Novel, human-specific adaptations drive the obesogenic environment, metabolic syndrome and malnubesity – new mathematical model of metabolism requires energy and micronutrient data (#173)
Clinical central obesity and its consequent degenerative metabolic syndrome (MetS) is still inadequately explained.
Human encephalisation during evolution required a significant increase in energy for the brain, and human-specific energy-balancing co-adaptations have arisen.
1) reward, 2) motivation and 3) motor coordination for repeatedly recognising, planning, acquiring and consuming energy dense food, often as perseverating, addictive behaviour.
Secondly, once humans became nomadic foragers, sophisticated nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) systems evolved newly efficient food oxidation and detoxification amplification mechanisms, by co-opting some of the large variety of plant chemicals, phytonutrients, especially defence chemicals, phytoalexins, as moderators and modulators. High micronutrient:macronutrient ratio diets allow NRF-based ultra-cytoprotection, enabling 1) non-renewable cells (cardiomyocytes, neurons) to function well for many decades, 2) cells which undergo frequent replication (endocrine, gut epithelium, skin) to be well controlled, preventing dysplasia, 3) the immune system to mount vigorous and varied responses 4) efficient ‘adaptive repair’ systems for tissues subject to physical shear, wear and tear, and metabolic stress (endothelium, myocytes).
On consuming high energy micronutrient depleted refined food the human NRF2 system becomes dysfunctional with respect to the above, leading to default fat gain rather than using extra energy to perform on-going cell upkeep and repair. Central, dysmetabolic adipose accumulates, along with risk of early degenerative change, neoplasia, with decreased disability-adjusted life years.
Mathematical modelling of energy flux in humans should include food micronutrients as they are likely to alter energy metabolism. The first part of the modelling is presented based on body compartments as energy concentrations, and where in the equation micronutrient effects need to be added. Once this is computed, energy flux data in the NRF2 can be used, and ultimately fed into a dynamic energy budget.