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It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick by Greg Gibson

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Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is to obesity as crime is to unemployment. You can have one without the other, but the latter certainly leads to the former. Consequently, the obesity gene map heavily overlaps with the diabetes gene map, though we now know that it is not sufficient. Many common polymorphisms contribute to diabetes without playing much of a role in normal weight control.

The body has evolved exquisite mechanisms based around insulin to keep glucose concentrations in balance. Normally it copes with excess by storing it as fat. But if the system is overloaded for too long, it becomes stressed, and eventually throws in the towel. Diabetes then arises from a double dose of disequilibrium. First is the disequilibrium between genes and the ...

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