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Cancer: disease of civilization?: An anthropological and historical study

Publish date:
January 1, 1960
Cancer: disease of civilization?: An anthropological and historical study

Stefansson documented the fact that the Inuit diet consisted of about 90% meat and fish; Inuit would often go 6 to 9 months a year eating nothing but meat and fish—what was perceived to have been a no-carbohydrate diet. He found that he and his fellow explorers of European descent were also perfectly healthy on such a diet. While there was considerable skepticism when he reported these findings, they have been borne out in later studies and analyses.[15] In multiple studies, it was shown that the Inuit diet was not a ketogenic diet and that roughly 15-20% of its calories are derived from carbohydrates, largely from the glycogen found in the raw meats. This seminal and controversial work expounds on Stefansson's findings on this question: why is cancer found mostly in the "civilized" world?


  1. The Problem Develops

  2. Captain Leavitt's Search for Cancer among the Eskimos

  3. Remote Origins of the Frontier Search for Cancer

  4. The Tanchou Principle at Home: In France and in Africa

  5. The Moravians Search for Cancer in Southwestern Alaska

  6. The Moravian Search in Northern Labrador

  7. A possible Early Cancer at Anderson River

  8. The Search for Cancer among the Forest Indians of Alaska

  9. The First Native Cancer is Recognized in Northern Alaska

  10. Cancer is Discovered among Labrador Eskimos

  11. Cancer is Reported from the Canadian Eastern Arctic

  12. The Tropical Life of the Polar Eskimos

  13. Tropical Winter Life at Point Barrow--1852 - 1883

  14. The Longetivity of "Primitive" Eskimos

  15. The Twentieth Century Forgets the Nineteenth

  16. The Twentieth Century Rediscovers the Nineteenth

  17. A "Cancer Free" People of Asia

  18. An Ounce of Prevention

"Not only does Dr. Stefansson give in the present book a detailed account of what he has seen and heard in the Arctic; he also compares his own observations with those reported by the anthropologists, physicians, and travelers who have been in contact with primitive people in other parts of the world. From this broad survey there emerges the impression that certain diseases such as dental caries, arteriosclerosis, and cancers are so uncommon among certain primitive people as to remain unnoticed--at least as long as nothing is changed in the ancestral ways of life."

"The Stone Age Eskimos had successfully met the challenges of the Arctic by empricial procedures developed slowly and progressively. In contrast, modern man cannot depend on slow empiricism to achieve fitness to his rapidly changing environment.It is the responsibility of social and medical sciences to analyze the natural and artificial forces which affect his health and happiness, in order to help him develop a rational way of life fitted to the new world he is creating." - Rene Dubos - Prof at Rockeller Institute-1960

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Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Processed Food
Anthropology is the scientific study of humans, human behavior, and societies in the past and present. It is a broad discipline that encompasses various subfields, including cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and archaeology. Anthropologists seek to understand the full range of human diversity, from our biological origins to our cultural practices and social structures.
Cancer is a metabolic disease where the mitochrondria are no longer able to burn fatty acids and instead rely on fermentation of glucose and glutamine. Ketogenic diets have been used to prevent and cure cancer, as they induce a metabolic stress on cancer cells who cannot use ketones as fuel.
Carnivore Diet
The carnivore diet involves eating only animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, marrow, meat broths, organs. There are little to no plants in the diet.
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