Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fruit and fruit juice harm fetuses?

The Herald reports:
"An expectant mother could be putting her unborn child at risk by drinking as little as three glasses of juice a day or eating five apples." More...
Well, in rats anyway and the quantities are scaled up from a study done on rats. Humans and rats are both omnivores, but while rats descend from grain eaters, we descended from largely fruit eating ancestors so I really wonder if you can extrapolate from rats to humans in this case. It would be interesting to see if vegans and fitness fanatics, both of whom consume more fruit than the average person have a higher incidence of fetal abnormality. Somehow I doubt it as I'm sure we would have been told if health conscious people were having deformed babies in any significant numbers.

Update 16 February 2011

We're reasonably closely related to the orangutan and according to the wikipedia article, their diet is 65 to 90% fruit with a preference for sugary or fatty fruit, which doesn't seem to harm their children. Lowland gorillas have a diet that's mostly fruit (W), Common Chimpanzees eat a lot of fruit, while Bonobos are primarily fruit eaters. So of the 5 surviving species of Hominidae, four have diets that are largely fruit and only we have this intolerance to fruit.

OK, there could be adaptations the others have all made since our ancestors parted ways (or maybe we became fruit intolerant), but the more I think about it the more I feel uncomfortable about this whole study.

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