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The Past is Hurting our Health!

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Uric acid

Uric acid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michael Greger is back with an interesting story on why we retain body fat. My good friend David sent me this one. It seems some 15 million years ago two meteorites hit in Germany and caused a mass extinction event. Most species were wiped out. Food was hard to find. Our ancestors that became apes and humans developed an ability to keep uric acid which helps retain body fat. This is a good thing when food is scarce. Unfortunately it’s a bad thing when salt, fatty foods abound. It actually causes us to easily get fat.

This is a great example of epigenetics at work. It changes our genetics to help us survive but later hurts our health. Sometimes life extinction events can easily turn on or off an epigenetic switch. It is a lot harder to later reset those switches when life is easy.

We are as Lost as the Dinosaurs

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Tyrannosaurus rex, Palais de la Découverte, Paris

Tyrannosaurus rex, Palais de la Découverte, Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know the dinosaurs were wiped out because of sudden environmental change that their epigenetics could not deal with. A meteor hit Earth and caused sudden climatic change. It would have been hard for them to adapt that fast. Some life did, like mammals and we are the result of that adaptation and survival. Today we have strong environmental influences that are killing us, maybe not as fast but as sure. Smoking causes changes to our epigenetics that ends up killing the body. It cannot adapt and move on. The big difference is the Dinosaurs didn’t cause their destruction but we are causing ours. Think about what you are doing to your body the next time you light up.