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Acta Chir Belg. 2004 Apr;104(2):132-9.

Evolutionary medicine.

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  • 1U542-INSERM, Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris, France. Bernard.Swynghedauw@larib.inserm.fr

Abstract

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Evolutionary, or darwinian, medicine takes the view that contemporary diseases result from incompatibility between the conditions under which the evolutionary pressure had modified our genetic endowment and the lifestyle and dietary habits in which we are currently living, including the enhanced lifespan, the changes in dietary habits and the lack of physical activity. An evolutionary trait express a genetic polymorphism which finally improve fitness, it needs million years to become functional. A limited genetic diversity is a necessary prerequisite for evolutionary medicine. Nevertheless, search for a genetic endowment would become nearly impossible if the human races were genetically different. From a genetic point of view, homo sapiens, is homogeneous, and the so-called human races have only a socio-economic definition. Historically, Heart Failure, HF, had an infectious origin and resulted from mechanical overload which triggered mechanoconversion by using phylogenically ancient pleiotropic pathways. Adaptation was mainly caused by negative inotropism. Recently, HF was caused by a complex remodelling caused by the trophic effects of mechanics, ischemia, senescence, diabetes and, neurohormones. The generally admitted hypothesis is that cancers were largely caused by a combination of modern reproductive and dietary lifestyles mismatched with genotypic traits, plus the longer time available for a confrontation. Such a concept is illustrated for skin and breast cancers, and also for the link between cancer risk and dietary habits.

PMID:
15154569
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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