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Darwin Dentistry Part 3

So far we have laid the ground work for why our society, using the industrial style diet, has suffered certain chronic diseases of oral origin.  The concept of genome-environment mismatch is one explanation for higher rates of systemic diseases seen today that were seldom a problem with our ancestors. 

There’s a strong correlation with between higher risks of disease like type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and cardiovascular diseases and industrialization of society within the last 250-300 years.  Cultures that don’t focus on the industrialized diet lack these chronic diseases.  So called “blue zones” in the world that live and eat in a healthy manner generally benefit from their culture choices.

Infant and early childhood feeding has relied on breastfeeding for thousands of generations and we know from anthropology that evolution of food sources was very scarce for our ancestors and it wasn’t uncommon for babies to continue to breastfeed into their third year, although not exclusively. 

As agriculture gained steam and prevalence in the human culture starvation gradually lessened for humans.  Over the next several hundred years humans started to domesticate animals as an additional food source yielding better food supplies ultimately leading to industrialization of our food supply.  Thus, breastfeeding became less important and prevalent with new mothers.