Nuts Bad for Oral Health

Early humans suffered tooth decay, halitosis.

Salted peanuts (Getty Images/Image Source)
Photo: Getty Images/Image Source

Paleo dieters, be warned. Nuts and acorns severely diminished the oral health of early humans, according to researchers at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists.

The study collected evidence about hunter-gatherers who roamed northern Africa 15,000 years ago, and concluded that nuts helped their survival but led to tooth decay and bad breath among more than half the population.

Previously, researchers had thought that dental problems emerged along with the rise of farming cultures and processed food, about 10,000 years ago.

In more modern nut news, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that found decreased rates of nut allergies among children whose mothers regularly ate peanuts or tree nuts during pregnancy.

The study refutes previous research that nut consumption during pregnancy could actually increase a child's chances of developing nut allergies. Researchers stressed, however, that women with personal or family histories of food allergies should not increase nut consumption solely to protect their children.

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