Unwanted biochemistry that would benefit us?

In summary: The question is asking about biochemical processes that are coded for in the genes, but if they run in the body without being noticed, they would actually be beneficial. There are a few examples of this, including vitamin C synthesis and the ability to metabolize lactose past infancy.
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icakeov
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Is there any examples of a biochemical process (and of course, the compounds associated with it) that a body‘s genetics would code for destruction of, but if it were to run in the body unnoticed, it would actually improve the body?

Hope this question is clear enough, and that I am not missing some obvious answer.
Feedback much appreciated
 
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Do you mean, is there something that biochemically could happen in the body (and be useful and good for the body), but does not, due to the organisms specific genetics?

  • mutations could happen in certain individuals that block a useful pathway
  • populations of people could lose a genetically encoded ability in an environment where it was not needed and then move to a place where it would be useful
Selection will drive populations to better adapted situations depending on things like how good or bad is an option versus its alternatives, and the population size of the breeding population.
There is a region where selection will not have an effect and drift and other things can affect things.
 
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  • #3
icakeov said:
Is there any examples of a biochemical process (and of course, the compounds associated with it) that a body‘s genetics would code for destruction of, but if it were to run in the body unnoticed, it would actually improve the body?

Hope this question is clear enough, and that I am not missing some obvious answer.
Feedback much appreciated
You have phrased the question in a slightly confusing way. If there is biochemistry going on that benefits us then by definition it is not unwanted.
There are examples of biochemistry in our past the could be beneficial now.
Vit C synthesis for instance, the remnants of the genes are still there.
If we do not need to invest as an essential vitamin then that is one less thing we need to acquire.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145266/

The opposite way round is the ability to metabolise lactose past infancy.
A valuable resource now we have mastered ways of acquiring it but the ability to metabolise it happened around 10,000 years ago and not everyone today has that ability.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac...lutionary history,a consistent source of milk.
 
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  • #5
I think you are asking: are there any biochemical "endpoint products" that usually are down-regulated or destoyed at the get-go, but if they are up-regulated instead they really are beneficial?

I do not know to determine 'not wanted'. Hormones are down regulated over time, from NIH:

What is down-regulation in hormones?

When the number of receptors decreases in response to rising hormone levels, called down-regulation, cellular activity is reduced. Receptor binding alters cellular activity and results in an increase or decrease in normal body processes. Jun 16, 2020

8.3: How Hormones Work - Biology LibreTexts"​


I do not know of one like you specified exactly: destroyed before it gets used. Generally biochemical dead ends like this are often selected against in a population. However consider a hormone like adrenaline: It accelerates heart rates and rapidly makes a lot of other changes. Then is down regulated. Close enough?

There are also hormone agonists that moderate hormone effects. I chose hormones because everyone knows what they are. There are examples up and down regulation in lots of other areas - immunogenesis, meiosis, DNA transcription... for example.
 
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Some hormanoes go to high levels to trigger metamorphoses.
  • Thyroid hormones in vertebrates (frogs).
  • Several hormones in insects (some insecticides block them).
 

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