Simple Way To Optimize Your Immunity

Evolution created effective mechanisms for the survival of our species, including our inner biological timing system (circadian rhythms) that generates restorative sleep and many natural defence mechanisms including the immunomodulatory effects of molecules like melatonin, sirtuins, glutathione and vitamin D.

Importance of Vitamin D

Especially the steroid hormone vitamin D has potent immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties which reduce the damaging effects of the cell stress response in case of infection, disease or injury.

Vitamin D is an ancient hormonal molecule, and it is photosynthesized in all forms of life, including phytoplankton, mammals and of course, humans. In humans, evolution has decided on the cholesterol-derived synthesis of vitamin D.

Since humans evolved for millions of years under the natural light frequencies of the sun we synthesize most vitamin D in the skin upon exposure to sunlight, which is then metabolized in the liver and kidney to the metabolically active form called 1α,25-dihydroxy vitamin D. The binding of vitamin D3 to the vitamin D receptor (VDR) through the body, regulates hundreds genes expression that involved in biological functions. 

Vitamin D Foods

You can obtain small amounts of vitamin D from foods including fatty fish, cod liver and mushrooms, but the primary source is a stepwise process that starts in your skin following exposure to ultraviolet light. Our natural light environment, especially during the summer months is essential for the delivery and storage of vitamin D.

Vitamin D Supplementation And Immunity

In the case of infection with COVID 19 or other viral diseases with no current curative treatment, vitamin D is essential for the functioning of the immune system, our body’s first line of defence.

In some preclinical studies, Vitamin D administration lowered the complication rate in patients infected with SARS CoV-1. The mechanisms behind this are still under investigation, but it seems that vitamin D reduces inflammation and cellular infiltration rate in the lungs via a complex mechanism related to the ACE2 receptor molecules, exactly where SARS CoV 1 and 2 enter and hijack the cell. 

ACE/ACE2 Ratio is not only critical for the prevention of complications (ARDS) in case of infectious disease but also vital for the bodies liquid homeostasis, cardiovascular health, protection of the lung tissue and kidneys.

 

Who Could Benefit The Most From a Supplementation?

That being said and knowing that vitamin D is a potent immune modifying micronutrient vulnerable adults, in particular, obese people, those over 70 years, people with comorbidities and those with dark skin colour could benefit during the COVID-19 outbreak from efficient supplementation protocols. 

 

However, the best way to fill up vitamin D storage is still the sun.

 

Many studies have shown that the body is most efficient at making vitamin D in the northern latitudes of our planet at noon during the summer months. For example, in the UK, 10-minutes of sunlight exposure around noon during summer three times per week is enough to maintain healthy levels among Caucasian adults. Another study found that 30- minutes of midday summer sun exposure in Oslo, Norway was equivalent to consuming 10,000–20,000 IU of vitamin D.

Vitamin D Deficiency And Health Issues

Unfortunately, indoor lifestyle and a circadian misalignment to natures time cues (Zeitgeber) profoundly interfere with a natural ability to protect ourselves from infectious diseases! It should be mentioned that vitamin D deficiency due to a life in an artificial environment is a global health issue that afflicts more than one billion children and adults worldwide.

The point here is that we are more and more alienated from a lifestyle we were evolved during millions of years which make us fragile and more susceptible to all kinds of health issues, including infectious diseases.

Vitamin D Levels And Respiratory Infections

Most research on vitamin D and respiratory infections are associations and dont show cause and effect. But considering evolutionary biology and comparing it to the modern lifestyle, they make a pretty strong case. Some randomized control studies even showed that increasing vitamin D levels can reduce respiratory infections by 50%. There can be no doubt that vitamin D is an effective immunomodulator in respiratory infections.

Please note that there’s no antidote that will keep us completely safe from any flue or COVID 19 and hygiene, social distancing and other measures are the only effective way protect ourselves and stop the spread of the disease.

 

However, there are small daily actions, that can help to optimize your immunity right now.

Solutions And Preventive Measures 

 

  1. Measure your vitamin D (25 OH vitamin D) levels regularly. Sweetspot: 75-100 nmol/ml (higher levels could have toxic side effects)
  2. Supplementation: 5000 UI/day is considered safe for healthy adults.
  3. Opt for time-restricted sunbathing during the summer months to store vitamin D.
  4. After supplementation (5000 UI/day) test your vitamin D levels after 8-12 weeks.

To ensure better absorption, it recommended combining vitamin D and K supplementation.

 

If you consider supplementation, check out one of my favourite choices :

 

  • Thorne Research - Vitamin D/K2 Liquid (Metered Dispenser) - Dietary Supplement with Vitamins D3 and K2 to Support Healthy Bones and Muscles - 1 fluid ounce (30 mL)

Stay healthy!

What Are Blue Light Blocking Glasses?

Light is not only the primary energy source for all living organisms on planet Earth, but it also represents the number one, time cue for the human circadian clock. With the digital revolution, artificial blue light invaded our homes and bedrooms, and we can not imagine our life without smartphones and TV.  

However, the late-night use of modern technologies, including Smartphones; plasma TV screens; computers; or tablets, have a detrimental effect on sleep and ultimately on general wellbeing. 

Effect Of Blue Light On Circadian Rhythm

The artificial blue light from screens and LED light sources can interfere with circadian rhythms and suppresses the release of the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin. Melatonin participates in the initiation of sleep and a deficiency can cause difficulties falling and staying asleep, and also reduces sleep quality. 

Blue Light Glasses Benefits

In the late afternoon and evening, we should avoid blue light as much as possible and get closer to the light spectrum of dusk and dim light conditions, which enhances melatonin secretion and promotes drowsiness.

Do Blue Light Blocking Glasses Work?

Wearing blue, light-blocking glasses and installing screen protecting blue light filter on all electronic devices helps to create artificial dim light conditions essential for melatonin synthesis. 

 

Consider using blue, light-blocking glasses after 6 pm and especially in the evening when watching television. Rather than opting for a cheap product, use trusted sources. 

How Can You Test Your Blue Light Filter?

I have bought several online, but almost all of them were not effective enough. If you are purchasing the glasses in a store, you can run a quick test to see how effective they are. Google blue, light-blocking test images and look at the image with and without the blue, light-blocking glasses. 

Basically, you need to compare two different colour spectra on the blue-light test image. If you can see the blue part between 400 and 480nm, the lenses are not good enough, and I would not recommend these glasses. Usually, better quality blue blockers are red-tinted. 

Blue Light Filter Glasses

The good news is that they don’t have to be ugly; there are various frames and designs on the market to satisfy everyone’s taste. Alternatively, customise the glasses which makes it more likely that you will wear them in the long term. There are also blue, light-blocking glasses, which partially filter blue light. These glasses are not tinted and are recommended for people who are working all day long in front of computer screens.

Inadequate Lighting In The Workplace

Illumination at work is often outside of our control and wearing customised glasses, which filter the harmful parts of the blue-light spectrum are often the only choice to improve our exposure to harmful light frequencies.

More informed individuals try to offset the circadian mismatch induced by artificial light in the evening with blue-light blocking glasses and screen protection applications to simulate sunset and gain better sleep. However, the majority of the population don’t realise the consequences of their behavioural patterns.

In my opinion, public health authorities and the entire medical institutions should educate the community about light pollution to encourage a healthier way of life.

Stay Healthy!

What is Circadian Lighting And Why It’s Important To Understand Light?

Light is like a double-edged sword. It can improve energy levels, mood, performance,  sleep and body regeneration by enhancing robust circadian rhythms. In contrast, light exposure at the wrong time can delay sleep onset by inhibiting the secretion of the regenerative hormone melatonin at night. 

Circadian Rhythm Sensitivity To Light

For millions of years, humans evolved under natural light, and all physiological processes have been adapted to different light frequencies. Our eyes are supposed to see the regenerative morning light at around 40 LUX (LUX is a metric for light intensity) and bright natural light during the day at 100 000 – 130 000 LUX. Exposure to bright natural light has a profound effect on energy metabolism and cognitive brain function. Hormones and neurotransmitter exhibit a light-dependent pulsatile release according to the organisms circadian rhythm. 

 

The jetlag we suffer after a transatlantic flight is nothing else but a circadian mismatch in which hormones and neurochemicals are still released according to departure time zone and yet not adapted to destination time. The consequences are symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, cravings at an abnormal time of the day, headaches and many more.

 

The exposure to circadian time cues efficiently alleviates these symptoms and light is one of them If you want to explore more information about the importance of circadian rhythms and get deeper insights into the bondage between human and nature and improve your sleep pattern, I would recommend reading my book Sleep Timer

 

Circadian rhythms are the cornerstone of a healthy body and mind and if you want to optimize your lifestyle or the environment start from there.

 

 

Circadian Lighting For Home

Unfortunately, in today’s reality, it is almost impossible to spend much time in daylight outside, which makes it necessary to improve the artificial light conditions of our indoor environments. Adapting the indoor illumination to our biological needs can have a profound impact on our daily wellbeing and sleep at night. Daylight exposure is critical for robust circadian rhythms which indirectly impacts sleep onset at night. 

A good baseline to get the beneficial effects of daylight is around  10 000 LUX. As you may notice from the list below, indoor illumination has much lower brightness than natural sunlight even on a cloudy day.

Examples of Light Intensity Levels

  • Bright sunlight; 120 000 LUX
  • Bright sunlight behind a window; 70 000 LUX
  • A partly sunny, partly cloudy day; 10 000 – 20 500 LUX
  • Typical overcast day; 1000 – 1500 LUX
  • Office lighting with workplace next to the window; 1000 LUX 
  • Supermarket lighting; 750 LUX
  • Normal office light; 500 LUX
  • Childcare centre; 500 LUX
  • Gymnasium; 200 – 500; LUX
  • Sunset and sunrise; 40 – 400 LUX
  • Street Lights; 320 LUX
  • School classroom, university illumination; 250 LUX
  • Home lighting; 150 – 200 LUX depending on the light source
  • Working areas which do not imply visual tasks; 150 LUX
  • Candle Light; 50 LUX
  • Twilight; 10 LUX
  • Starlight; less than 1 LUX
  • Full moon at clear night; 0.27 LUX

Circadian Rhythm Light Bulbs

If exposure to natural light is not possible, particularly during the winter months, consider using daylight simulators in the morning. The daylight simulators emit bright light at 10 000 LUX. Install the dawn simulator, (so-called circadian lighting) in rooms where you spend some time in the morning, such as the bathroom or kitchen.

This way, the light exposure happens by default. Ten minutes in bright light are enough to enhance the amplitude of circadian rhythms. If you have insomnia issues, try to get as much natural light as possible during the day.

On the other hand, a light intensity of only 10 LUX at night can interrupt sleep. Therefore you shall avoid blue light exposure in the evening or use the blue light blocking glasses. 

 

Here are my top 4 recommended products that can significantly improve the light in your home or workspace environment during the day.

Tools to improve your daylight environment:

  • Light Therapy Lamp, Sunrise and Sunset Settings, 12000 Lux Bright Light Therapy, UV Free Full Spectrum Sunlight Lamp with Alarm,1-40 Level Adjustabl Brightness, 5 Time Options for Home/Office Use

  • Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp | As Seen On Shark Tank | 10,000 LUX Ultra Bright LED | Full Spectrum UV Free | Adjustable Light Panel | Turn On Your Day

  • Light Therapy Lamp, Miroco LED Bright White Therapy Light - UV Free 10000 Lux Brightness, Timer Function, Touch Control, Standing Bracket, for Home/Office Use

  • REPTI ZOO Reptile Full Spectrum UVA + UVB Sun Lamp Self-Ballasted Vapor Basking Spot Lamp/Bulb/Light for Reptile and Amphibian Use

 

Tools to improve your evening light environment:

Install free software on all screens: www.justgetflux.com  and consider buying effective blue light blocking glasses for sleep.

If you want much more in-depth info on how to choose effective blue light blocking glasses, then you should take a moment and read this article.

 

How To Recover From Jet Lag And Maintain Your Sleep Routine ?

What causes jet lag?

In many ways, air travelling has improved the quality of our life. It expands our horizons and develops the personality. However, everything has a flip side. The worst enemy of any traveller is the change of time zones. Numerous studies have shown that 90% of long-distance travellers are suffering from circadian rhythm disorder, also known as “jet lag.”.

Maybe you’re a flight attendant, frequent flyer or someone who is planning an extended overseas vacation across various time zones; you are likely to experience the unpleasant phenomenon called jet lag.

Jet lag appears when your inner biological clock is still ticking at the departure time of your home location and is not yet adapted to destination time.
In this Blog Post, you will learn how to mitigate the effects of a Jet Lag and enjoy your holidays better without fatigue, headache and other circadian rhythm disorders. If you are a business traveller, pilot or flight assistant you will appreciate the positive effects for professional reasons.

How long does jet lag last and why it occurs?

A jet lag is a temporary disorder of your inner biological timing system and may last for a couple of days. This so-called circadian mismatch causes many unspecific symptoms like fatigue or insomnia. Our inner circadian rhythm keeps our body in synchronisation with the day and night cycles caused by the rotation of planet earth. The mammalian internal master clock is controlling our circadian rhythms. Its a group of approximately 20,000 neurons just above the optic nerve in the brain.

This Master Clock reacts to the rising and setting of the sun with its different light frequencies and temperature variations and releases specific neurotransmitter and hormones in a cyclical manner which can cause alertness or sleepiness. The circadian rhythm controls everything from the bowel movement, energy metabolism, blood sugar, hormone and neurotransmitter secretion to sleep.

What that means is when we travel through different time zones our inner biological clock and its specific rhythms remain for a couple of days in the time zone of the departure latitude and adapt only slowly to the time zone at the destination.

What is the circadian rhythm (internal biological clock)?

The circadian rhythm is the most critical mechanism for health in general, and with simple lifestyle and environmental changes, you can improve sleep, wakefulness and overall energy levels during your stay in other time zones.

It is essential to know for people often travelling through different time zones that the primary influencers of the internal biological clock are external time cues like light, food intake, temperature and physical activity. The body and brain can react to this time cues, and we can use them to reset the circadian clock and improve the symptoms of a jet lag.

What are the jet lag symptoms ? Can jet lag make you sick?

A jet lag can have a profound effect on your bodies circadian rhythm. The two most significant symptoms are insomnia at night and fatigue during the day accompanied by a decline in alertness, which is temporary and disappears after a few days adaptation in the destination country. Every day, millions of travellers suffer from jet leg symptoms like fatigue and insomnia.

People experiencing a jet lag may also have many other unspecific symptoms like an unexplainable lack of energy, anxiety, sleepiness during the daytime and alertness at night. Other signs of a jet lag are heartbeat arrhythmias, constipation, diarrhoea, headache, irritability, nausea, difficulties concentrating, sweating, and a general decline in well being. Some people also describe an increased susceptibility to illness.

Should you take preventive measures to adjust the jet lag?

When travelling to a new time zone, our circadian rhythms are not adapting immediately to the destination time and remain on their original biological schedule for days. This can result in the jet lag symptoms previously described. A Jet Lag is not an imagination but a real health condition caused by a circadian rhythm disorder. Some concerns regarding your flight schedule and specific behavioural measures before departure, during the journey and after arrival at your destination can help minimise some of the side effects of travelling through time zones.

A Jet lag is a temporary condition, and healthy people usually recover in 3 to 5 days. If you are a business traveller or if you want to enjoy your time at an overseas destination as fast as possible with good energy levels you need to opt for some adjustments and adapt your master clock to the local time cues.

 

Take the following steps to prevent and mitigate the effects of a jet lag:

 

Tip 1. When booking a long distance flight, consider a trip with an arrival time at the destination in the afternoon or early evening.
You can go straight after the flight for a light dinner. This way, you can adapt to the time zone from the first day, and the unpleasant experience of the Jet Lag will be less intense. Schedule long flights across more than eight time zones with a layover half the way. This way, you can adapt gradually to the time zone at the destination. Too long voyages are a strain for body and nervous system. A break can alleviate stress and mitigate jet lag.

Tip 2. Don’t go to bed until its bedtime at your destination.
If you arrive in the morning at your destination after an exhausting flight, don’t go to bed and sleep. Relax in the hotel spa or have a walk in the bright daylight. Don’t do intense activities on the first day at your destination. Light is a time cue for your Master Clock and signals daytime while your brain is probably still wired for night time at home.

Tip 3. Do not drink alcoholic one day before, during and one day after the flight.
Alcohol causes dehydration, disrupts the sleeping pattern, lowers heart rate variability and can reduce general well-being.

Tip 4. Stay hydrated all the time.
The dry air and air pressure differences cause dehydration and discomfort. Take plenty of water on the plane, so you never run out of it. The little cups and bottles served on the aircraft are not enough liquid to meet your bodies needs.

Tip 5. Avoid coffee or caffeinated drinks before, during, or just after the flight.
Caffeine causes dehydration and interferes with sleep onset. Caffeine also causes anxiety and stress, which is already intense during transatlantic flights.

Tip 6: Wear comfortable clothes and prepare your flight kit.
Wear warm and comfortable clothes, socks and shoes. Avoid tied pants or shirts which pinch and restrict you in your movements. Get the right outfit for the climate at your destination and take it with you in your hand luggage. On a long flight, the air-conditioning makes it sometimes impossible to feel comfortable. Make sure you have a light, warm jacket or sweater.

 

Your Travel Kit for overseas flight should contain:
– a sleep mask
– noise control earplugs or headphones
– anti-blue light glasses for the in-flight entertainment and screens.

 

 

Tip 7. Jet lag light therapy -expose yourself to natural light.
Use bright light or better natural sunlight in the morning to readjust your circadian rhythm. Sunlight is a critical time cue for the master clock in the brain. Morning sunlight exposure improves alertness, energy levels and improves sleep onset at night. If you wake up later, expose yourself to afternoon sunlight. Light exposure is essential for aligning your inner circadian rhythm to earth time at the latitude of your destination. You can buy small dawn simulators and take them with you if you are travelling to the northern latitudes in the wintertime.

It will help you to overcome the jet lag symptoms fast. If you arrive at 7 p.m. go to bed at your usual schedule at home. If your arrival time is at 7 in the morning have a light breakfast, expose yourself to natural light without sunglasses all day and try to stay awake till the evening. A power nap during the day is good to relax but make sure you put your alarm clock next to you, so you don’t sleep till the evening and screw up your sleep at night.

Tip 8. Check your hotel room.
At arrival in your destination, check your hotel room, especially the noise exposure, bed, air-condition and safety. Change the room in case something is wrong. You want to stay in a safe, quiet and well-tempered room on your holidays or business trip. If this is not the case, you might sleep with half the brain awake, which is a safety mechanism from evolution to keep us alert in strange environments.

Tip 9: Wear anti-blue light glasses starting in the early evening to simulate sunset.
The lower blue light frequencies indicate the brain that its time to sleep. The release and action of hormones like Melatonin will make you fall asleep easier.

Tip 10: Consider taking Melatonin as a supplement for jet lag recovery.
Many people take Melatonin supplements already, but there is not sufficient evidence to confirm its effectiveness. According to my experience, re-adjusting time cues like light, food timing and temperature are more effective.

Valerian root is a supplement with a light sedative effect and can be helpful during the first three days to improve sleep onset at night in the destination. Check with your pharmacist for more details. The FDA has not reviewed this product for safety or effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details before taking any supplement or sleeping medication.

Tip 11. Time your meals wisely.
Food is a powerful Zeitgeber to improve circadian rhythm, and regularly timed meals can help you to overcome jet lag symptoms fast. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the local time, not when you are hungry. If it is time for breakfast at your destination, you should have breakfast. If you are not hungry, have a light meal. It will give your body the message to set your metabolism to local time. Shortly, your energy levels will improve as well.

Tip 12. Do simple exercises.
Consider exercises in the hotel gym or better outside. You might think it’s not a good idea, and your body is likely to protest, but simple exercises will increase the blood flow, improve your energy and solve the problem with the sleep cycle. Don’t strain yourself but do some simple exercises to warm up. You can do it!

Why Is Diet And Exercise Not Enough To Lose Weight

In this blog post, I want to discuss why exercise, diet, and supplements alone are not working for sustainable weight loss and prevention of chronic metabolic disease.

As a medical professional, I have seen many people trying to lose weight with all kinds of diets, supplements, and exercise.
Most of the people only had temporary results or got even worse over the longer term.

The fact that 90% of diets do not work in a time when scientists never knew more about food and energy metabolism made me realise that there must be another part of the equation that I didn’t consider till now.

Why should your environmental conditions play a significant role in a weight loss plan?

Let’s face it! The market for all kinds of diets has never been better! We never knew more about food and exercise. But look at the numbers from the WHO report ” the burden of chronic disease”, where statistics show an exponential increase in obesity and chronic disease despite scientific and technological advances in medicine.

To understand the relationship between environment and our health we must dive a bit deeper into evolutionary biology and the way our body generates make energy for life.
Everything requires energy. Processes, like eating, sleeping, thinking and contracting our muscles, are powered by the energy factories in our cells called mitochondria. They provide us with energy to move around, make our muscles contract, work our brains, in other words, they maintain us alive.

Mitochondria have their genetic code which is inherited from the mother’s side and differs in the various climate zones of our planet. Scientists could reconstruct the origin of mitochondria to a single woman in Africa who founded our species.

During evolutionary history, humans migrated out of Africa in all parts and latitudes of our planet. The genetic code in the mitochondria changed with time and adapted our energy metabolism to the different climate zones and seasonal food availability. What that means is that a human mitochondrion from Africa today does not fit precisely the living conditions from Alaska.

People from Alaska or Northern Europe developed the capacity to produce more heat for better survival in colder living conditions. Scientific research shows that an African mitochondrion is more effective and has the capacity to burn all food into energy without the waste of heat because it was not necessary for these climate zones.

Scientists discovered a link between human migration mitochondria and disease.

What is Circadian Rhythm and why is it crucial for energy metabolism and sustainable weight loss?

Please take a moment and think about the times we are living in now. Globalisation could have a surprising effect on health. In a short period compared to human evolutionary history, we have created artificial living conditions such as constant artificial blue light, central heating and nonseasonal food availability.

All year around we put ourselves and our mitochondria in an unusual context which was not foreseen from mother evolution. The question is could this relatively new living conditions have a negative effect on health?

Today many people are living in a so-called circadian mismatch. The light environment, temperature and seasonal diet pattern have changed, and we can see chronic disease increase exponentially. Our mitochondria scan and react to seasonality which is more and more abolished in modern societies. What can you do with all that information and how can you recognise if you are living in a mismatch or not?

Why knowing your genetic route is so important?

First of all, you can discover your ancestral haplogroup. You can do this with a cheap and straightforward genetic test offered by 23andMe or other providers. With this test, you will understand what climate zone your ancestors evolved, and you can compare that to your current living conditions and habits.

Let me give you an example: If you are an African haplotype L, it means that you burn food into energy in a different way than a haplotype from Alaska. We burn energy dependent on climate and food availability. The Mitochondria from an African haplogroup is very efficient and burn all calories into energy with only a minimum amount of heat which was vital to survival in the hot climate of Africa. Think of who is winning all gold medals in the Marathon. The majority are Africans because the way they use and burn energy is very efficient.

If you are a northern European haplotype, your mitochondria would need to produce more heat to maintain core body temperature to survive in the colder climate. That means that more calories would be required and burned for the same amount of energy to produce heat. In simple words, people living in colder climates can and have to eat more calories during the colder months because they have to burn the calories into heat which was an evolutionary advantage to survive during the winter.

The problem is in modern times we are not exposed to cold anymore because houses have central heating and most of the northern Europeans are not cold adapted any longer. The result of this circadian mismatch is that the extra calories are not burned into heat but stored as fat. If you think about it, a simple measure to prevent disease and weight gain would be cold exposure to burn excess body fat as energy.

An exposure to colder temperatures in the winter months can help you to burn more calories into heat and prevent weight gain. You don’t need to take an ice bath. Cold showers and lower temperatures in the bedroom are sometimes enough to be effective.

Why food seasonality plays a significant role in weight loss?

If we think about a healthy diet we should think first of all about seasonality and food availability: in the colder climates of the Northern Hemisphere, plant-based food was scarce during the winter months. People were on a ketogenic diet(high fat and almost no carbohydrates) because of that’s what was available. Also, people were often in fasting mode burning their fat as fuel for energy and heat. That was a highly efficient way to manage energy when food was scarce. Our northern European ancestors were fat adapted.

Think about food availability today. We can buy all kinds of non-seasonal food all year around. A simple seasonal diet would be a good step in the right direction because the food is not only fuel for energy but information from the environment for your body. What that means for people from northern European is a ketogenic diet during the winter months and a plant-based diet in the warmer months of the year.

If it doesn’t grow, don’t eat it!

In the next blog post, we will deep dive into circadian biology.

Two Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes vs Obesity

 

Lifestyle factors related to obesity, eating behaviour, and physical activity are playing a major role in the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases.

The World Health Organization alerts that obesity and chronic disease is increasing exponentially. The worldwide obesity rate tripled since 1975, and 39% of adults over 18 years were overweight in 2018.

Diabetes rates have risen from 108 million to 422 million in 2014 and Diabetes is expected to be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030. There are currently 16 million Americans with diabetes, and in the next ten years, there will be 23 million Americans with this disease.

These alarming numbers are associated with the ageing of the population, sedentary lifestyle of modern societies and the high overweight and obesity rate. In the past, type 2 diabetes and obesity were diagnosed in individuals over 40 years of age, but the increasing numbers of childhood obesity have led to an increase in type 2 diabetes in young adults.

Lots of studies show that obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are highly associated, and the chance of developing type 2 Diabetes increases exponentially.
There are genetic predisposition factors known for obesity and Diabetes, but the onset is influenced by the environment and the choices people make. Scientific evidence shows that the quantity and quality of physical activity can decrease the risk of diabetes onset significantly.

How to prevent type 2 diabetes?

Weight loss and increased physical activity can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. These two lifestyle factors can be helpful in Diabetes treatment as well as lowering Insulin Resistance and treating Glucose intolerance.

The straightforward and easy solution, isn’t it?

We all looking for a magic pill to solve our health issues! But how about this simple step that can prevent diabetes?
Can you commit to daily exercises and healthy eating? Only 10 min walking or running per day would be key to a healthier and happier life.

Why food seasonality and environment contribute to diabetes?

Like mentioned above, Type 2 Diabetes is known to be influenced by the environment. The environment factors in modern societies do not help encourage healthy eating habits and physical activity.

Eating cultures in our fast and globalized business world are poor, and many people have to eat on the run because of their stressful jobs and schedules. It may explain the poor effectiveness of nutritional programs which are being adapted to our modern lifestyle. The educational nutrition programs have limited and only temporary effectiveness because the environment makes it hard to follow the recommendations.

It is hard to follow a healthy diet if grocery stores do not sell healthy food abundantly and consistently at reasonable prices. If you go to the supermarket and buy healthy food, you will spend a fortune compared to what you will spend buying processed food.

Correlational data have suggested that environmental factors influence physical activity and eating. Studies found strong correlations between high caloric intake, overweight and the percentage of local grocery stores which sell processed food compared to better health in regions where shops sell whole food.

Environmental manipulations, like fitness machines in local parks and public spaces or signs to promote the use of stairs rather than elevators, have also been effective in changing physical activity patterns.

The high tech industry is producing applications to quantify calorie intake and physical activity, which can be very helpful to bring conscious awareness to people with overweight and diabetes.

 

How to influence and delay Type 2 Diabetes?

There is a proven strong association between lifestyle behaviours and the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

It is good news because, with the right motivation and strategy, obesity, and type 2 diabetes is preventable and treatable.

More attention by governmental institutions should be directed at issues related to the development of healthful eating and physical activity habits. If these healthy habits and lifestyle choices become a routine for most of the people, many debilitating diseases can be prevented.

The focus of public health initiatives should be on changing eating and physical activity pattern from an individual perspective and an environmental perspective.