Book Review: Evolution Rx: A Practical Guide to Harnessing Our Innate Capacity for Health and Healing by William Meller | Science News

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Book Review: Evolution Rx: A Practical Guide to Harnessing Our Innate Capacity for Health and Healing by William Meller

Review by Bruce Bower

By
2:05pm, July 2, 2009

Meller is a modern physician with an eye on the Stone Age. His book offers practical medical and health advice with evolutionary justifications that range from plausible to fanciful.

Meller accepts the premises of evolutionary psychology, a controversial school of thought grounded in the assumption that our bodies and brains evolved to handle Stone Age conditions. Though he sometimes strains to connect illnesses, diet and behavior to their presumed prehistoric roots, he nonetheless provides sensible guidance on preventing disease and promoting health.

Much evidence suggests that Stone Age people ate foods rich in protein and fats, not carbohydrates, for example. Citing this work, Meller recommends a diet tilted toward meat, fish and vegetables.

Because Stone Age people lived in far-flung bands, the spread of bacteria and viruses was dampened. Today vaccinations, including flu shots, prove invaluable to prevent disease transmission, he says. But Meller advises

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