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Aquatic Ape Theory And The Role Of DHA In Brain Evolution


Aug 6, 2015
Hello to all Peatarians ! :hattip

I'm new here, french guy that has been vert sick 5 years ago (supposedly Lyme disease but now I have some new ideas about what really happened).

I've discovered Peat because I was first reading Jack Kruse's blog and learned about Ling. After researching about Ling I've discovered Pranarupa blog which seemed very good, then came on this forum because I'm sure that I will learn loads of interesting things :).
I've read that people following Kruse don't like Peat and dont take the time to read his ideas and the opposite seems true as well.
I don't care about dogmas, conservatism and fanatism, all I want is to discover the truth even if that means to mix informations from different sources.
I have to admit that I really don't like Jack's personality but all that care about is the informations he shares. He has good results for helping people and I believe that a lot of informations that he laid out are very interesting, even if I just know Peat from Pranarupa and what Kruse and members said on his forum

So I know you don't like PUFAs and omega 3 but I've read a very interezting theory : The aquatic ape hypothesis with scientists such as Stephen Cunnane and Michael Crawford.
Indeed, mammals in the sea that eat a lot of fish and DHA have really large brains even brain's size is not the most important thing but encephalization quotient for intelligence (and it seems that our EQ ils decreasing, that would explain a lot of the problems in our world).
So I wanted to know what you thought about it? Because I really do feel better with eating a lot of fish. I'm not eating a ketogenic diet in summer so a lot of fruits as well and quite close to the paléo diet, I can't stand grains and legumes and milk.
By the way, I've read people say that Kruse was avocating fish oil which is torally wrong. He even wrote a blog quite early against fish oil use.

A dimension that seems very interesting with Kruse is his understanding of light with biophotons, people like Fritz Albert Popp talking about biophotons need to be researched.

For now I'm a bit skeptical about Peat's theories on PUFA's and serotonin. I need to read more about the CO2 thing because that seems very interesting and correlates with the spiritual experiences I had while meditating, feeling my breath becoming electricity while barely breathing.

Sorry, I dont have access to a decent computer so I will not be able to answer before a few days but I can read your replies :)!

Can't wait to learn more from Peat and you all ;).


Mar 29, 2014
:welcome Parsifal

I'm not well versed in the precise biochemistry of brain lipids. Here is how it looks to me.

Peat is very sceptical about the essentiality of any of the so-called 'EFA's. However, even those with evidence they think points to their essentiality seem to say only very small amounts are necessary. So in practical terms it may not make much difference, since it is virtually impossible to eat food and get less than these possible minimum requirements. Following Peat's advice to minimise PUFA consumption is quite consistent with getting such hypothetical needs met.

Have you read Peat's articles on fats and oils? I'd recommend them for getting an idea about his thinking on this.
http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/fa ... ions.shtml
http://raypeat.com/articles/aging/aspir ... ncer.shtml
... and more
I have read bits of a few studies that show PUFAs, but not SFAs, can cause trouble in brain tissue.

You can also read on his site about what he says about serotonin, if you haven't already?

I think there is more to 'aquatic ape' hypotheses than just the DHA. There may be other advantages of regularly eating sea food - eg getting some additional minerals, or hanging out in water, too.

I came to reading Peat's ideas after reading about CO2 and Buteyko method - so Peat's views on the importance of CO2 made sense to me, too.

Peat has also written about some of the biological effects of light at different frequencies, eg the need for red light (orange through near-infrared) for restoring cytochrome oxidase enzymes, which are essential for efficient oxidative metabolism, and which tend to run down during darkness.


Jan 22, 2013
definitely having a lot of lipids in the brain is a good thing (structural lipids), most marine animals live in cold water so naturally its gonna be the long chain PUFAS, but if you put them on warm land per se they'd suddenly have a massive free radical oxidation reaction and it would be bad...humans run at 98+ degrees, so the safest fats are saturated...having a big brain with well structured cholesterol and saturated fat is definitely a good thing. The aquatic ape theory is very interesting...whether or not humans evolved form apes it uncertain, and to me doesn't really matter...but the point is, iodine is needed for strong glands and metabolism, and without it human babies have all kinds of retarded developmental tendencies...like they don't develop as a big brained smart human would...or get as big, so it serves to reason that iodine sufficiency was in large part a factor in humans developing and sustaining what we have going on now...and iodine mostly comes from the sea or plants near the sea, so it is very safe to assume humans did evolve to our current state in a place near the sea. It was more likely not that we came from the sea, but rather just waded in shallow waters, dove for things, stuff like that, or ate plants growing right near the beach


Sep 24, 2016
It’s a nice theory, didn’t encounter it before.

I really wonder about fish’s and algae and seafoods role in human evolution - iodide, taurine, Omega3... lots of pros and cons

But recently I found increasing evidence about mushrooms potentially central role in human early nutrition... they don’t grow on shores much do they ?

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