, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 67-69
Date: 22 Aug 2007

Environment and origin of disease

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Growth and reproduction exert pervasive effects on individuals and society as a whole. On an individual basis, they are regulated by a delicate balance between well-integrated gene-dependent mechanisms and the external environment, with daily changes in nutritional availability, stressors and life choices profoundly affecting integration of complex biologic pathways. A developing fetus is especially vulnerable to changes in the maternal environment from external conditions and to circumvent any detrimental consequences, it develops compensatory mechanisms that may be adaptive or disruptive, based upon whether they provide survival advantages or disadvantages, respectively. The developmental origin of disease concept, or Barker hypothesis, highlights this conflict [1]. The alarming increase in the prevalence of some common diseases may partially represent the introduction of medical interventions, environmental pollutants, and lifestyle choices that adversely alter preprogrammed develop