NYT: New Theory Places Origin of Diabetes in an Age of Icy Hardships

When temperatures plummet, most people bundle up in thick sweaters, stay cozy indoors and stoke up on comfort food. But a provocative new theory suggests that thousands of years ago, juvenile diabetes may have evolved as a way to stay warm.

Hm. Not sure I buy this. Apparently I am not alone:

Most doctors who treat diabetes are extremely skeptical about the idea. In a typical comment, one doctor said, referring to a dangerous complication of diabetes: “Are they kidding? Type 1 diabetes would result in severe ketoacidosis and early death.”

Seems like dying before reproducing might confer some evolutionary limits. The presenter of the theory argues that an Ice Age average lifespan of 25 might have meant that diabetics fared comparably well in the cold climate. The article goes on to note that Nordics are the most prevalently affected by this disease, and moreso in cold climates than in warm ones. I can only note that my wife is Cuban and was affected in sunny California. I will take some salt with this idea, thanks all the same.

One thought on “Diabetes Origin Theory

  1. You should put where it did diabetes originate! So that when kids are doing this for a project it would be easy to find.

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