Amazing Design in the Chemistry of Pregnancy
by Brian Thomas, M.S. *The onset of pregnancy presents an apparent contradiction. Ovulating and initially pregnant mothers experience an increase in progesterone. On the one hand, this hormone signals the immune system to back down and lay low. That's critical, because otherwise her body would fight and kill sperm cells as though they were unwelcome invaders, and she would never become pregnant.
But on the other hand, progesterone reduces cholesterol levels in her body. Too much progesterone would doom a developing baby, who requires cholesterol. Why would one action both promote and prevent a single outcome? Two University of California evolutionary biologists believe they have decoded the answer.
Publishing in the June 2013 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, the authors first noted that many infections, caused by both viruses and bacteria, either depend on or are enhanced by cholesterol-containing "lipid rafts" embedded on cell membranes.1 The invaders link to the lipids, using them as doors to access and infect cells, causing disease.
Normally, a woman's immune system provides plenty of protection from such potential pathogens, ...
* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on August 12, 2013.