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The story of the Human Body -excellent book by Daniel Lieberman

The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease - 2014

Review and notes by Henry Lahore, founder of VitaminDWiki

  • Book provided me with great insight into how, during a few decades, the immune system genes (Vitamin D Receptor, etc) could have radically changed.
  • People with poor immune systems in the 1800's 20% died before becoming parents.
  • Instead of survival of the fittest (80% survived) we now have survival of the survivors (99% survive)
  • But with better hygiene, antibiotics, vaccines, and medical care there are many more people being born with poor immune systems who survive to become parents.
  • Infant mortality among white Americans decreased thirty-six-fold between 1850 and 2000, from 21.7 percent to 0.6 percent. REFERENCE Floud, R., et al. (2011). The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World Since...
  • Pasteurization, sanitation, and antibiotics (& vaccines) have saved more lives than any other advances in medicine
  • The two most common causes of death in America in 1035 were respiratory diseases (pneumonia and influenza) and infectious diarrhea, both of which kill rapidly. (But no longer are killers with antibiotics and vaccines)
  • In addition: Your immune system needs germs to mature properly
  • antibiotics ==> immune system does not mature


  • SLEEP: 7.5 hours in bed every night but sleeps for only 6.1 hours, 1 hour less than the national average from 1970, and between 2 and 3 hours less than in 1900. (8-9 hours?)
  • Hunter Gatherers napped every day: REFERENCE: Worthman, C. M., and M. Melby (2002).
  • Toward a comparative developmental ecology of human sleep. In Adolescent Sleep Patterns: Biological, Social, and Psychological Influences,
    • see also VitaminDWiki Sleep
  • INSOMNIA: 10 percent of the population in developed countries regularly experiences serious insomnia. REFERENCE: Roth, T., and T. Roehrs (2003). Insomnia: Epidemiology, characteristics, and consequences. Clinical Cornerstone 5: 5–15.
  • Chronically insufficient sleep also promotes obesity.


  • VISION: hypothesis that normal eye elongation requires a mix of complex visual stimuli, such as varying intensities of light and different colors
  • since eyeglasses became affordable and common over the last few hundred years, there has been a relaxation of selection against deleterious genes that contribute to myopia. Similar to immune system genes
    • see also VitaminDWiki Vision
  • The CAFO ( concentrated animal feeding operation) animals respond just as we do to being fed an abundance of starch without exercising: they get fat.
  • Health surveys also indicate that most of the noninfectious diseases that kill or disable older gatherers. 3 references
  • Fructose is almost entirely metabolized by the liver.
    • VS Sugar -which can be metabolized anywhere in the body
    • When Liver cannot keep up, the fructose is stored as fat
  • Osteoporosis was rare among the elderly until recently. (now 1/3)
  • How much you sweat is a function of heat stress as an infant–
    • So, more air conditioning as a child ==> more need of air conditioning as an adult
  • BACK PAIN We no longer have the Natural selection likely to have selected for individuals whose backs were less susceptible to injury.
  • Smoking
    • “You are free to do as you wish as long as I don’t have to pay for it.”
    • I checked and found that a $1 tax per cigarette would pay for the health consequences
    • see also VitaminDWiki Smoking reduces vitamin D - many studies

I added genes to the following chart after reading his book

click here for details

Created by admin. Last Modification: Thursday October 31, 2019 14:19:04 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 4)