Tag Archives: circadian rhythm

Cracking into the Food-Entrainable Oscillator (FEO)

Scheduled meals and scheduled palatable snacks synchronize circadian rhythms: consequences for ingestive behavior (Escobar et al, 2011)
Big hat tip to Robb Wolf for bringing this to my attention. If you’ve been following my more circadian-related stuff, I’ve done a lot of tip-toe’ing around the FEO (food-entrainable oscillator). Tl;dr: sunlight entrains the master clock in the SCN via well-known mechanisms; food entrains peripheral clocks (riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma). 
Ideally, to ensure co-entrainment of the central and peripheral clocks, breakfast and sunshine in the morning, around sunrise.
We know bad things happen when you do the opposite and why you Shouldn’t. Do. OMAD (one-meal-a-day).
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If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

 

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE.

 

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else.

 

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Chronobiological theories of mood disorders

Another comprehensive review article: Chronobiological theories of mood disorders (Zaki et al., 2017)

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Here is my summary and opinions about it.

Tl;dr: the authors cautiously explored the bidirectional and/or causal effect of sleep & circadian disorders vs. mood disorders. I appreciated their caution but a lot of the evidence presented suggested circadian arrhythmia as a causal agent.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) don’t address underlying circadian and seasonal rhythm dysfunctions, so patients are usually prescribed these meds indefinitely.

In the future, they see light therapy and melatonin receptor agonists as better treatments. I’d say an outdoor walk sunlight exposure after breakfast in the morning, blue blockers or nix artificial light at night, and instead of melatonin agonists, consider serine.

“The master clock controlling chronophysiological rhythms of theand body organs is located in the SCN…” VIP and AVP are abundant in the SCN! I knew it! LOL

“Humans’ endogenous rhythmic activity has a period slightly longer than 24 hours, hence, it needs daily entrainment to 24 hours with zeitgebers.”

Translation: SUNLIGHT AND BREAKFAST IN THE MORNING

Evidence favoring circadian and sleep disorders as causal agents in mood disorders:

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Also, I’m open to suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly at drlagakos@gmail.com.

UPDATED Affiliate links: still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers? Carbonshade  is offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HERE.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else

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It STARTS with Sleep

In Nedeltcheva’s notorious weight loss study, those assigned to shorter sleep duration (5.5 hours) lost more muscle and less fat mass than those assigned to adequate sleep duration (8.5 hours). Same diet + same calories + circadian arrhythmia = no bueno.

*I’d say 8.5 hours can be called in this context. I like saying, seasonally, 8-9.5 hours of darkness, most of which should be spent sleeping. Others say 7-9 hours is adequate and <7 is inadequate. I agree with that, too*

Similar outcomes are seen in any number of sleep restriction studies. Figuratively, everything goes down the toilet. But that’s only half of the story.

There are a couple randomized intervention studies on intentional sleep extension and the results are very cool.

 

 

The effects of extended bedtimes on sleep duration and food desire in overweight young adults: a home-based intervention (Tasali et al., 2014)

They recruited habitual under-sleepers (<6.5 hours), recorded their sleep behaviors for a week, then gave them individualized behavioral counseling on sleep hygiene with the goal of extending their sleep duration to 8.5 hours. It worked: they were less sleepy, felt more vigorous, and spontaneously ate less sugar and fewer calories. Had the intervention lasted longer than 2 weeks, we would’ve seen body comp improvements as per Nedeltcheva’s study results. IT STARTS WITH SLEEP.

Beneficial impact of sleep extension on fasting insulin sensitivity in adults with habitual sleep restriction (Leproult et al., 2015)

Similar set-up as above: 2 weeks initial monitoring, then 6 weeks where they slept about an hour longer. It worked. Total sleep time positively correlated with indices of insulin sensitivity.

Feasibility and emotional impact of experimentally extending sleep in short-sleeping adolescents (van Dyk et al., 2017)

Kids who normally slept 5-7 hours a night increased that by ~70 minutes for 5 weeks. It worked: reduced symptoms of sleepiness, anger, and confusion! Seriously?

Seriously.

Most of these studies basically just told the participants to go to bed earlier (in evening chronotypes) or sleep a little later (in morning chronotypes). It was individualized and not pharmacological. That means you can do it.

Check it: Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: a randomized control trial (Schecter et al., 2018) CROSSOVER STUDY. Tl;dr: it worked. Blue blockers, FTW.

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UPDATED Affiliate links: still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers? Carbonshade  is offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HERE.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE.

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else.

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Start paying attention to REV-ERB alpha

Hey team, remember when I was making wild predictions about REV-ERB alpha?

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“Food for thought: an endogenous ligand of Rev-erb is heme (the iron-binding element in red blood cells). Heme is degraded into bilirubin.  Elevated levels of bilirubin cause jaundice. A treatment of neonatal jaundice is exposure to blue light. Blue light is a major regulator of circadian rhythms and Rev-erb is an executive-level player in this game. The primary mechanisms of blue light appear unrelated in these two models (melanopsin activation vs. bilirubin photoisomerization), but seem intertwined, because heme activates Rev-erb.  Cool.” (From HERE)

and statements:

“Pharmaceutical-grade circadian augmentation = unwittingly better-timed meals? Improved body composition? …they were eating more and moving less. … One possible mechanistic explanation comes from mice lacking Rev-erb in skeletal muscle (Woldt et al., 2013). Mitochondrial biogenesis was impaired and exercise tolerance was reduced in these mice. Spontaneous physical activity was lower; thus, it stands to reason that Rev-erb agonism may improve skeletal muscle mitochondrial function. This isn’t entirely consistent with the drug study, but pretty close.” (From HERE)

 

REV-ERB is really really good for skeletal muscle.

Beta-hydroxybutyrate inhibits activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome.

 

 

Well, so does REV-ERB alpha! In a new study, knocking down REV-ERB alpha jacked up NLRP3 and pharmacologically enhancing it attenuated NLRP3 (Pourcet et al., 2017). The consequence of this in REV-ERB KO mice injected with LPS was hyper-inflation. No bueno. Mice given the commercially-available REV-ERB alpha agonist “Stenabolic” were protected.

I’m geeking out about REV-ERB alpha & SR9009. And fwiw, I don’t think anything will actually fully replace the benefits from actual physical activity and/or exercise, although it’s very hard for some people; eg, COPD, CHD, etc. In those populations, if they can’t exercise enough to really improve their condition, something like this might help. But I’m sure perfectly healthy people are going to try it. If you do, let us know in the comments!

For more about this fascinating research and how it can work for you (or if you just like what I do and want to support it), head over to Patreon! Five bucks a month gets you full access and there are many other options.

It’s ad-free and you can quit if it sucks 🙂

Also, I’m open to suggestions, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me directly at drlagakos@gmail.com.

UPDATED Affiliate links: still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers? Carbonshade  is offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HERE.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else

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Regulation of Circadian Behavior and Metabolism by Synthetic Rev-erb Agonists (Solt et al., 2013)

Rev-erb alpha modulates skeletal muscle oxidative capacity by regulating mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy (Woldt et al., 2013)

SERcadian Rhythms

Seriphos

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Need vs. Optimization: Omnivores & Carnivores.

Humans are omnivores but does that mean we need to eat plants AND animals?

To address this, we first need to ask 2 questions:
1) need for what?
2) need vs. optimization?

STORY TIME

Scientists were determining the amino acid requirements of cats by feeding them semi-synthetic diets with various levels of each amino acid, one at a time. Tedious. A lot of cats x a lot of amino acids x a lot of levels of each amino acid = a lot of work. What made it even more difficult (and equally more interesting) was that they didn’t know what they were looking for — this was long before we knew what we know now about biology.

Tyrosine

Funny thing, when they got to tyrosine: below a certain level and their black cats started turning red! At an even lower level, certain neuroloogical abnormalities set in. So, how much tyrosine do cats need? Enough to maintain their beautiful black coats? I think we can all agree that the level which induced neurological abnormalities was too low. What about fur color?

 

What if female cats prefer males with beautiful black coats? So the males have a better chance at reproducing if their diet is at the higher level of tyrosine. I’d say fur color is pretty important in this #context! [how ya like ‘dem apples]

Need vs. Optimization

Note: this occurred over the course of weeks-to-months, not hours-to-days.

Note (2): unlike humans, cats are obligate carnivores. Real, actual, carnivores.

 

 

Arginine

Below a certain level of arginine and the cats looked dizzy, wobbled around, and some of them died.

Not weeks-to-months. Hours-to-days. This is what it’s like to be a carnivore. They NEED to eat meat or die rapidly (this is one of the few examples of an acute nutritional deficiency causing severe toxicity in the entire animal kingdom).

Cats have an inability to downregulate protein degradation and need arginine to dispose of the nitrogens via urea cycle. Humans just reduce burning proteins when protein intake is low.

 

 

Part 2Lobsters are omnivores and arginine is weird.

Lobster tail is rich in arginine (this might be what gives it a bit of a sweet-like flavor). If lobsters are fed an arginine-deficient diet, they go cannibal and eat other lobsters’ tails!

What does this say about lobster arginine requirements?

Need vs. optimization: they’re perfectly healthy, but is preventing cannibalism a “need?”

. .  .   .     .        .             .                     .

 

 

So, I ask again: Humans are omnivores but does that mean we need to eat plants and animals?

One retrospective study showed stroke victims who had consumed blueberries the day before showed significantly less cognitive decline post-stroke than those who hadn’t. Blueberries. Not green tea, blackberries, or dark chocolate. Blueberries. Do humans need to eat blueberries?

What if this was confirmed in a double-blind RCT? Is preventing post-stroke cognitive decline a need or an optimization?

Which is more important to you?

I didn’t have it in me to put this behind a paywall because while I think the answer is getting simpler & simpler (eg, SunlightHunger-Free Diet[s] and DietFitshot Blue-Blockers, etc.), fad diets are getting weirder & weirder. Just eat like an adult.

If you like my style and would like to see my paywalled stuff (or if you just want to show some support) head over to Patreon! Full access for a five bucks a month and there are many other options. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

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Still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers? Carbonshade and TrueDark are offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HEREIf you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else

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Poor sleep, “dietary disinhibition,” and weight gain

“Dietary disinhibition”

In school, the concept was taught like this: recruit a bunch of people and tell them it’s for a cookie taste-testing project. Give them a form with a bunch of questions about cookie quality (taste, texture, sweetness, etc.) and a plate of cookies.

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SWITCHAROO!

They aren’t there for a cookie taste-test. It turns out that some people experience “dietary disinhibition” wherein if they eat one cookie, they think something like “well, I’ve blown my diet for the day, so might as well just eat the whole plate of cookies” (actually, I’m pretty sure it’s way more complicated than that, but I learned it in a nutrition class, not a psychology class).

It’s not a lot of people — most would just take a bite and fill out the questionnaire — but it’s been replicated in enough settings that it’s probably a real phenomenon.

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Brain health: more easy steps

When describing the length of one of his students’ fingers, the great classical guitarist Andres Segovia said “she has more long fingers than anyone else” — he meant longer fingers… English wasn’t his strong suit haha

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Maximize sunlight exposure, minimize artificial light (or at least get some hot blue blockers). Get at least some physical activity. Those are the basics. Moving on…

Tl;dr: Beef heart, calf liver, and maybe some supps 🙂

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 isn’t approved for the treatment of anything, but hear me out.

We have about a gram of CoQ10 in our entire body, concentrated in the mitochondria of highly oxidative tissues (Saini, 2011). It is found at around 60-110 ug/g in heart (eg, Ercan and El, 2011Aberg et al., 1992).

 

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Sunlight is anti-cancer: get some

Some important points: there is a lot of evidence that low melatonin mediates the carcinogenic effects of circadian arrhythmia. One of the classical observations was that melatonin-depleted blood from women exposed to bright light promoted tumor growth in a model of human breast cancer and rat liver cancer (Blask et al., 2005). This is also the study that elucidated one possible mechanism: tumors take-up the n6-fatty acid linoleic acid and convert it to 13-HODE, which drives proliferation. Melatonin inhibits this (and more).

Free full article on Patreon!

 

 

There are also data in both humans and rodents that bright light exposure during the day protects nighttime melatonin secretion against artificial light-induced suppression (eg, Kozaki et al., 2016).

 

This was confirmed by showing bright daytime light exposure protected sleep quality in people exposed to artificial light at night (Rangtell et al., 2016).

FYI Rodents exposed to light at night are screwed (Blask et al., 2014):

 

 

 

So, daytime light preserves & protects nighttime melatonin secretion. Melatonin-replete blood inhibits tumor growth. And to connect all the dots: daytime light exposure inhibits tumor growth in some pre-clinical models cancer (eg, Dauchy et al., 2015).

 

And for all you Walburgers, melatonin inhibits aerobic glycolysis in tumors  (eg, Hevia et al., 2017 AND Mao et al., 2016)!

This isn’t a free pass for you to use artificial light at night. Ideally, you should use no artificial light at night. Or dim red ones. Or at least rock some hot blue blockers.

Nocturnal light pollution and underexposure to daytime sunlight: complementary mechanisms of circadian disruption and related diseases (Smolensky et al., 2015)

Doxorubicin resistance in breast cancer is driven by light at night-induced disruption of the circadian melatonin signal (Xiang et al., 2015) (same for tamoxifen [Dauchy et al., 2014])

 

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Affiliate discounts: if you’re still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers, Carbonshade is offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HERETrueDark is running a pretty big sale HEREIf you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like eating them, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else.

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As if we needed another study about breakfast. Or 4.

Exhibit A. Participants were given ~30 grams of whey, casein, or carbs 30 minutes before bed (Kinsey et al., 2014). [side note: the closer it is to bedtime, the less food is needed to mess up your rhythms. Worded another way, if you’re gonna have a big dinner, the earlier the better]. The following morning, you guessed it, they weren’t hungry for breakfast. And they had higher insulin levels. FFS. Worded another way, light early dinner -> lower insulin and more hungry for breakfast, in the morning.

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Dopamine and breakfast.

Light and food in the morning.

Metabolism is gimped at night.

Exhibit B1. Expecting mothers: “Across the whole cohort, night-time, but not day-time, carbohydrate intake was positively associated with glucose concentrations after the glucose load and inversely associated with early phase insulin secretion (P < 0.05)” (Chandler-Laney et al., 2016).

 

 

Evening is not the best time to carb… but it’s not just carbs… and it affects infants, too.

Affiliate discounts: if you’re still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers, Carbonshade  is offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HERE. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like the taste, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS.

For full access to all articles and more (or if you just like what I do and want to support it), head over to Patreon! It’s only three bucks a month and there are many other options. It’s ad-free and you and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

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Sunlight, Meal Timing, and Circadian Rhythms.

we’re talking some serious epigenetics

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SERcadian Rhythms

The amino acid L-serine may be the next melatonin. A new study showed administration of 3 grams ~30 minutes before bedtime advanced melatonin onset dramatically, almost instantly. It didn’t increase the concentration of melatonin, just onset (Yasuo et al., 2017). For a higher concentration, you’d need AM sunlight and PM blue blockers or actual mel supps (preferably the former) (eg, Burke et al., 2013).

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Important and interesting caveat in the L-serine story: it only worked if the participants received bright light in the morning.

 

In the figure below, “day 1” is no AM light and “day 2” is yes AM light. In both the L-serine and placebo groups, there is a phase advance on day 2 because of the AM light treatment. The advance is markedly greater when the participants received 3 grams of L-serine:

 

Using rodent models (which mimicked the human effect almost exactly), GABA-A receptors were implicated.

Interesting for a couple reasons.

 

 

GABAnergic agents like benzo’s and alcohol don’t really put you to sleep; they knock you out, which isn’t proper sleep. This suggests a non-circadian effect of L-serine; however: 1) GABA-A prevents light-induced SCN activation; and 2) serine advanced melatonin onset (specifically only when combined with light in the morning).

Anyone gonna try L-serine?

To learn more about this fascinating discovery or if you just like what I do and want to support it, head over to Patreon! Five bucks a month for full access to all articles and there are many other options. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

Also, I’m open to suggestions so feel free to leave a comment or email me directly at drlagakos@gmail.com.

Affiliate discounts: if you’re still looking for a pair of hot blue blockers, Carbonshade is offering 15% off with the coupon code LAGAKOS and Spectra479 is offering 15% off HERE. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this then this.

20% off some delish stocks and broths from Kettle and Fire HERE

If you want the benefits of  ‘shrooms but don’t like the taste, Real Mushrooms makes great extracts. 10% off with coupon code LAGAKOS. I recommend Lion’s Mane for the brain and Reishi for everything else.

 

 

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Two important blog posts which may hint at how this happened: LIGHT timing for circadian entrainment and Melatonin sensitizes the system.

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