View Full Version : Hemochromatosis-its evolutionary cause

18-02-17, 17:37
If the authors are right, it's another case of environment (diet and climate) driving evolution in the Neolithic.

See Heath et al: "The Evolutionary Adaptation of the C282Y Mutation toCulture and Climate During the European Neolithic"


"ABSTRACTObjectives: The C282Y allele is the major cause of hemochromatosis as a result of excessive iron absorption. Themutation arose in continental Europe no earlier than 6,000 years ago, coinciding with the arrival of the Neolithicagricultural revolution. Here we hypothesize that this new Neolithic diet, which originated in the sunny warm anddry climates of the Middle East,

We argue that the C282Y allele was an adaptationto this novel environment.Materials and Methods: To address our hypothesis, we compiled C282Y allele frequencies, known Neolithic sitesin Europe and climatic data on temperature and rainfall for statistical analysis.

Results: Our findings indicate that the geographic cline for C282Y frequency in Europe increases as average temperaturesdecrease below 168C, a critical threshold for thermoregulation, with rainy days intensifying the trend.

Discussion: The results indicate that the deleterious C282Y allele, responsible for most cases of hemochromatosis,may have evolved as a selective advantage to culture and climate during the European Neolithic."

Their map shows the extreme northwest Europe epicenter:


20-02-17, 04:11
In those cases, bloodletting was definitely a helpful practice.