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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 6935123, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/6935123
Research Article

Influence of a 10-Day Mimic of Our Ancient Lifestyle on Anthropometrics and Parameters of Metabolism and Inflammation: The “Study of Origin”

1Natura Foundation, 3281 NC Numansdorp, Netherlands
2Laboratory Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and University of Groningen, 9713 GZ Groningen, Netherlands
3Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Tucson, AZ 1075, USA

Received 27 March 2016; Revised 8 May 2016; Accepted 15 May 2016

Academic Editor: Mangesh S. Pednekar

Copyright © 2016 Leo Pruimboom et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Chronic low-grade inflammation and insulin resistance are intimately related entities that are common to most, if not all, chronic diseases of affluence. We hypothesized that a short-term intervention based on “ancient stress factors” may improve anthropometrics and clinical chemical indices. We executed a pilot study of whether a 10-day mimic of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle favorably affects anthropometrics and clinical chemical indices. Fifty-five apparently healthy subjects, in 5 groups, engaged in a 10-day trip through the Pyrenees. They walked 14 km/day on average, carrying an 8-kilo backpack. Raw food was provided and self-prepared and water was obtained from waterholes. They slept outside in sleeping bags and were exposed to temperatures ranging from 12 to 42°C. Anthropometric data and fasting blood samples were collected at baseline and the study end. We found important significant changes in most outcomes favoring better metabolic functioning and improved anthropometrics. Coping with “ancient mild stress factors,” including physical exercise, thirst, hunger, and climate, may influence immune status and improve anthropometrics and metabolic indices in healthy subjects and possibly patients suffering from metabolic and immunological disorders.