Nutrition, Genes and Modern Disease: A Current Dilemma or a Legacy of our Past
- *Corresponding Author:
- Stephen Myers
Federation University Australia
Mount Helen Campus, Ballarat
Victoria 3350, Australia
Received date: May 17, 2014; Accepted date: June 18, 2014; Published date: June 26, 2014
Citation: Myers S, Williamson S (2014) Nutrition, Genes and Modern Disease: A Current Dilemma or a Legacy of our Past. J Diabetes Metab 5:393. doi: 10.4172/2155-6156.1000393
Copyright: © 2014 Myers S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Contemporary humans are genetically adapted to the environment that their ancestors survived in and that consequently selected their genetic makeup. Since the agricultural revolution some 10,000 years ago, the lifestyles and dietary requirements of modern humans have changed dramatically. It is suggested that these changes have occurred too recently on an evolutionary time scale for the modern human genome to adapt. Therefore, our ancestral genome is ill-suited for our current modern consumption and existence, and thus contributes to diseases associated with contemporary lifestyles, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. It is therefore suggested that a diet similar to our ancestors could circumvent many of our modern illnesses and serve as a reference for better nutrition, health, and longevity. Although this model should certainly be commended for its simplistic dietary practices that no doubt improve health and well-being; its premise is cemented in the thrifty genome hypothesis and the fact that humans are modern hunters and gatherers whose genome is ill-suited for modern diets. This is a disjointed view of modern humans and our ability to evolve under different eco regions and nutritional pressures through post-genomic and post-transcriptional changes in our genome. Accordingly, a major challenge associated with nutritional research is to understand how these changes in our genome reflect on our nutrition habits and lifestyles to ameliorate many of our modern lifestyle diseases.