with good health in spite of malnourishment
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   Acuant ... and verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ... solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and ... products that add functional enhancements to existing ... corporations and venues with an automated ID ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/7/2016)...  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union ... integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into ... result in greater convenience for SACU members and ... existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... healthier lives through the development of innovative products and ... the United States denied its petition ... claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") ... established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona ... or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the ... are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: