The reason our ancestors did not develop CHF [Congestive Heart Failure] is that the modern risk factors for heart diseases were all but absent in our ancestral environment. The Paleolithic diet was high in protein, fiber, and unrefined carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables and low in fat, simple sugars, and and sodium. It included no milk after weaning and no alcohol. Our Paleolithic ancestors did not smoke tobacco. Moreover, our ancestors expended a lot of energy to obtain food, and when prey became scarce, they trekked long distances in search for better hunting. Our ancestral dietary and exercise patterns were protective against heart disease.

– E. Jennifer Weil. (Source)

Medical science has become dominated by relatively reductionist approaches; that is, by looking at individual levels of organization (the gene, the cell, the tissue), or individual organ systems, or regarding the different disciplines (physiology, biochemistry, anatomy) as quite distinct. This approach, while necessary at one level, is not good for medicine or for the patient. Just as an integrated holistic approach to medical care is optimal, so is it that a multilevel approach aids our understanding of the aetiology and mechanisms off disease.

– Peter Gluckman (PhD) et al. (Source)

Only when clinicians and researchers take into account the role of evolution in shaping the organism being treated as well as, in many cases, the organism causing the problem or condition will we achieve something that approaches sustainable health care for all people.

– Wenda Trevathan (PhD) et al. (Source)

It is interesting to ask why conversations about evolution in Western cultures often involve whether one “believes in” evolution or not. Quite frankly, the phrase “believe in” is an odd one when discussing a scientific concept, or any scientific process. Can you imagine asking someone if she “believes” in gravity? in the change of seasons? in oceans? in the krebs cycle? In fact, it is odd to think that anyone need “believe” in evolution at all.

– Wenda Trevathan (PhD) et al. (Source)

While evolutionary medicine generally addresses ultimate rather than proximate causes of the human condition, it can also be valuable in the day-to-day practise of medicine. It creates a framework by which it is possible to systematically examine the aetiology of disease from an ultimate as well as from the more usual proximate and pathological viewpoints. An understanding of evolutionary processes provides an essential perspective on what is health, what is disease, and why certain symptoms appear. In turn, this offers important insights into prevention and therapy.

– Peter Gluckman (PhD) et al. (Source)

The spread of secondary and latterly of tertiary education has created a large population of people, often with well-developed literary and scholarly tastes, who have been educated far beyond their capacity to undertake analytical thought.

– Peter Medawar. (Source)

Biologically speaking, man is still a wild animal and there is no reason to suppose that his biology is adapted to anything but wild foods. There simply has not been time for any selective evolution to have changed mankind as mankind has changed its pattern of eating.

– Michael Crawford & David Marsh. (Source)

Unfortunately, knowledge from academic disciplines like evolutionary biology and paleopathology has not been considered relevant by those designated as experts in formulating official guidelines for healthy living for the Nordic populations. Neither is this the case for guidelines developed elsewhere. The facts concerning the prehistoric and historical health problems with the introduction of “new foods” are completely ignored by the very authorities who – according to governmental directives – are responsible for issuing dietary recommendations.

– Iver Mysterud (PhD) et al. (Source)

Besides biota alteration, chronic psychological stress, sedentary lifestyles, inflammatory diets, and vitamin D deficiency need to be the highest priorities for our health care system. If we don’t address all of these issues, the best we can ever hope for is a sick-care system that treats disease, not a health care system that protects the population health.

– William Parker (PhD) et al. (Source)

The human genome was selected over millions of years for a lifestyle of foraging and continues to ‘expect’ a diet high in protein, low in fat, and free from novelties such as refined sugars. Even if the search for specific metabolic disease-related genes has posed challenges, it seems undeniable that the bulk of the world’s ballooning waistlines reflect patterns of cultural and dietary change coming into conflict with an increasingly obsolete genotype.

– Peter Gluckman (PhD) et al. (Source)

Ninety-nine percent of genus Homo’s history was spent as hunter-gatherers. Because of the social nature of humanity, we are naturally selected, not for the extant set of problems, but for another set of problems rooted in the Pleistocene. Of the many phenotypic traits that define our species–notably the physically and metabolically enormous brain, advanced cognitive abilities, complex vocal organs, bipedalism and opposable thumbs–most (if not all) are the product of strong positive selection.

– Dr. Ángel A. Román-Franco. (Source)

Evolutionary science can be viewed as the fundamental ‘organizing principle’ of all biology. The biological and biomedical sciences can only be fully integrated with the aid of an evolutionary toolkit. Together with the discovery of particulate inheritance (the gene) and the sciences of molecular and developmental biology, evolutionary biology provides the basis of our understanding both of the function of an organism and of its relationship with its physical, social, and biotic environment.

– Peter Gluckman (PhD) et al. (Source)

Mainstream nutritionists do not emphasize an evolutionary approach to diet, many actually oppose it. This is probably because an evolutionary approach implicates that the modern approach to nutrition has been wrong the last 40 years. This may be hard to swallow, and people may feel threatened, risking a fall in status.

– Iver Mysterud (PhD). (Source)

… to achieve the productive validity of a true science, and to begin actually reducing the incidence of chronic degenerative disease, health promotion needs a solid theoretical foundation. For this purpose genomic-cultural evolutionary dissociation is a more logical, simple, and aesthetically satisfying paradigm than any other which can currently be advanced.

– Dr. S. Boyd Eaton et al. (Source)

Darwinian evolution, with its emphasis on descent with modification, provides the heuristics for understanding the evolutionarily selected multifactorial mechanisms of reproductive dilemmas as well as chemical carcinogenesis, atherogenesis and other late onset diseases, thus facilitating the identification of populations differentially at risk as well as guiding the proper prevention, early detection and therapeutic strategies: essentially, the scientific understanding of the role of disease in human biology.

– Dr. Ángel A. Román-Franco. (Source)

One of the greatest deviations away from our ancestral diet is the amounts and types of fat found in modern grain fed animals vs. the amounts and types of fats found in grass fed or wild meat, fowl and fish. What we observe is wild meat is remarkably lean, and has relatively low amounts of saturated fats, while supplying significant amounts of beneficial omega-3 fats such as EPA and DHA.

– Robb Wolf. (Source)

When evolution is included [in medical curricula], it will give students not only a new perspective on disease but also an integrating framework on which to hang a million otherwise arbitrary facts. Darwinian medicine could bring intellectual coherence to the chaotic enterprise of medical education.

– Dr. Randolph M. Nesse and Dr. George C. Williams. (Source)

Our diet is composed of millions of substances that are part of a biological network. In fact, we eat “biological systems” like a banana, a fish or a piece of meat. There is a connection between the various nutrients in these systems. In other words, there is a balance and an interaction that is part of a living organism. This balance can be found in the reconstruction of our Paleolithic diet.

– Begoña Ruiz-Núñez et al. (Source)

I don’t think it is possible to overemphasize just how important mismatch diseases are. You are most likely going to die from a mismatch disease. You are most likely to suffer from disabilities caused by mismatch diseases. Mismatch diseases contribute to the bulk of health-care spending throughout the world.

– Dr. Daniel Lieberman. (Source)

The renowned Russian geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900–1975) said, ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’. Indeed, much in nutrition does not seem to make sense because most nutritionists have little or no formal training in evolutionary theory, much less human evolution. Nutritionists face the same problem as anyone who is not using an evolutionary model to evaluate biology: fragmented information and no coherent way to interpret the data.

– Dr. Loren Cordain. (Source)

The metaphor of the body as machine is now restraining progress. Bodies are not
machines designed by engineers; they are somas shaped by natural selection. The vulnerabilities that lead to disease do not arise from miscopying blueprints manufacturing errors. Instead, they arise from mutations and developmental sequences shaped by natural selection.

– Dr. Randolph M. Nesse. (Source)

Modern biology suggests that our bodies are composed of a diversity of organisms competing for nutritional resources. Evolutionary conflict between the host and microbiota may lead to cravings and cognitive conflict with regard to food choice. Exerting self-control over eating choices may be partly a matter of suppressing microbial signals that originate in the

– Dr. Joe Alcock et al. (Source)

Nature’s complexity is too great for us humans to fully comprehend. We try to simplify things by breaking the natural world down into its smaller constituents, labeling some as “good” (e.g., probiotics) and others as “bad” (e.g., Candida albicans). This approach has proven to be very fallacious. We have to acknowledge that nature is built up of biological systems. Nothing operates in complete isolation.

– Eirik Garnas. (Source)

The ability of physicians and biomedical researchers to link ultimate evolutionary explanations for disease to their proximate mechanisms shall become increasingly important. Therefore the sooner we revise medical preparation to integrate evolutionary perspectives, the better primed we will be to address the medical challenges of the 21st century.

– Joseph L. Graves, Jr. et. al. (Source)

The inability or refusal to apply evolution’s basic principles when interpreting dietary studies, 150 years after the publication of Darwin’s The Origin Of Species, is astounding.

– Dr. Staffan Lindeberg. (Source)

There is no conceptual framework in place that underlies medicine and guides and supports clinicians and scientists in their quest for knowledge. This is unfortunate, because without a solid foundation to rest on, the health-care system is prone to get weak in the knees, develop disease, and perhaps even collapse completely.

– Eirik Garnas. (Source)

Because H.s. sapiens is the product of an evolutionary process, we cannot hope to have a deep understanding of the major diseases of our age if we ignore our evolutionary past. In the depths of our minds as in our genes, we are all African hunter-gatherers.

– Dr. Ángel A. Román-Franco. (Source)


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