By Noel T. Boaz
Human health problems should be understood as harm to these diversifications that we took on at a variety of levels in our evolution from pre-life molecules to fashionable Homo sapiens. combating those health problems includes warding off what reasons the damage-- which too often are the typical dangers of twenty-first-century lifestyles, because the chart less than shows:Level of EvolutionCause of adaptive failureresulting affliction or problemPre-lifeEnvironmental poisonsCertain beginning defectsSingle telephone (bacteria and amoeba-like)Viral infectionColds/flu/HIVMorula (sponge-like)Cellular stressCancerChordatePhysical stressBack painFishExcess nutritional saltHypertension/heart diseaseAmphibianTobacco smokeLung cancer/emphysemaLower primateExcess nutritional sugarDiabetes mellitusHigher primateVitamin C deficiencyScurvyApeExcess nutritional proteinGoutHomo sapiensReduced nutritional varietyNutritionaldiseases/food asthma
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Extra resources for Evolving Health The Origins of Il and How the Modern World is Making Us Sick
Maternal age of greater than 40 years increases the chances of having a Down’s syndrome child. Damage to the mother’s sex cells from mutagens, the substances that cause genetic mutations, is thought to be the main cause. No similar condition is known in nonhuman primates or other animals. It is significant that thalidomide does not cause defects in lab animals and yet is so devastating to developing human beings, and that Down’s syndrome is a uniquely human defect. Human development apparently presents some significant differences from other animals.
The nutrition that a human fetus receives via its mother’s circulation is much richer than that of other mammals. The energy-rich sugar glucose is the primary food molecule, but many other substances of nutritive, immunological, and hormonal importance in the mother’s body cross over to the fetus as well. 4 The placenta also becomes an important endocrine organ, producing a number of essential hormones for both mother and fetus. Physicians used to think of the placenta as a barrier, protecting the fetus from most if not all harmful substances in the mother’s body.
At a site in northern Egypt called the Fayum, fossils preserve monkeylike tailed primates close to our ancestry. 15 We can now say that such children have an evolutionary Level 13 retention, one that is easily corrected by surgery. Our hominoid ancestors are known from early Miocene sites in equatorial Africa dating to 23 to 18 million years ago. These were the proconsulids—tailless climbing apes with feet that could grasp onto branches as well as their hands could. When modern humans’ feet collapse inward with a hypermobile big toe, a condition that How Our Health Evolved 37 we call “flatfeet,” it is a reversion to the ancestral hominoid condition of Level 14.