Pre-natal Influences on Acute and Chronic Diseases Later in Life: Global Health Crises Resulting from Biological and Cultural Evolution Collisions

James Trosko, Michigan State University

This presentation is available to view/download in the following formats:

Abstract: Better understanding the complex factors leading to human diseases will be necessary for both long term prevention and for managing short-term crises health problems. The underlying context is one with finite global resources for sustained healthy human survival, population explosion, increased environmental pollution, decreased clean air, water, food distribution, diminishing opportunities for human self-esteem, increased median life span, and interconnected causes of acute infectious and chronic diseases.  The transition of our pre-human nutritional requirements for survival to our current unequal and culturally-shaped diet has created a biologically mismatched human dietary experience. While individual genetic, gender, and developmental stage factors contribute to human diseases, various environmental and culturally-determined factors are now contributing to both acute and chronic diseases. The transition from the hunter-gatherer to an agricultural-dependent human being has brought about a global crisis in human health.  Initially, early humans ate seasonally-dependent and calorically-restricted foods, during the day, in a “feast or famine” manner. Today,  modern humans eat diets of  caloric abundance, at all times of the day, with foods of all seasons and from all parts of the world, that have been processed and which have been contaminated by all kinds of factors. No longer can one view as distinct, infectious agent–related human acute diseases from chronic diseases. A new concept has emerged that indicates pre-natal maternal dietary exposures can now affect diseases later in life (Barker hypothesis).  Examples from the studies of the atomic bomb survivors illustrate this insight.

About the Presenter: 

James Edward Trosko is Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development in Michigan State University. Htroskoe holds a Ph.D. in Genetics and Radiation Genetics from Michigan State University. Dr. Trosko was Chief of Research at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, Japan, from 1990 to 1992, and visiting professor in Human Adult Stem Cell Research at Seoul National University, South Korea, in 2006. He is recipient of numerous awards, among them the Scientific Achievement Award, from the Society of Toxicology (2000); Korean Ministry of Science and Technology “Brain Pool Award,” (2006); and Seoul National University “World Class University Invited Professorship” (2010). E-mail: trosko@msu.ed

Presented on: 
April 21, 2011
Symposium 2011
Creative Commons License