Survival of the Sickest: Chapter 3 and 4

What did you think about the reading:

I read these chapters so quick, I just love the book! I’m not gonna lie, some parts don’t interest me as much as others, but all and all, there are some crazy things I’ve learned! I don’t know how I’ll remember it all, but I still love it! As I read chapters 3 and 4, I began to notice more and more scientific connections.

What did you learn:

Chapter 3 was filled with information on Vitamin D, folic acid, cholesterol, and everything else that falls in between. I’ll start off by talking about Vitamin D and how important it is to us. We need Vitamin D which comes from the sun, but the thing is, too much sun is bad. We have evolved and diseases have evolved where too little is bad and too much is bad. Too much sun results in skin cancer, but too little results in Vitamin D deficiency. An important thing I have learned is that not all bad things are bad. It’s like they have been given a bad reputation, even though they are necessary to live-like cholesterol. Cholesterol has many different functions for us, but too much of it isn’t a great thing. What I have noticed a lot are that many diseases are due to geographic location and originate from only certain areas. It’s weird because skin color in one place is beneficial but harmful somewhere else. Something that interested me greatly was that African Americans are more likely to get lung cancer than whites. Depending on things like your skin color and geographic location can determine if you are more likely to carry a genetic disease or not. Skin color is much more important than one may think, especially since it could be the reason you have a deadly disease. A continuously repeating aspect to the book is that everything has its pros and cons. ApoE4 ensures you have enough cholesterol while it also puts you at risk for a heart attack….almost like saying,”You must eat this delicious piece of chocolate, but be careful, your arm may fall off!” Like come on evolution, you could have done better! Our health is pretty much dependent on where we live, how we look, and where our ancestors are from. We pretty much have no choice but to let things take their course and hope it is beneficial to us. And if that means that you are not as tolerate to alcohol if you are Asian or more susceptible to lung cancer if you are African American…then so be it!

In chapter 4, plants are a main focus and they start with a disease known as favism. If a person with favism consumes fava beans, they will most likely die. I forgot to mention that favism is most common in places where fava beans are grown. Coincidence? I mean, 400 million carriers, just the most common enzyme deficiency in the world. My appreciation for the plant kingdom is extremely high now, knowing that when ripe fruits fall it is them saying they want animals to eat it. It is incredible how many plants can be used for medicinal purposes, and actually how dependent we are on plants to live. This is just one of the many things that have really blown my mind. Plants have a mind of their own, and literally can make or break you! A quote in this chapter that I just couldn’t stop laughing was on page 92.”Eat your vegetables. They can kill you.” Why did I think it was funny? Because it’s true.

What questions do you still have?

I don’t specifically have any questions that have to do with one certain thing. What I would like to know a little bit more of is how some insignificant things such as skin color or geographic ancestry determine how you must live your life. How does all of this connect when one thing can be so different from another? Eventually, with the technology we have today and how dispersed people are, isn’t everyone going to have the same chances of getting certain diseases? And, where did plants “learn” to act the way they do and produce things that are so necessary in our survival? We may be stronger physically then them, but without plants, we wouldn’t be alive.




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