Tag Archives: circadian

Scientifically, high protein breakfast FTW

It wasn’t even *that* high in protein (30g) but relative to skipping breakfast, everything got better (Gwin and Leidy, 2018).

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At 7 days, this study was longer than some but shorter than others. Breakfast was provided by the researchers. Participants were on their own for lunch and dinner. Ad lib, although 7 days isn’t really long enough to influence body weight and this wasn’t even a goal of the researchers. Their goals were hunger, satiety, fullness, and sleep quality.

RANDOMIZED CROSSOVER. BOOM.

 

 

Small sample size (n = 13), although based on previous findings & expected effect sizes, they needed 12 participants for an 80% chance of detecting a statistically significant difference if one truly existed. Bigger sample sizes are usually better, but when those resources can be better spent elsewhere, researchers use these power calculations to determine the fewest participants required…

moving on

On day 7, they assessed some brain stuff before lunch and then sent them home with party boxes loaded with an assortment of pre-weighed foods & snacks. The participants were instructed to eat as much of whatever they wanted, ad lib, and return the boxes the following day.

The brain stuff:

Just like #eTRF

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calories proper

 

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Dark Skies and Light Pollution

The mission of the International Dark-Sky Association is “to preserve and protect the night time environment and our heritage of dark skies through quality outdoor lighting.”  They’re all about stressing the importance of lighting on health, light pollution, and some really interesting stuff.

For more on the topic, check out their website, darksky.org, and Paul Bogard’s book, The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light.

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Paleo breeding: mating in the wild.

I’ve adapted much of this chart from Howell-Skalla (2002)  and Tsubota (1998).

Canadian polar bears: bona fide seasonal breeders.circannual hormones

The light cycle increases until June, then decreases until December.  Melatonin goes in the exact opposite direction. Testosterone peaks around the onset of breeding season (springtime, April/May), coinciding with LH (as expected). There is also a lot of bear-on-bear violence at this time due to: 1) testosterone-induced aggression; and 2) the high female:male ratio –-> females rear their cubs and are thus out of the game for about 3 years, but males like to breed every year.

Females followed a similar pattern, with estrogen peaking around breeding season and prolactin following the light cycle.

The authors mentioned that prolactin levels mirrored day length, and according to Wiley this would be the prolactin peak that normally occurs when you’re sleeping, but has spilled over into the daytime due to short sleep / long light cycle… not total prolactin levels (24h AUC?), which should be highest in winter (see below).

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The incredible camping experiment, circadian proper

Entrainment of the Human Circadian Clock to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle (Wright et al., 2013)

Abstract (edited): The electric light is one of the most important human inventions. Sleep and other daily rhythms in physiology and behavior, however, evolved in the natural light-dark cycle, and electrical lighting is thought to have disrupted these rhythms. Yet how much the age of electrical lighting has altered the human circadian clock is unknown. Here we show that electrical lighting and the constructed environment is associated with reduced exposure to sunlight during the day, increased light exposure after sunset, and a delayed timing of the circadian clock as compared to a summer natural 14 hr 40 min:9 hr 20 min light-dark cycle camping. Furthermore, we find that after exposure to only natural light, the internal circadian clock synchronizes to solar time such that the beginning of the internal biological night occurs at sunset and the end of the internal biological night occurs before wake time just after sunrise

In other words, they compared circadian events during 2 weeks of normal life to 2 weeks of 100% camping.  And camping won.

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