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10. 11. 12. Step 3 - Hypotheses on the possible changes in the ecological niche underlying the disease and on possible pathogenetical mechanisms.

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This poster is on my personal pages too r site ageing

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Step 3 - Hypotheses on the possible changes

in the ecological niche underlying the disease

and on possible pathogenetical mechanisms

… But if malocclusions are largely caused by reduced intake of dietary calcium and by reduced intake and production of vitamin D, these factors could seem to cause a reduced frequency of urolithiasis, a thing that is clearly contradicted by data from modernized population.

Step 2 - (CONTINUED)

...

For Urolithiasis:

“Renal stone is rare among persons living in poor or primitive socio-economic circumstances and is very rare in African Bantu living under tribal conditions (Modlin, 1969)” [1]

“To summarize, from being virtually unknown in historical times, renal stone has become significant as a common morbid condition in the affluent, westernized countries within the last 80 years whilst remaining rare in communities where the people live in primitive and poor conditions.” [1]

Price, in his fundamental work [1], not surprisingly called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, attributes the high frequency of malocclusions (and of other dental diseases) to changes in diet and lifestyle compared with the habits of primitive societies.

A critical factor emphasized by Price is the amount of dietary vitamin D and of sun exposure for the formation of additional vitamin D. According to Price, an insufficient intake and absorption of dietary calcium in the early years of life determines, among other things, insufficient development of facial bones and an improper development of the set of teeth.

Konner and Eaton [2] reported that prior to 1990 the recommended daily intake of vitamin D was 400 IU and that of calcium 800 mg. In 2010, this advice had become 1000 IU of vitamin D and 1000 mg of calcium. But the estimate for the ancestral population was over 4000 IU of vitamin D (also by sunlight) and 1500 mg of calcium. It is clear that with regard to ancestral conditions there is a strongly reduced intake of dietary calcium and a considerable deficiency of vitamin D, a poorly understood problem even in scientific circles. …

However, it has been shown that urolithiasis frequency is inversely related to dietary calcium intake [1-3], even though supplemental calcium may increase the risk [2].

Dietary calcium reduces oxalate absorption and the urinary excretion of oxalate and this lowers the risk of kidney stones of calcium oxalate, the prevalent type of stones [1]. This “may be due to increased binding of oxalate by calcium in the gastrointestinal tract” [1].

Other factors correlated with a lower frequency of urolithiasis are potassium intake [1] and fluid intake [1].

The intake of fiber and plant foods reduces urinary calcium excretion and thus the frequency of the stones, while carbohydrate intake has the opposite effect [3]. A higher protein intake is associated with a moderate increase of urolithiasis risk [1]. …

Epidemiological data strongly contrast the possible hypothesis that the high frequencies of malocclusions and urolithiasis suffered by modern populations are caused by a recent (in evolutionary terms) relaxation of natural selection pressures.

On the contrary, they indicate that these diseases are largely due to alterations of the ecological niche to which our species is adapted, that is presumable phenomena of mismatch.

[1] Curhan GC et al. (1993) A Prospective Study of Dietary Calcium and Other Nutrients and the Risk of Symptomatic Kidney Stones. New Engl. J. Medic. 328, 833-8.

[2] Curhan GC et al. (1997) Comparison of dietary calcium with supplemental calcium and other nutrients as factors affecting the risk for kidney stones in women. Ann. Intern. Med. 126, 497-504.

[3] Heller, HJ (1999) The role of calcium in the prevention of kidney stones. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 18, 373S-378S.

[1] Price WA (1939) Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. New York – London, Paul B. Hoeber.

[2] Konner M, Eaton SB (2010) Paleolithic Nutrition: Twenty-Five Years Later. Nutr. Clin. Pract. 25, 594-602.

  • [1] Trowell HC, Burkitt DP (eds) (1981). Western diseases, their emergence and prevention. Edward Arnold, USA.

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… It is essential to compare the ancestral diet with that of contemporary Western populations [1].

In the table, the factors in the modern diet that increase urolithiasis risk are highlighted in pink, while those having the opposite effect are highlighted in green. It is not shown in the table the reduced intake of calcium in modern diets that is strongly correlated with urolithiasis frequency.

Step 4 - Study of the mechanisms linking the alteration of the ecological niche to the pathogenesis of the disease

For urolithiasis

There is hypercalciuria in 95% of patients with nephrolithiasis[1].

The mechanism by which hypercalciuria causes an increased risk of renal stones is known [2].

There are foods that reduce calcium absorption, and therefore the urinary calcium - K, PO4, fiber, Alkali Load alias fruits and vegetables - and others that have the opposite effect – supplemental Ca, Na, Mg, Carbohydrates, Acid Load alias animal flesh - and the mechanisms that cause these effects are quite known [2].

But an increase in dietary calcium reduces oxalate absorption and oxalate excretion in the urine and thus reduces the frequency with which they form calcium oxalate stones, the most common type of calculations [3].

For malocclusions

The proper development of facial bones and set of teeth is optimal when the values ​​of dietary calcium and of vitamin D absorption and production are those to which our species is adapted.

Modernized alimentation has severely altered these factors, and perhaps others that are more or less important to a correct development.

The details of these alterations and the mechanisms by which the correct development is compromised require further information and explanations, but the correlation between alterations in diet and lifestyle and the correct development of facial bones and set of teeth are clear and well documented for a long time past [1].

[1] Levy FL et al. (1995) Ambulatory evaluation of nephrolithiasis: an update of a 1980 protocol. Am. J. Med. 98, 50-9.

[2] Heller, HJ (1999) The role of calcium in the prevention of kidney stones. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 18, 373S-378S.

[3] Curhan GC et al. (1993) A Prospective Study of Dietary Calcium and Other Nutrients and the Risk of Symptomatic Kidney Stones. New Engl. J. Medic. 328, 833-8.

* But, meat from game is lean (wild condition), while meat from breeding is fat (modern conditions). By considering this, perhaps proteins were not a risk factor in the wild.

[1] Price WA (1939) Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. New York – London, Paul B. Hoeber.

[1] Konner M, Eaton SB (2010) Paleolithic Nutrition: Twenty-Five Years Later. Nutr. Clin. Pract. 25, 594-602.

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First Objection

Before applying these measures of prevention on a large scale, observation of controlled groups in order to confirm their validity is necessary.

Step 6 - Analysis of the results achieved and ideation

and proposal of further improvements

Step 5 - Possible restoration of the normal, alias primeval, conditions or possible

compensatory conditions

Afterwards, it will be indispensable to evaluate the results obtained with different types of diet more or less suited to these principles.

Useful indications will be obtained from these results, which obviously in their application will be influenced by economic factors, dietary customs, and individual choices.

At the same time, it is essential to continue the deepening of the study of ancestral conditions of life to which our body is better adapted.

But this objection would be generated by a contradiction of current Medicine.

In fact, when a new drug is proposed, we rightly expect a series of experiments, in several stages, before its use is authorized. Meanwhile, the NON-use of the drug is considered to be due and NOT subject to preventive experimentation.

  • It is clear that Paleolithic diet and lifestyle are optimal to prevent malocclusions and urolithiasis, but it is also true that the return to ancestral conditions of life is not feasible.

  • More realistically, it is certainly useful to correct as much as possible those changes in diet and lifestyle that to a greater extent show to increase disease frequencies.

  • Available data suggest the following indications:

  • - to increase the intake of dietary calcium, potassium and vitamin D to the levels estimated for the Paleolithic ;

  • to increase the exposure to sunlight, so as to increase the production of vitamin D;

  • to increase the intake of foods and elements that reduce oxalate absorption and calcium absorption (and therefore urinary calcium: K, PO4, fiber, Alkali Load alias fruits and vegetables);

  • - to increase the intake of plain water;

  • to reduce the intake of the foods and elements that increase oxalate absorption and calcium absorption (and therefore urinary calcium: supplemental Ca, Na, Mg, Carbohydrates, Acid Load alias animal flesh).

On the contrary, in the case of a new habit of life, alias a change of the ecological niche, the new habit is introduced and accepted WITHOUT any trial that demonstrates its safety. Now, If a new NOT tested habit of life is suspected of causing illness, the indication to stop this habit of life is rightful and proper.

Why, before its suspension, should we demonstrate its harmfulness and the benefits resulting from its suspension?

If these guidelines were not followed, the populations will gradually adapt to the new conditions of life with known evolutionary mechanisms, but it is good to point out that this choice is ethically unacceptable as it would result in countless cases of illness and death before, over many generations, a good adaptation will be reached.

Such an absurd principle has been used for decades to extend the use of smoke without that smokers were at least warned of the deadly risks they were running. Again, a new habit (smoking) was introduced without any evidence that proved its safety and for decades it was claimed that its harm should be proved before taking action against it.

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Second Objection

Malocclusions and urolithiasis should be attributed to the combination of environmental and genetic factors.

Any change of the ecological niche to which a species is adapted must be considered potentially harmful until the contrary is proved.

In the case of a new drug, this principle is observed!

[Precautionary principle]

Conclusion

Malocclusions and urolithiasis involve significant costs and causes sufferings, reduced quality of life and even death.

Current Medicine is directed to pursue means of correction that are increasingly sophisticated and refined.

But the best goal would certainly be to minimize new cases of malocclusions and urolithiasis, reserving the cures to exceptional cases.

This would limit the degradation of quality of life, a lot of suffering, and - last but something to be reckoned with - rising costs.

This is possible with the correct application of trivial principles of Evolutionary Medicine.

This is a misleading way of describing the case.

Certainly, when an individual is exposed to an ecological niche to which its genes are not adapted, in the diseases that are caused by the altered ecological niche, his genes, which are more or less resistant to the onset of diseases, come into play.

But, we cannot and should not consider the genes that are less resistant to the diseases as pathological: they are entirely normal genes that in new conditions, to which the species is not adapted, have responses that are more or less effective against the onset of pathological changes.

For example, our species is certainly not adapted to smoking.

If, in smokers, some suffer respiratory failure, others chronic bronchitis and others cancer, it is not correct to say that those who develop these diseases have bad genes that somehow must be corrected, or for which it is necessary to develop opportune treatments.

The logic says that we must avoid the alteration of the ecological niche and thus prevent the development of diseases that result from it.

It should be noted that in some cases malocclusions or urolithiasis are actually due to genetic alterations. In these cases any preventive measure is not able to prevent the diseases. But, if we refer to data from the study of populations living under primitive conditions, the incidence of such cases is rare. Therefore, the attribution of responsibility to genetic factors should not be an excuse to diminish or avoid to address the most attention and efforts on prevention.

But for other modifications of the ecological niche, no precaution is taken.

It is presumed – irrationally and stupidly, because of non-scientific evaluations – that a modification must not be considered harmful until the experience proves the contrary!

[Imprudence Principle]

Modern doctors, largely unaware even of the most basic principles of Evolutionism, do not know these possibilities.

At the same time, evolutionary biologists are unaware of the extreme importance of these possibilities for a rational organization of a health system that should primarily prevent diseases.

It is therefore essential the integration of the knowledge of Evolutionism in the active body of current Medicine, transforming it in Evolutionary Medicine.

The correct scientific logic would be to take steps against a change in the ecological niche on the sole grounds of the suspicion that this change is bad and BEFORE the sure demonstration in irreproachable scientific terms.

Afterwards, the results in populations (or fractions of populations), which pursue - to a greater or lesser extent - the restoration of more physiological (alias natural) conditions must be compared both to confirm the expected results and for evaluating other possible measures.

But one should not expect the results of test samples before applying the aforesaid preventive actions on a large scale.

This poster is on my personal pages too: www.r-site.org/ageing

(e-mail: [email protected])


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