Evolutionary biology: Dirty eating for healthy living

@article{Diamond1999EvolutionaryBD,
  title={Evolutionary biology: Dirty eating for healthy living},
  author={Jared M. Diamond},
  journal={Nature},
  year={1999},
  volume={400},
  pages={120-121}
}
Geophagy is the regular and intentional consumption of soil, and proposals as to its purpose have been many and varied. A spectacular example of geophagy is the highly selective consumption of earth — clay in particular — by flocks of certain parrots in the Amazonian rainforest. The reason, as reported in a new study, is that in the birds' stomachs the clay detoxifies foods that the parrots would otherwise be unable to consume. 

Geophagy and the Involuntary Ingestion of Soil

In addition to geophagy, many animals (including humans) also accidentally ingest soil, and this involuntary ingestion of soil is considered first (see also Chap. 15, this volume).

Geophagia: Benefits and potential toxicity to human—A review

Geophagy is the habit of consuming clay soil such as chalk or kaolin. Though it is globally practiced, the safety of those involved is yet to be fully established. It is thought to be highly

More than Eating Dirt: A Review of Avian Geophagy‡

It is suggested that additional tests of these hypotheses are buffering gastric pH and acquiring antidiarrheal agents and additional investigation of these proposed benefits of geophagy in birds are suggested.

Microbiological and health related perspectives of geophagia: An overview

The interplay of factors involved in geophagia, though varied, intricate and researched may not have been fully elucidated and further concerted efforts aimed at multidisciplinary research are warranted to address gaps in the corpus of knowledge on the important subject.

Geophagy of tropical fruit eating bats: mineral licks as a link between ecology and conservation

Zusammenfassung - 5 - Summary - 7 - Chapter I General Introduction - 11 - Outline of the study - 19 - Chapter II Frugivorous bats drink nutrient and clay-enriched water in the Amazon rainforest:

Soil Borne Human Diseases

An overview of the various soil borne diseases which can affect humans is provided, including a discussion of the literature where available for each disease, and an analysis of the evidence for why each disease may be considered to be soil borne.

Geophagy by Blackbucks on Termite Mounds: Unveiling a New Aspect of Dietary Predilection by Antelopes

A routine survey in blackbuck habitats in Bhetnoi region of Ganjam district in Odisha, India revealed an interesting behaviour of blackbucks, with a sub-adult male blackbuck licking and consuming the

Geophagy by Blackbucks on Termite Mounds: Unveiling a New Aspect of Dietary Predilection by Antelopes

A routine survey in blackbuck habitats in Bhetnoi region of Ganjam district in Odisha, India revealed an interesting behaviour of blackbucks, with a sub-adult male blackbuck licking and consuming the

Faeces of Rhinolophus euryale (Chiroptera) from the winter season contain inorganic matter

The high concentration of inorganic material and virtual lack of prey observed in the non-consumptive faeces indicate that drinking as well as direct sediment consumption occur inside the cave environment during the hibernation period.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF LICK SOILS: FUNCTIONS OF SOIL INGESTION BY FOUR UNGULATE SPECIES

Licks in this study provide ungulates with supplemental sources of sodium that are particularly beneficial to offset increasing demands during lactation and with carbonates to help stabilize rumen pH after forage changes in spring.
...

References

With Bitter Herbs They Shall Eat It: Chemical Ecology and the Origins of Human Diet and Medicine

People have always been attracted to foods rich in calories, fat and protein, yet the biblical admonition that meat be eaten "with bitter herbs" suggests that unpalatable plants play an important