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Aggressiion related to Diet and Brain

The origins of aggression in humans – New Evidence

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If we look at our history we will see that aggressive human behaviour and wars among us have always been there. Today that type of behaviour is even more dangerous because of the use of weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist in the past.

However, multiple researchers have shown that this wasn’t always the case. Graham Gynn and Tony Wright in their excellent book ‘Left in the Dark’, present evidence showing that the devolution of the human brain happened side by side with the increase in aggression and erratic behaviour. They support the theory that the main reason for that change was a change in the diet of humans, probably because of a cataclysmic event, from a fruit and vegetable diet to grains and meat, which changed the chemistry of the brain. 

A recent study by Douglas Fry and Patrik Soderberg suggest that the change to aggressive behaviour happened when agriculture began and in that aspect they seem to support what Graham and Tony suggested in their book, because the beginning of agriculture coincided with a change in people’s diet.

Douglas and Patrik in their findings suggest that most incidents of lethal aggression would have been homicides, feuds and wars. However, before agriculture became a common practice, humans used to live as nomadic foragers and if we combine this with Graham’s and Tony’s book then it means that when humans used to live in the forests and ate fruits and vegetables, aggression and wars weren’t there. The societies that the two researchers examined using ethnographic data, were in South Africa and the Malay Peninsula

A study in 2004, in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed how bad nutrition can lead not only to aggressive and anti-social behaviour but also to a decrease in the IQ. In 1995 Dr Melvyn Werbach published a research in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine showing how diet can affect and promote an aggressive behaviour.

It seems that the true nature of humans was never meant to be aggressive but something effectively changed our behaviour and the way that the brain works. If it is true that diet affects our behaviour in such a dramatic way why isn’t more research being done in this area instead of investing billions of dollars in weapons and technology such as drones supposedly used for protection against aggression?

By John Black



Hunting has always inherently required aggression. Humans are also omnivores. The change in diet is likely to be less of a reason for aggression towards other humans than the fact that agriculture allowed people to stay put and accumulate possessions. That provided something to fight over. Food in the USA may well be problematic as the lack of regulation allows the use of additives that have long been banned in Europe, like Diazo coal tar dyes in childrens sweets, banned due to causing hyperactivity. That must surely be affecting the brain either directly or indirectly.

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John Black

Dr John (Ioannis) Syrigos initially began writing on Ancient Origins under the pen name John Black. He is both a co-owner and co-founder of Ancient Origins.

John is a computer & electrical engineer with a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, a... Read More

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