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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[News article] Why is type 2 diabetes an increasing problem?

Why is type 2 diabetes an increasing problem?.

From the 14th January 2014 ScienceDaily article

Contrary to a common belief, researchers have shown that genetic regions associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes were unlikely to have been beneficial to people at stages through human evolution.

Type 2 diabetes is responsible for more than three million deaths each year and this number is increasing steadily. The harmful genetic variants associated with this common disease have not yet been eliminated by natural selection.

To try to explain why this is, geneticists have previously hypothesized that during times of ‘feast or famine’ throughout human evolution, people who had advantageous or ‘thrifty’ genes processed food more efficiently. But in the modern developed world with too much food, these same people would be more susceptible to type 2 diabetes.

“This thrifty gene theory is an attractive hypothesis to explain why natural selection hasn’t protected us against these harmful variants,” says Dr. Yali Xue, lead author of the study from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “But we find little or no evidence to corroborate this theory.”

 

Read the entire article here

 

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January 22, 2014 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , ,

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