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Historical Event

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January 1, 1945





Short Description:

Showing the Results of Analyses of Eskimo Foods - Ringed Seal, Bearded Seal, Walrus, Polar Bear, Mountain Sheep, Reindeer, Caribou, in terms of Blubber, Liver, Skin, Meat, Oil, Boiled Head and more.





Preliminary Survey of Dietary Intakes and Blood Levels
of Cholesterol and the Occurrence of Cardiovascular
Disease in the Eskimo

Topics: (click to open)

Low Fat / Low Cholesterol Study
Diet-Heart Hypothesis
Carnivore Diet

Important Text:

The results of analyses of Eskimo foods are presented in Table 1. On the basis of nutritional surveys with individual food weighings in different families from four Eskimo settlements in Alaska and the above-mentioned results of cholesterol determinations in Eskimo foods, supplemented by figures available for the cholesterol content of nonEskimo foods (Okey, 1945; Pihl, 1952), the cholesterol intake of Eskimos has been estimated (Tables 2, 3). From these calculations it is observed that the mean caloric consumption of the 45 adult male and female Eskimos was about 2,700 calories, the fat consumption was 105 g and the mean cholesterol intake was roughly 340 mg daily, varying from 150 mg to 700 mg per day. It should be noted that these cholesterol figures may be considered as minimum values because several of the food items ingested could not be included in the calculation since the cholesterol content was unknown. It may also be noted that the cholesterol intake varies greatly from one Eskimo group to another, depending on the different dietary habits. Thus, it was observed that among the inland Eskimos, the Nunamiuts at Anaktuvuk Pass, some of the men consumed as much as 70 grams or more of boiled brain from mountain sheep in a single evening meal yielding almost 600 mg cholesterol from this food item alone. 

It is thus evident that some Eskimos have fairly high cholesterol intakes compared with healthy American white men, although the mean intake for the 45 Eskimos studied is in the order of 2.5 g per week (varying from 1 to 5 g) . This corresponds to the group of moderate habitual cholesterol intakes reported for normal American men (Keys, 1949) while in the Inland Eskimos the mean figure is in the order of 4 g cholesterol per week, which corresponds to the group of highest habitual cholesterol intakes for normal American men, reported by Keys (1949). 

Keys (1950) has estimated that the American diet varies with regard to cholesterol content from a low of 200-300 mg daily to 700-800 mg, depending on the food consumed. Gubner and Ungerleider ( 1949) have given the figure 200--360 mg for daily cholesterol intake on a mixed diet. 

It thus appears that the estimated mean figures for cholesterol intakes in Eskimos may be comparable to those of Whites on a mixed diet. 

The average figure for the daily fat consumption in the 45 Eskimo subjects reported here was only about 105 g (377 of the calories), while in a larger survey the average daily fat consumption in Alaskan Eskimos was 139 g (40 % of the calories). In normal white men living in Alaska the fat consumed represented 37.5 %( of the calories ingested. 

In the Eskimo subjects the mean serum cholesterol concentration was 203 mg per 100 ml (Table 4) which is about the same as is found in normal Whites. Thus L. J. Milch (personal communications) found an average level of 207 mg cholesterol per 100 ml serum in Whites 30-35 years old. 

On the other hand, the Eskimo serum concentration of Sf 12-20 lipoproteins was 20 mgl100 ml as against 28 mgl100 ml in Whites of similar age, observed by Milch (personal communications). For Whites under 25 years of age Milch found 24 mg/lOO ml, and for Whites 40-45 years of age 38 mg/l 00 m!.

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