viernes, 3 de marzo de 2017

Nutrients in seaweed may spurred human brain evolution



Eating seaweed may have provided ancient human ancestors the essential nutrients that allowed Homo sapiens to emerge.

How Homo sapiens branched out from the primitive hominoid family tree millions of years ago has long remained a mystery, but nutrients like magnesium and zinc may have provided the means needed for the development of a more advanced brain.

A variety of seaweed may have had a major impact on the evolution of the human brain, researchers say, potentially influencing the shift toward the organ we have today.

The human brain has undergone the most significant development in the last 2.5-2 million years.

And in a new study, published in Journal of Applied Phycology, researchers argue that seaweed consumption may have played a role.

Our ancestors relied on energy-rich foods for survival, and key nutrients would have been necessary to spur development in the brain.

Without these nutrients, including zinc and magnesium, the modern brain cannot function.

‘Nutrients needed for this transition from a primitive ancestor to modern Homo sapiens were (and still are) available in seaweeds,’ says Professor Ole G Mouritsen, from the University of Southern Denmark.

'Seaweeds could be found and harvested in abundance on shores, and for a foraging lifestyle, a rich coastal environment would be a significant source of consistent supply of these nutrients.’

The researchers say the human lineage likely diverged from chimpanzees – our closest living relative – roughly 5-7 million years ago. [...] Daily Mail Online