Survival of the Sickest: The Surprising Connections Between Disease and Longevity [Sharon Moalem, Jonathan Prince]

Survival of the Sickest: A Medical Maverick Discovers the Surprising Connections Between Disease and Longevity - Sharon Moalem, Jonathan Prince

This book doesn't really live up to it's promise. It's very interesting, but I felt like the author kept getting sidetracked by other, related, things to the main theme. The audio book was kind of annoying because it had parts with music in it and it really confused me. That's the main reason this book is getting 3 stars instead of 4 or 5.

This book starts with a story about the author's grandfather, who loved giving blood. The author goes on to explain that her grandfather had hemochromatosis, which causes iron to build up in the body. Having hemochromatosis made her grandfather love giving blood. The author then goes on to explain that hemochromatosis is useful, evolutionary speaking because those people with it have iron locking going on all the time within their bodies. This means that various bacteria that need iron, and use it to enter our bodies will have a harder time infecting us with anything. The example used in the bubonic plague, which spared people with low iron (women, children and the elderly for various reasons tend to have low iron). Hemochromatosis also suggests that the practice of blood letting might have really helped in some cases. (That's chapter one in a nutshell!)

Chapter 2 focuses on diabetes.