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.