The human present

This page focuses on the big picture of human health and well-being and builds on the foundation of Stephen Boyden's 1973 paper.

The page is under development, but we feel it already has enough material to be useful through its thought-provoking content.

When you get down through the health of the organism to the health of the cell's metabolism [1], you find that there are many influences, most of them interacting - some counter-acting the others. Diet is just one of these environmental influences (and remember to include in diet the effects of any 'supplements', pharmaceuticals, water quality), but there are others that may be equally as significant for overall health:

[1] the intensity, frequency and comprehensiveness of physical activity

[2] adequate restful, rejuvenating sleep

[3] mental stress levels and our ratio of stressors to meliors - the quality of our relationships to other people is also important in this respect

[4] air quality - outdoor air in temperate rainforest environments contains bacteria, fungal spores and volatile organic compounds most conducive to human health - and its health-promoting effects are possibly the most neglected in our increasingly prosthetic world

[5] existing illnesses/conditions/predispositions/genetic inheritance and our sex and age

[6] exposure to pollution of all kinds, including our exposure to plastics, esp phthalates, electromagnetic radiation and synthetic clothing/furnishings/building materials.

Google "allergic to the twentieth century" for more about this, but retain a critical perspective, wary of over-simplification.

Each of these may have direct effects or epigenetic effects. You may prefer to dismiss some of them and the extent of their impact will vary between individuals. Each of them have been shown to be critical for some people. Isn't being a good Homo sapiens fun :-)


1. 'Body by Science' by Doug McGuff gives clear, useful accounts of cell metabolism and epigenetics

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Page added 30 May 2009