Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Link Between Natural Selection and Inflammatory Disease

Medicalnewstoday recently released an article discussing the possible correlation between the current health problem of inflammatory disease and the possibility that the human body developed this disease through the process of natural selection.

It has been demonstrated that some of the genetic variants that make a person more susceptible to inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Chrohn's Disease, and rheumatoid arthritis may in fact have been beneficial to our ancestors.

During the time period when bacterial and viral pathogens claimed many lives, the inflammatory response was utilized and developed as a mechanism of self defense.  Now that our society has access to antibiotics and cleaning products that kill potentially pathogenic invaders, the inflammatory response that kept people alive in the past is now no longer needed as much and is beginning to become more of a problem by causing autoimmune disorders.

So far, it has been discovered that there are 21 places on the human genome that bear a "signature" for both natural selection and susceptibility to inflammatory disease.

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