Chronic diseases are conditions that last 1 year or more and cannot easily be cured. For most chronic diseases, there are only treatments that can help with the symptoms and most of them will require ongoing medical attention and will limit activities. They are also leading drivers of a trillion dollars in annual health care costs. Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the world and cause the death of more people in a year than most of the wars in entire human history combined.
Chronic diseases are a wide range of different conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes and at first sight have nothing in common. How could such a wide range of different conditions have a common root cause?
It is about genetic predisposition, right? That is a common belief. If we are going to have some disease that is just how it is. There is nothing we can do about it.
The answer is no. If we disregard the real genetic causes that cause no more than 5% of deaths, the real reason is evolutionary incongruent diet and lifestyle. In most cases, the disease is a choice. For example, some level of cancer will be present in animals too, but 23.4% of all deaths just from cancer are not from genetic causes. This is an open secret number one that people just don’t like to talk about. The medical industry will openly avoid this topic also. The medical industry (allopathic medicine) is based on interventional treatments and patented drugs.
The evolution of the hominin diet is an important topic that plays a role in our understanding of our physiology. Our body is created by more than 50 million years of evolution. Genes are passed from one species to another. That is a reason why some species like chimpanzees have 99% the same genetic structure as Homo sapiens.
We have to understand how we came into existence and after that what diet and style of living should we have that is going to be in line with our physiology.
Genetical predisposition is only half of the picture. The real reason is an abrupt shift in our diet that has caused maladaptation and as a result, individual genetic predisposition will be a source of one or the other chronic disease. But the root cause is maladaptation. Someone will have diabetes someone will die from cancer and the third person will have a heart attack depending on individual resilience but we all going to die from some of them because we all eat animal products that we are not adapted at eating in high amounts. We could cope with some meat sometimes but not in the excessive amounts that we would like.
Maybe 10 million years from now we would not have to worry about diet anymore because our bodies will adapt but until that time the chronic disease can only be prevented with diet and with a lifestyle that is in line with the lifestyle of our hominin ancestors. Meaning physical activity, periodical fasting with normal weight maintenance, avoidance of pollution, and a plant-based whole food diet. That is what means to have a “healthy” life. It is just a lifestyle that we are adapted to by evolution. Everything can be “healthy” but not everything can be healthy for us.
For example, excess cholesterol causes atherosclerosis (fatty deposits that can clog arteries) and then causes heart disease. Number one killer in the world. We do not need dietary cholesterol (animal products) because our liver produces it. For us as for any other plant either it is not an essential nutrient. Our liver creates as much as we need so any dietary cholesterol at any time in our entire life, one mg of it is excess that needs to be detoxified. Also, no our body does not have to have cholesterol to make every cell in our body, our liver makes all cholesterol we need our entire life every second of it. Why? Because we are not carnivores. Livers of carnivores do not make cholesterol, for them, cholesterol is an essential nutrient. They do not need to because carnivores eat cholesterol in every bite of meat, so they are adapted at eating it by evolution, and we are not. No matter how much cholesterol you feed to your cat she will never develop heart disease. Cats are adapted to eating it in any amount that they want. And we are not.
Eating animal products is therefore associated with shortening life expectancy because our number 1 killer is heart disease and number 3 stroke (basically the same disease as a heart disease just different outcome). If our number one killer is something completely uncorrelated for example bubonic plague like in the Middle Ages, then we would not have to be worrying about cholesterol at all, we will have to be worrying about sanitation. At this time in our evolution situation is like it is. Cancer is a significantly lifestyle disease too. Genetics play the role, but the lifestyle is as much as important as genetics because of the toxic overload and mutagens form food and external intoxication and also inherent lack of adequate level of self-repairing autophagy mechanism (fasting). The very important risk factor in cancer is chronic inflammation and impaired immune system. Most of the population today have high levels of chronic inflammation. Then there is on a wide population-scale the lack of some essential micronutrients (essential and some important non-essential micronutrients, not calories) and antioxidants. On one hand, we have inflammatory compounds, toxins, and mutagens that come from animal products but on another hand lack micronutrients and antioxidants that come from plant sources. Also, then there is a chronic elevation of cancer-promoting hormones like IGF-1 and estrogen. Complete protein that is present in animal products stimulates IGF-1 especially in high protein-rich diet and estrogen usually comes from dairy. This is just an example, the real list of associations is a never-ending story but it all comes down to an unnatural diet.
Just these three diseases stroke, heart disease, and cancer are causing more than 50% of deaths, and all three are substantially dependent on a diet. When we look at the list of 15 leading causes of death more than 80% are lifestyle influenced.
Everyone in the medical field knows this, all doctors, all scientists, all industries. Well maybe not all of the doctors, some are just bad. The only ones that have a big problem with this is us, regular people, because we like the way we live and we would not like to change anything in a way we eat. We will go to MD’s if we have any problem right. Doctors are just there to do their job of prescribing pills. They are not there to care for you. Only you can take care of you. The problem is you don’t want to. You want the pill.
We like our dopamine inducing drugs (supernormal stimuli) in the form of food and any other variation. The most convenient way would be to find some research that is in a line with what we like and then use it as an excuse. Then we can go to the medical doctor to get some magic pill.
If we don’t understand the underlying logic of our behavior patterns then nothing can help us, no practical advice will be enough.
Science cannot govern our every act. We must logically govern ourselves and our behaviors in a line of understanding of our history and how we came into existence.
In reality, we need to take a look at the lives of our ancestors and in a longer time spread than just the paleo period so that we could reconstruct our natural diet.
Passages selected from a book: “Go Vegan? Review of Science: Part 1” [Milos Pokimica]
- Meat Intake and Mortality: A Prospective Study of Over Half a Million People doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2009.6.
- Vegetarian, Vegan Diets and Multiple Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies doi: 10.1080/10408398.2016.1138447
- The Natural History of Coronary Disease; A Clinical and Epidemiological Study doi: 10.1136/hrt.11.4.370
- Prevalence and Medical Costs of Chronic Diseases Among Adult Medicaid Beneficiaries doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.07.019
- Antioxidant Phytochemicals for the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Diseases doi: 10.3390/molecules201219753.
- Lack of Exercise Is a Major Cause of Chronic Diseases doi: 10.1002/cphy.c110025
- Lessons Learned From Twins in Autoimmune and Chronic Inflammatory Diseases doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2017.04.005
- Environmental Risk Factors for Cancer – Review Paper doi: 10.26444/aaem/94299.
- Associations Between Food and Beverage Groups and Major Diet-Related Chronic Diseases: An Exhaustive Review of Pooled/Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews doi: 10.1111/nure.12153.
- Cancer Prevention and Treatment by Wholistic NutritionJ Nat Sci 2017 Oct;3(10):e448.
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