Is it an evolved trait?

via Daily Prompt: Allergic

When I was growing up there was one boy in my class who was lactose-intolerant. I remember vividly staying the night at his house with a couple of friends one weekend and having cereal in the morning, and really disliking having soy milk with it. Other then him I can’t remember anyone growing up being lactose intolerant, allergic to nuts or any other form of nutritional intolerance.

Having seen the prompt word of “Allergic” it got me thinking about why, in more recent years, there seems to be an increase in people having some form of negative reaction to a food group (i.e. lactose intolerance, nut allergies, celiac* disease etc). While this is just from my own observations and not from a documented source, it does seem like it is a problem which needs to be understood moving forward**.

I think having a good understanding of what to eat is an important survival mechanism. Eating unhealthily can lead to early health problems and a potential predator for humanity (while it is a stretch to say so). Those of us with nutritional requirements certainly have to watch what they eat, so are they more inclined to lead a life with a healthier diet, and thus become more likely to pass on their genes? Is this evolution?

Edward Leeming 6/01/2018



*auto correct tried to make this celeriac, which i didn’t know is a type of celery and its mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. New knowledge!

** I was going to include a whole section of this blog devoted to the appendix (supposedly vestigial organ, not the writing kind) as I thought that it was related to the process of eating plants which humanity had evolved past, and I was going to relate it to the topic of the blog (where there people back then who had nutritional intolerance to plants and it evolved away?). Turns out this is not what the appendix does, and after a bit of research, it actually serves another purpose. It stores a reserve of “good stomach bacteria” and actually isn’t a useless organ. Wish I still had mine.


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