"Years ago, impelled in part by their oldest daughter’s constipation problems, the Sonnenburg family revamped its diet. They threw out all processed food-stuffs, and began eating plenty of veggies and whole grains. They bought a dog. Justin Sonnenburg began hand-milling his own wheat berries for bread. He took up gardening. And when he compared his archived microbes from years ago with recent ones, he discovered that his microbial diversity had increased by half. “That’s a huge difference,” he told me, “as big as the difference between Americans and Amerindians.”"
Monday, 9 November 2015
Sleep - far from inactive, it's your body and mind's busy time for growth and repair:
"Circadian rhythms are innate and hard-wired into the genomes of just about every living thing on the planet. In humans, our physiology is organised around the daily cycle of activity and sleep. In the active phase, when energy expenditure is high and food and water are consumed, organs need to be prepared for the intake, processing and uptake of nutrients."
Friday, 16 October 2015
- •Preindustrial societies in Tanzania, Namibia, and Bolivia show similar sleep parameters
- •They do not sleep more than “modern” humans, with average durations of 5.7–7.1 hr
- •They go to sleep several hours after sunset and typically awaken before sunrise
- •Temperature appears to be a major regulator of human sleep duration and timing
Thursday, 8 October 2015
Tuesday, 6 October 2015
The hormonal and metabolic cascade from exercise is what exercise should be all about. To view it as some kind of penance for eating pie/cake or as a means to exclusively burn calories misses the rich outcome of activity.
- ‘Exercise produces an extremely complex, cascading set of responses within human muscle. It plays an essential role in controlling energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity. While scientists have long suspected that exercise causes a complicated series of changes to human muscle, this is the first time we have been able to map exactly what happens.
‘This is a major breakthrough, as it allows scientists to use this information to design a drug that mimics the true beneficial changes caused by exercise.’
There are other neurological benefits of exercise that also seem to be ignored here. Exercising in a 'green' environment and the social benefits of engaging in a collaborative team pursuit all go to build the value of the 'energy out' side of the equation.
The idea that you can simulate (some) of the beneficial changes caused by exercise in a pill really does diminish what exercise should be about; that the spending of calories should be a largely pleasurable and enriching endeavour.
I do however look forward to the first pharmacological fruits of this research - and their unwanted side effects.
Monday, 28 September 2015
- Recent evidence
also suggests immune learning is strongly affected by environmental
factors, including diet, lifestyle, our surroundings and previous
Immune responses to the yearly flu vaccine, for example, are impacted more by environmental factors than genetic differences. This suggests we can improve our immune responses by altering life experiences.