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Baig U.,Indian Institute of Science | Belsare P.,Indian Institute of Science | Watve M.,Indian Institute of Science | Watve M.,Anujeeva Biosciences Pvt. Ltd. | Jog M.,Abasaheb Garware College
Journal of Obesity | Year: 2011

Obesity and related disorders are thought to have their roots in metabolic "thriftiness" that evolved to combat periodic starvation. The association of low birth weight with obesity in later life caused a shift in the concept from thrifty gene to thrifty phenotype or anticipatory fetal programming. The assumption of thriftiness is implicit in obesity research. We examine here, with the help of a mathematical model, the conditions for evolution of thrifty genes or fetal programming for thriftiness. The model suggests that a thrifty gene cannot exist in a stable polymorphic state in a population. The conditions for evolution of thrifty fetal programming are restricted if the correlation between intrauterine and lifetime conditions is poor. Such a correlation is not observed in natural courses of famine. If there is fetal programming for thriftiness, it could have evolved in anticipation of social factors affecting nutrition that can result in a positive correlation. © 2011 Ulfat Baig et al. Source


Belsare P.V.,University of Pune | Watve M.G.,Indian Institute of Science | Watve M.G.,Anujeeva Biosciences Pvt. Ltd. | Ghaskadbi S.S.,University of Pune | And 3 more authors.
Medical Hypotheses | Year: 2010

An upcoming hypothesis about the evolutionary origins of metabolic syndrome is that of a 'soldier' to 'diplomat' transition in behaviour and the accompanying metabolic adaptations. Theoretical as well as empirical studies have shown that similar to the soldier and diplomat dichotomy, physically aggressive and non-aggressive strategists coexist in animal societies with negative frequency dependent selection. Although dominant individuals have a higher reproductive success obtained through means such as greater access to females, subordinate individuals have alternative means such as sneak-mating for gaining a substantial reproductive success. The alternative behavioural strategies are associated with different neurophysiologic and metabolic states. Subordinate individuals typically have low testosterone, high plasma cholesterol and glucocorticoids and elevated serotonin signalling whereas dominant ones are characterized by high testosterone, low brain serotonin and lower plasma cholesterol. Food and sex are the main natural causes of aggression. However, since aggression increases the risk of injury, aggression control is equally crucial. Therefore chronic satiety in the form of fat should induce aggression control. It is not surprising that the satiety hormone serotonin has a major role in aggression control. Further chronically elevated serotonin signalling in the hypothalamus induces peripheral insulin resistance. Meta-analysis shows that most of the anti-aggression signal molecules are pro-obesity and pro-insulin-resistance. Physical aggression is known to increase secretion of epidermal growth factor (EGF) in anticipation of injuries and EGF is important in pancreatic beta cell regeneration too. In anticipation of injuries aggression related hormones also facilitate angiogenesis and angiogenesis dysfunction is the root cause of a number of co-morbidities of insulin resistance syndrome. Reduced injury proneness typical of 'diplomat' life style would also reorient the immune system resulting into delayed wound healing on the one hand and increased systemic inflammation on the other. Diabetes is negatively associated with physically aggressive behaviour. We hypothesize that suppression of physical aggression is the major behavioural cue for the development of metabolic syndrome. Preliminary trials of behavioural intervention indicate that games and exercises involving physical aggression reduce systemic inflammation and improve glycemic control. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Karve S.,Indian Institute of Science | Shurpali K.,CSIR - National Chemical Laboratory | Dahanukar N.,Indian Institute of Science | Paranjape S.,University of Pune | And 4 more authors.
Current Science | Year: 2011

The food reward centres in the brain play a central role in the regulation of food intake and thereby obesity. In the modern lifestyle, a number of artificial rewards such as money have been introduced and brain areas evolved for handling food rewards appear to be exapted to handle money and other rewards. This implies that the changing behaviour related to these rewards could influence obesity. Considering money as a reward, we conducted a survey of 211 full-time cashiers to test whether ownership over cash, amount of cash handled and duration of cash-handling work correlated with obesity parameters. Body mass index was significantly affected by sex, ownership, amount of money handled and duration of cash-handling service. Waist-to-hip ratio was significantly affected by sex, amount of money handled and marginally by ownership. The results are compatible with the exaptation hypothesis. It is possible that increasing importance of non-food rewards may play a significant role in the obesity epidemic. Source


Watve M.G.,Indian Institute of Science | Watve M.G.,Anujeeva Biosciences Pvt. Ltd. | Damle A.,Anujeeva Biosciences Pvt. Ltd. | Ganguly B.,North Dakota State University | And 2 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2011

Background: The human mating system is characterized by bi-parental care and faithful monogamy is highly valued in most cultures. Marriage has evolved as a social institution and punishment for extra pair mating (EPM) or adultery is common. However, similar to other species with bi-parental care, both males and females frequently indulge in EPM in secrecy since it confers certain gender specific genetic benefits. Stability of faithful monogamy is therefore a conundrum. We model human mating system using game theory framework to study the effects of factors that can stabilize or destabilize faithful committed monogamy. Results: Although mate guarding can partly protect the genetic interests, we show that it does not ensure monogamy. Social policing enabled by gossiping is another line of defense against adultery unique to humans. However, social policing has a small but positive cost to an individual and therefore is prone to free riding. We suggest that since exposure of adultery can invite severe punishment, the policing individuals can blackmail opportunistically whenever the circumstances permit. If the maximum probabilistic benefit of blackmailing is greater than the cost of policing, policing becomes a non-altruistic act and stabilizes in the society. We show that this dynamics leads to the coexistence of different strategies in oscillations, with obligate monogamy maintained at a high level. Deletion of blackmailing benefit from the model leads to the complete disappearance of obligate monogamy. Conclusions: Obligate monogamy can be maintained in the population in spite of the advantages of EPM. Blackmailing, which makes policing a non-altruistic act, is crucial for the maintenance of faithful monogamy. Although biparental care, EPM, mate guarding and punishment are shared by many species, gossiping and blackmailing make the human mating system unique. © 2011 Watve et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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