Like Your Brain? Thank Meat, Fish, Milk, and Eggs

We saw a story last week that brought us good cheer: Eating meat helped humanity develop the brains that powered us to the top of the world. According to a researcher from Complutense University in Madrid, the evidence from prehistoric archaeological finds show that humans and hominids from as much as a million years ago needed Vitamin B12, which is only naturally present in animal products, to grow and develop. Sorry, PETA and HSUS.

Also, the calories that prehistoric humans gained from consuming meat meant that they didn’t have to forage all day like a gorilla.  Neuroscientists from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro estimate that, based on how many calories it takes for a primate to produce a new neuron,  the required foraging time would have been about nine hours per day.

These findings made the vegan Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the animal rights group that poses as a mainstream medical group, quite cross. A PCRM official wrote The Washington Post claiming that eating meat and fish was linked with all sorts of brain problems.

Of course, regular readers here might remember that multiple studies have found that brain health is improved by Vitamin B12, which the National Institutes of Health helpfully tells us is found in red meat and fish. They might also remember that omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in heart-healthy fish, also promote brain health. Of course, PCRM bashes meat and fish not to save our heads, but to save the hogs and halibut.

The group received over $250,000 from PETA and $500,000 from the PETA Foundation, so that shouldn’t be surprising. As McGill University chemistry Professor Joe Schwarcz wrote in response to PCRM, “Cherry-picking data, a common PCRM practice, does not mesh with the scientific method.” It might hurt the head, though.

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