Recent research into what have become two separate age-related epidemics has suggested a surprising potential cause that heretofore has been pretty much ignored.
Those twin devils, obesity and diabetes seem to be running rampant through our society with no end in sight.
Just the other day someone I know well who is my age was just diagnosed with diabetes. This individual is probably 25 pounds overweight, sedentary and lives the typical American life that centers around work and family. There are 40+million people in this country alone that share this.
The government response is to create yet another new and useless food pyramid that mouth piece agencies and people echo with the certainty that it’s the “right” way to eat. It differs little from the previous decades of great dietary advice we have been given and in my opinion is yet another case of “The emperor has no cloths”-the continued propagation of health myths that can only worsen the situation.
Look around you and you will see the effects of Western Life Style. As a supplement designer, researcher and manufacturer I believe nutritional supplementation is essential but no way will it fix a bad diet, sedentary life style and slavish devotion to stressful situation.
Like so many of the epidemics we face (Cancer, Alzheimer’s etc.) we are supposed to accept them as normal and unavoidable. Billions of dollars of advertising are spend pointing the way to YOUR only alternative- More Drugs! The OPDIVO ad campaign was one that incredibly missed the ire of the FTC and FDA in spite of massive blow back from cancer sufferers and their families. Somehow that did not constitute a “consumer watch dog agency complaint” I guess and they skated free and still do.
But don’t even suggest a vitamin will help you live longer or better that will get you fined and in jail while Big Pharma wrings out every last dollar from your pension plan because “prevention doesn’t work”.
Excuse me for trying!
So that brings us to today’s potentially (note the weasel word made necessary by the agencies that protect you from yourself and making your own decisions) may interrupt the cycle of both diabetes and obesity- or at least give you a fighting chance against this dual epidemic.
The key is sleep my friend- a good night’s sleep!
I have droned on and on about sleep related hormone balance and all kinds of rhythms in your hypothalamus that control hormone secretion etc.
I will spare you that today and tell you in simple fashion about another link in the chain of obesity and diabetes.
Relative recent newcomers to the metabolic/sleep link are orexin A and B- both secreted by the hypothalamus, that time clock like organ in your brain that macro regulates most of your metabolic functions.
Disruption of these hormones is linked to obesity and metabolic perturbations like diabetes and metabolic syndrome (or whatever the latest round of name changers calls it!). Ironically its also intimately linked to what is poised to become yet another epidemic- Sleep Apnea and other disruptive sleep disorders.
As usual people like me (doctors) are focused on treating the symptoms and not the cause. I don’t personally non-medically think you can treat any of these disorders without first treating sleep.
If you need help with this I make an amazing “sleep support” agent called Sweet Sleep Z.
It may be the first step to getting your metabolism under control so the effects of diet and exercise yield you the results you want. You’d be amazed at how many people I have seen over the years that worked out hard and dieted, albeit following the pyramids, and never mastered their bodies or their metabolisms. Many are now on what I call the drug treadmill.
Disordered sleep may be the cause of more than you think.
You may have also noticed the diet link above. That product is now celebrating its one-year anniversary. I am told that Kim Kardashian got her body back by going on something like this. Ah yes, celebrity weight loss! Ranks right up there with divorce, new boyfriend, new baby, checking into rehab and disastrous plastic surgery results to reignite a career. Man am I glad I’m not famous.
Reference: Ageing Res Rev. 2015 Mar;20:63-73. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2014.11.001. Epub 2014 Nov 22.
Sleep disorders, obesity, and aging: the role of orexin.
Nixon JP1, Mavanji V2, Butterick TA3, Billington CJ4, Kotz CM5, Teske JA6.