Did Evolution Cause Your Diabetes?
Would you believe it if we told you that your diabetes was the result of evolution? After studying genes associated with Type 1 Diabetes, scientists are starting to think that the way we evolved may have contributed the development of the disease.
In a report released this August, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine say evidence in gene variants shows that we could have evolved to be more susceptible to getting diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, rather than staving them off.
Atul Butte, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatric cancer biology and bioinformatics expert said, At first we were completely shocked because, without insulin treatment, type-1 diabetes will kill you as a child.
Dr. Butte added, Everything we've been taught about evolution would indicate that we should be evolving away from developing it. But instead, we've been evolving toward it. Why would we have a genetic variant that predisposes us to a deadly condition?
Science Daily reports:
The researchers speculate that at least some of the risky changes may protect carriers against certain viruses and bacteria -- a trade-off that may have made evolutionary sense in the not-too-distant past when infectious diseases were devastating and largely untreatable.