Fasting, circadian rhythms, and time-restricted feeding in healthy lifespan

This review by Longo & Panda was ‘fair,’ and by now you know my take on intermittent fasting (IF) vs. caloric restriction (CR).

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If you don’t, Tl;dr: since forever, all the studies on IF showed no benefits over regular CR. That tune changed when they switched from testing IF skipping breakfast to IF early dinner (eTRF), although the latter has only been explored in a few #contexts. eTRF seems to be an actually beneficial use of IF (over CR). Eg, insulin sensitivity & satiety improve with or without weight loss.

ALL. THE. FIGURES.


Indisputable fact: the 24-hour light/dark cycle has been around way longer than humans; our circadian rhythms are based on this and it’s more essential for life than nearly anything else.

For example, humans have survived on a wide variety of diets around the globe over time. We can eat almost any diet and as long as it’s not too much, you’re fine. You can even go without ANY food for pretty long (months) and still be OK. Try not sleeping for a couple weeks.

You Die. Literally. Game over. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

See also: Scott Kelly’s health after spending a year in space (adequate food & sleep but lacking Earth-appropriate circadian cues)

Drs. Longo & Panda are relatively biased toward IF, although this review was fair imo (with some unfair points, eg, stating IF is the opposite from grazing 6+ meals per day when there are obvious in-betweens, like 3 square meals with no snacking, especially when combined with an early dinner & front-loading calories like 50/30/20 or 33/33/33 eTRF).

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Frequent sunbed users experience opioid-like effects from tanning sessions

One of the wildest studies you’ll read about this week.

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They took 14 frequent sunbed users and exposed them to either a regular tanning bed or one with no UV rays on Monday, the other one on Wednesday, then let them choose on Friday. For 6 weeks.

They didn’t know which bed had UV. 12 of the 14 opted in for a tanning session on Friday. 95% of them spontaneously chose the bed with UV.

NINETY. FIVE. PERCENT.


And they had no idea what the study was about. There was no clever trick. It was positive reinforcement from the rewarding effects of a crack-like level of UV exposure.

The follow-up experiments were equally enlightening.

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Swapping carbier processed foods for fattier ones has little effect. Duh.

Effects of macronutrient distribution on weight and related cardiometabolic profile in healthy non-obese Chinese: a 6-month, randomized controlled-feeding trial (Wan et al., 2017)

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Study design was STRONG although the intervention was on the weak side. They provided ALL the food for SIX months for over TWO HUNDRED participants although the differences between the diets were small.

If nothing else, this study was very expensive.

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Nrf2, what can’t you do

I’m a fan of nutrients. Antioxidants/detoxicants are cool, although I’d rather my body make them in the exact quantity and location they’re needed.

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That’s what Nrf2 does splendidly.

As a quick reminder: glucosinolates present in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc., are separated from the enzyme myrosinase on a cellular level. If you cook them in this condition, without crushing them a bit (like you do with the side of your knife to a clove of garlic), the myrosinase is destroyed by heat before it gets the chance to convert glucosinolates to sulforaphane & isothiocyanates.

No Nrf2 for you.

don’t rush your crucifers, crush your crucifers! #Nrf2


Who would buy this?



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Study: a keto diet improves pound-for-pound physical performance in weight lifting athletes

A low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet reduces body weight without compromising performance in powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting athletes (Greene et al., 2018)

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This was a tricky one. Many relevant moving parts.

They were experienced lifters so we can trust they knew what they were doing in the gym, and any improvements would be due to diet as opposed to n00b gainz.




On the flipside, this was a THREE MONTH crossover which really levels the playing field wrt confounding variables.

Carbs were <50 grams or <10% per day, which by virtually any definition is very low carb/ketogenic for these young highly active individuals. They were instructed to maintain their normal protein and calorie intake, which in reflection may have been a flaw in the study design…

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Effects of ketone bodies on endurance exercise

or “a misunderstanding of ketoadaptation proper (Sansone et al., 2018).”

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This was a good review article, although imho the authors had a clear bias. It stuck out to me because it is the opposite of my bias lol

One of the characteristics of ketoadaptation is the ability to perform equally high intensity exercise at a lower RQ indicating the reliance on more fat oxidation. This can be assessed by measuring maximal fat oxidation rates, which can reach 1.5 g/min during high intensity physical activity.

This review seems to promote a high carb diet during training, then supplementing ketone esters on game day to boost performance… but also talks of ketoadaptation and maximizing fat oxidation rates… those two things are _kinda_ mutually exclusive…

The old school dogma is that carbs/glycolysis fuel high intensity exercise whereas more fat is used for endurance exercise. That’s still pretty true, unless you factor in nutritional ketosis / ketoadaptation proper.

On the flipside, this article is full of cool tidbits about ketones and facts about exercise economy. For my take on that and more, head over to Patreon! Five bucks a month for full access and there are many other options.

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Anticatabolic effects of ketone bodies in skeletal muscle

or, the protein-sparing effects of fat-derived fuels (Koutnik et al., 2018)

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It was originally coined “the glucose-sparing effect,” but the whole point of sparing glucose in this context is sparing amino acids & protein. Because during starvation, if you kept up the rate of protein degradation to meet glucose needs via amino acid-gluconeogenesis you wouldn’t last very long. Not just skeletal muscle protein, but heart muscle, diaphragm, organs, etc.

This nice review highlights some of the new findings about the signalling effects of ketones but the title has led some to think the muscle-sparing properties of ketones during starvation carry over to making muscle hypertrophy gainz in the #context of nutritional ketosis. Here’s what’s up.


Truth is, most studies on nutritional ketosis show it’s great for fat loss, but not so great for the retention of fat-free mass. On the other hand, resistance exercise and increased dietary protein help with the latter. Those two things don’t need to be mutually exclusive…

For the rest of this article and more, head over to Patreon! Five bucks a month for full access and there are many other options. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

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Lion’s Mane

I’m not taking crazy pills!

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Dump various extracts of this stuff on brain cells and they grow.

That’s a good sign.

The influence of Lion’s Mane on myelination in vitro (Kolotushkina et al., 2003)

and

Herecinones and erinacines: stimulators of nerve growth factor in Lion’s Mane (Ma et al., 2009)

and there are any number of animal studies, but we really care about what it can do for us; like, what could we expect from taking this stuff?

We have a couple human studies… but for a that, head over to Patreon!

For personalized health consulting services: drlagakos@gmail.com.

Affiliate linksKetoLogic for keto-friendly shakes, creamers, snacks, etc. And get 15% off your ketone measuring supplies HERE.

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The neuroscience and drives for food, water, and salt

“Well-being requires the maintenance of energy stores, water, and sodium within permissive zones” (Lowell, 2019).

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Nice new review out that covers up-to-date many of the concepts around ad lib appetite. Talks a lot about specific neurons, and we have a LOT of neurons, like a trillion or something.

“Energy is so critical for survival that the body maintains backup fat stores in the event that food becomes unavailable.” Duh. Leptin leptin leptin leptin

Leptin tells your brain when fat stores are low, triggering hunger. Leptin resistance is confusing from an experimental design point of view, but is likely important. It is thought to function assymetrically, wherein low leptin strongly promotes hunger whereas high leptin only modestly promotes satiety. Check out Wiley’s book on this.

Fat + salt + starch = french fries. Easily overeaten.

Fat + salt + sugar = icing. Easily overeaten.

Why?

More players include POMC, a-MSH, AgRP, and GABA, but for thathead over to Patreon! Five bucks a month for access to all articles. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

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This study on intermittent fasting wasn’t bad!

Effects of Intermittent Versus Continuous Energy Intakes on Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Risk in Women with Overweight (Hutchison et al., 2019)

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8 weeks, 70% calorie restriction via continuous energy restriction vs. 70% calorie restriction via intermittent fasting (skipping dinner on 3 non-consecutive days per week) vs. no calorie restriction but still intermittent fasting vs. control. A+ setup so far.

  1. Skipping dinner: don’t freak out. Some people are totally OK with 24-hour fasts but freak out at the idea of skipping dinner. That’s weird (P<0.05).
  2. As with most weight loss studies, some people are going to report being hungry every once in a while. Hopefully not too much, or else it deteriorates adherence. This wasn’t a problem in this study, however, because all food was provided and it was only 8 weeks.

We’ll review the hunger data next (data from weeks 1 & 6), but for now, let’s break down the above figure.

For the rest of this article and more, head over to Patreon! Five bucks a month for access to all articles. It’s ad-free and you can cancel if it sucks 🙂

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