Diet, Polyphenols, and Human Evolution

Although diet has contributed significantly to the evolution of human beings, the composition of the diet that has most affected this phenomenon is still an open issue. Diet has undoubtedly participated in the acquisition of the skills that underlie the differentiation of humans from other animal species and in this context the development of the nervous system has played a primary role.

This paper aimed to: (1) outline the relationship between diet and human evolution; (2) evaluate how a variation in food consumption may have contributed to the enhancement of cognitive and adaptive capacities. The most widespread diet among the ancient populations that showed the highest levels of civilization (that is well-organized societies, using advanced technical tools, and promoting art and science) was very close to what is now defined as the Mediterranean diet.

This suggests that a dietary approach typical of the Mediterranean basin (little meat and some fish; abundant cereals, legumes, fruit, vegetables and wine) significantly increased the intake of antioxidant molecules, including polyphenols, which along with other factors may have modulated the cognitive evolution of humans. 

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Restani, Patrizia;Colombo, Francesca;Biella, Simone;Bani, Corinne;Mercogliano, Francesca;Di Lorenzo, Chiara

  • Issue: Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(15), 7805
  • Published Date: 2022 August 3
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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