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Chronic Disease Is Evolution in Reverse

Majid Ali, M.D. 

All chronic diseases represent evolution in reverse. I explain the scientific basis of this statement in several articles linked at the end of this article. To provide a frame of reference for this article, I reproduce the following text from an article in my series on fermentation:

Fermentation: Good, Bad, and Ugly 

Our early primordial ancestors were fermenters. Throughout human evolution, some of those fermenting cells thrived in oxygen-poor nitches in the human body, serving many purposes, including food digestion. These were "good fermenters." Our later human ancestors learned—experientially or intuitively, it seems—learned ferment foods to enhance their value. We can call it "good fermentation."

Every chronic disease begins with fermentation. This need not raise any eyebrows. Diseases involve inflammation with buildup of acids and alcohols. Fermentation, of course, is conversion of sugars into alcohols and acids. We can call it "bad fermentation."

Then came the age of fermenting human cells—most notably during the last century—ushered in by the era of antibiotics, sugar abuse, and industrial pollutants. The modern epidemics of inflammatory, immune, and degenerative disorders are rooted in cellular fermentation. In a broader evolutionary context, I recognize these epidemics as evolution-in-reverse. This is "ugly inflammation."

It is not the strongest of the species who survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.

                                                         Charles Robert Darwin

Everywhere the old order changes and happy they who can change.

                                                 Sir William Osler

There is nothing wrong with being dogmatic, as long as the dogma changes with ongoing observations of natural phenomena.

                                           The author

 

Scientific knowledge, understanding, and wisdom advance when seemingly unrelated— paradoxical or divergent, in some instances—lines of evidence converge to firmly establish scientific facts. This principle is as crucial for physicians as it is for others in various scientific disciplines. The study of seeming paradoxes and discordances in nature is not only necessary for reconciling apparent contradictions—no true contradictions really exist—but also for developing deeper perspectives on natural phenomena. As school children, doctors learn about photosynthesis and splitting of water to generate free atmospheric oxygen. Then these fundamental subjects disappear from their radars forever, taking away with it an understanding of oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen ecomonies of the human body. This is unfortunate since it also takes oxygen off their clinical radars except when their patients gasp for breath with asthma, stroke, myocardial infarction, and similar life-threatening illnesses. In all twelve volumes of The Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine, my unfaltering focus is on the issues of disrupted oxygen signaling and impaired oxygen-driven mitochondrial ATP generation in the clinical management of all chronic nutritional, environmental, immune, degenerative, and neoplastic disorders.

In the beginning, the sun played its "photo card," setting into motion the evolution of photosynthesis, a chemical pathway to efficiently harness sunlight. Next, photosynthesis played its "oxygen card" to advance evolution, setting free oxygen in the atmosphere. Next, oxygen played its "mito card" and drove the evolution of high-efficiency mitochondrial metabolism of oxygen-breathing life forms. Oxygen also defined the pathways of death, assuring that no form of life could evade the immutable "law of oxidative death."

Splitting of water to generate atmospheric oxygen and hydrogen bonds to drive the economy of life was a defining event in the history of biology. Primordial cells acquired the ability to harness sunlight to drive cellular development, differentiation, and demise. Plants use carbon to store energy. Oxygen spawned its radicals to rupture carbon and hydrogen bonds to generate energy for life processes. Specifically, oxygen breaks up the organic matter in animals and the oxygen-breathing microbes to release chemical bond energy. In the process, carbon (largely in the form of carbon dioxide, CO2) is released into the atmosphere. Geological events make large contributions to planetary CO2. The plants kingdom then returns to the stage to suck in CO2 from the atmosphere—earning the title of carbon sink from biologists and geoscientists.

Photosynthesis and Mitochondrial ATP Generation

The study of no other subjects clarified my thinking concerning the energy economy of the body more than those of photosynthesis and mitochondrial ATP generation. I examined—and continue to investigate—these subject within the larger Darwinian perspective. Darwin's essential message for me is: No parts may be understood except through its relationship with the whole. I hold this principle as crucial to clinical medicine as it is to other disciplines in biology. The central relevance of this "energetic connectedness" to the care of the sick is evident in the various chapters of the Darwin trilogy—the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth volumes of The Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine. The readers will find that a clear comprehension of the energetic-molecular phenomena presented here deepens understanding of the patterns of suffering of the sick and unwell. This should—and, in reality, does so profitably—allow physicians to make rational and scientifically sound clinical decisions, improving patient care.

In photosynthesis, the pigment chlorophyll absorbs photons to raise the energy level of its electrons, which pass to a modified form of chlorophyll called pheophytin. Next, these electrons are passed to quinone molecules, so initiating the flow of electrons down an electron transport chain. The final step in that chain is the transfer of electrons to NADP, turning into NADPH. Concomitantly, this electron transfer chain creates a proton gradient across the chloroplast membrane. The dissipation of this proton gradient is facilitated by ATP synthase, which generates ATP by utilizing the proton energy. Next, chlorophyll molecules regain the lost electrons by taking them from water molecule through photolysis—a process in which it splits water to release oxygen gas. In human mitochondria, a similar electron transfer events generate ATP by linking inhaled oxygen with oxidative phosphorylation to constitute the core of cellular energy—a subject of absolute importance in all fields of clinical medicine. The chlorophyll cycle is completed with its capture of atmospheric CO2 in a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme rubisco that requires newly formed NADPH and is called the calvin-Bensaon reaction.

What Does the Evolutionary Design Teach Doctors?

The science of evolution has much to teach doctors about the way they consider the continuum of health and disease. Broad evolutionary perspectives on biologic phenomena have enormous explanatory power for clinically and experimentally observed phenomena in medicine. I am surprised when I hear or read individuals who take a dim view of evolutionary perspectives. Eager to discredit Charles Darwin to defend their anti-Darwin theological dogmas, they dismiss the ever-growing body of scientific data that supports his core tenets of competitive struggle for life, adaptation, and natural selection. Darwin, I might point out, is the most quoted scientist in biology literature. They propose convoluted mathematical models to claim the "impossibility of natural selection" creating the enormous structural and functional diversity of life on the planet. Specifically, I am much amused by some otherwise knowledgeable biochemists who challenge the evolution of light-capturing pigments and the protein complexes that house them. They believe in an intelligent design which created highly developed animal and plant species of great complexity. Later, for such biochemists, as well for as for people under their influence, I offer a simple analogy to explain the concurrent evolution of seemingly divergent energetic-molecular pathways that render their mathematical models irrelevant.

Related Articles

* Origin of Life, Origin of Disease

*  Oxygen-Driven Energetics: An Intelligent Design

* Respiratory-to-Fermentative (RTF) Shift in ATP Production 

* Chronic Disease Is Evolution in Reverse

* Fermentation: Good, Bad, and Ugly

* Oxygen Models of Diseases

Beginning of Life

* List of Oxygen Models of Diseases

* Ali M. Respiratory-to-Fermentative (RTF) Shift in ATP Production in Chronic Energy Deficit States. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. 2004. August/Sept. issue. 64-65.

 * Ali M. Hydrogen peroxide therapies: Recent Insights into oxystatic and antimicrobial actions. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. 2004, 255;140-143.

* What Does Chlorophyll Reveal About the Origin of Life on the Planet Earth?

* Ali M. Cancer, Oxygen, and pantotropha — Part I. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients. 2004;256:98-102.

Tutorial GG.11 Ali M. The dysox model of aging. Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients.2005;269:130-134.

* Tutorial GG.16 The Dysox Model of Diabetes and De-Diabetization Potential. Townsend Letter-The examiner of Alternative Medicine. 2007; 286:137-145.

* Tutorial GG.31 Ali M. Oxygen, Insulin Toxicity, Inflammation, And the Clinical Benefits of Chelation. Part I. Townsend Letter-The examiner of Alternative Medicine. 2009;315:105-109. October, 2009.

* Tutorial GG.32 Ali M. Insulin Reduction and EDTA Chelation: Two Potent and Complementary Approaches For Preventing and Reversing Coronary Disease. Oxygen, Insulin Toxicity, Inflammation, and the Clinical Benefits of Chelation - Part II. Townsend Letter-The exami

* Dr. Ali’s Peroxide Foot Soaks Protocol

* Dr. Ali’s Hydrogen Peroxide-Salt Bath

1. Hydrogen peroxide foot soaks with Meditation

2. Intravenous hydrogen peroxide infusion

3. Intravenous ozone infusion

 

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