Saturday, May 24, 2008

Anniversary, ACSM, Z Health/ KB Seminar and Food Clock Research

1 Year Anniversary of this Blog!

Just wanted to give a huge shout out to everyone that takes time out of their to read this blog. It is a true honor and privilege that you take time (which is a non renewable resource) to read what I have to say here. Thanks again I plan to have more good stuff coming up soon and a few longer in depth article as well as guest interviews. Be sure to check out the first blog entry HERE.

I am off to present at the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis this coming Wed-Sat at the end of May. I can't wait as it is an exercise geeks dream! Tons of great research being presented by the best of the best from all around the world. I will have updates here of course (may not happen until I am home though depending on internet access). If you are going to be there, drop me a line!

Z Health and Kettlebell Seminar in MN on Sunday June 8
I will be doing a 2 hours seminar with Fawn Friday, RKC, CFT, soon to be Z Health R Phase certified at the Press Gym in Little Canada on Sunday June 8 at noon. We will be covering a basic overview of KB exercise and Z Health principals too. It will be primarily geared towards Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes, but others will learn stuff too. So if you want to learn how to move better, get stronger and reduce pain, drop me an email to sign up ASAP. Cost is only $35 if you sign up ahead of time. There is limited space, so sign up now.

Research Update
More bleeding edge research of course! Cool article below on how your body regulates sleep in coordinance with your eating schedule. They go on at the end to suggest a 16 hour fast may help those with jet lag. Not sure if I am willing to make that jump yet, but from personal experience I've had the best luck staying on the same eating schedule (usually a meal every 2-3 hours or so) on the NEW schedule and then some melatonin before bed.

So if I was flying to Germany, once I board the plane I set my watch to the new time. This usually entails staying up later (and thus eating more) on the flight there from Minnesota; but once I crash into bed early I feel pretty good the next day.

Does A 'Food Clock' In The Brain Supercede Circadian Rhythm?"

Submitted by News Account on 22 May 2008 - 6:00am. Neuroscience

In investigating the intricacies of the body’s biological rhythms, scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have discovered the existence of a “food-related clock” which can supercede the “light-based” master clock that serves as the body’s primary timekeeper.

The findings, which appear in the May 23 issue of Science, help explain how animals adapt their circadian rhythms in order to avoid starvation, and suggest that by adjusting eating schedules, humans too can better cope with changes in time zones and nighttime schedules that leave them feeling groggy and jet-lagged.

“For a small mammal, finding food on a daily basis is a critical mission,” explains the study’s senior author Clifford Saper, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at BIDMC and James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. “Even a few days of starvation is a common threat in natural environments and may result in the animal’s death.”

The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a group of cells in the brain’s hypothalamus, serves as the body’s primary biological clock. The SCN receives signals about the light-dark cycle through the visual system, and passes that information along to another cell group in the hypothalamus known as the dorsomedial nucleus (DMH). The DMH then organizes sleep-wake cycles, as well as cycles of activity, feeding and hormones.

“When food is readily available,” explains Saper, “this system works extremely well. Light signals from the retina help establish the animals’ circadian rhythms to the standard day-night cycle.” But, if food is not available during the normal wake period, animals need to be able to adapt to food that is available when they are ordinarily asleep.

In order to survive, animals appear to have developed a secondary “food-related” master clock. “This new timepiece enables animals to switch their sleep and wake schedules in order to maximize their opportunity of finding food,” notes Saper, who together with lead author Patrick Fuller, PhD, HMS Instructor in Neurology and coauthor Jun Lu, MD, PhD, HMS Assistant Professor of Neurology, set out to determine exactly where this clock was located.

“In addition to the oscillator cells in the SCN, there are other oscillator cells in the brain as well as in peripheral tissues like the stomach and liver that contribute to the development of animals’ food-based circadian rhythms,” says Saper. “Dissecting this large intertwined system posed a challenge.”

To overcome this obstacle, the authors used a genetically arrhythmic mouse in which one of the key genes for the biological clock, BMAL1, was disabled. They next placed the gene for BMAL1 into a viral vector which enabled them to restore a functional biological clock to only one spot in the brain at a time. Through this step-by-step analysis, the authors uncovered the feeding entrained clock in the DMH.

“We discovered that a single cycle of starvation followed by refeeding turns on the clock, so that it effectively overrides the suprachiasmatic nucleus and hijacks all of the circadian rhythms onto a new time zone that corresponds with food availability,” says Saper. And, he adds, the implications for travelers and shift workers are promising.

“Modern day humans may be able to use these findings in an adaptive way. If, for example, you are traveling from the U.S. to Japan, you are forced to adjust to an 11-hour time difference,” he notes. “Because the body’s biological clock can only shift a small amount each day, it takes the average person about a week to adjust to the new time zone. And, by then, it’s often time to turn around and come home.”

But, he adds, by adapting eating schedules, a traveler might be able to engage his second “feeding” clock and adjust more quickly to the new time zone.

“A period of fasting with no food at all for about 16 hours is enough to engage this new clock,” says Saper. “So, in this case, simply avoiding any food on the plane, and then eating as soon as you land, should help you to adjust – and avoid some of the uncomfortable feelings of jet lag.”

This research was supported by grants from the U.S. Public Health Service.