Nutritional Armor in Evolution: Docosahexaenoic Acid as a Determinant of Neural, Evolution and Hominid Brain Development

Crawford, Michael A. and Broadhurst, C. Leigh and Cunnane, Stephen and Marsh, David E. and Schmidt, Walter F. and Brand, Annette and Ghebremeskel, Kebreab (2014) Nutritional Armor in Evolution: Docosahexaenoic Acid as a Determinant of Neural, Evolution and Hominid Brain Development. Military medicine, 179 (11). pp. 61-75. ISSN 0026-4075

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to draw attention to the special significance of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the brain, the potential relevance of its abundance to the evolution of the brain in past history, and now the relevance of paucity in the food supply to the rise in mental ill-health. Membrane lipids of photoreceptors, synapses, and neurons over the last 600 million years contained consistent and similarly high levels of DHA despite wide genomic change. The consistency is despite the DHA precursor differing only by 2 protons. This striking conservation is an example of Darwin’s “Conditions of Existence,” which he described as the higher force in evolution. A purpose of this article is to suggest that the present paradigm of food production currently based on protein requirements, should change to serve the specific lipid needs of the brain to address the rise in mental ill-health.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: nutrition; docosahexaenoic acid; neuronal evolution; hominid brain development
Subjects: 500 Natural Sciences and Mathemetics > 570 Life sciences; biology
Department: School of Human Sciences
Depositing User: Kebreab Ghebremeskel
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 09:54
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2016 09:54
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/851

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