December 21st, 2020
The Endless Summer that is slowly killing us.
Humans are living an endless summer of caloric availability to their absolute detriment. For the better part of the last two decades I have poured over the literature regarding cardiac disease, immunity and the microbiome in an effort to heal my genetic and youthful transgressions in order to live long enough to be useful. A common thread of risk in most literature is the repeated theme of caloric excess in the face of genetic risk, sedentary behavior and toxin exposure.
What does the past tell us? Summer, historically has been the season of plenty. Food is everywhere. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR1) is in the on position and functions as the master fuel sensor of the summer epoch. If fuel is present, as it has been in the summer time, the human body will be anabolic, synthesizing proteins and generally growing. This is a perfect plan when we are trying to grow and thrive.
Winter historically has been the season of scarcity. Food is used efficiently for survival . The adenosine monophosphate kinase enzyme (AMPk) is the master fuel sensor of the winter epoch. If fuel is scarce, AMPk acts to break down cellular products for fuel and rebuild used cells when summer returns and mTOR1 turns back on.
Think about the logic of this process. Periods of plenty grow the human frame to survive the winter or a famine which was our past norm. Similar to most animals, we stored energy for the winter as fat via gene adaptations like mTOR1 and DAG epsilon. (Picture) We then used this stored energy all winter for survival by activating the genes involved in breakdown like AMPk. What happens when mTOR1 is in the on position chronically as is occurring in the endless summer of American food overabundance? The outcome data shows us that this turns out to be a major risk factor for all chronic diseases of aging as well as viral pathogens like COVID19. Genes involved in mTOR1 pathways are associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer when coupled with chronic over eating, time, sedentary behaviors and toxin exposure. Look at the pathways related to insulin resistance and diabetes in the picture. It is not important that you understand the pathways so much as we all see the reality of the broken process. It is a true pathway. No leaps of faith here anymore.
Genes involved in the AMPk winter epoch are life sparing and guard against age related declines as they govern mTOR1 and activate the sirtuins which are a class of genes that are highly correlated with human longevity when intermittently activated. (Newsletter on sirtuins)
The chronicity of our lifestyle behaviors is the driving force behind dysfunction. To sit for a prolonged period, to overeat routinely or worse daily, to continuously expose yourself to toxins is the route to trouble.
As this 11th year of writing begins, let's all take stock in the simplistic reality that we eat too much, sit too much and expose ourselves to too much chemical toxicity.
1) Try time restricted feeding in an 18 to 6 pattern. Fast for 18 hours in every 24 hour cycle
2) Try to reduce the caloric volume at any one meal
3) Wait 30 minutes after finishing plate number one. Only go back for seconds if you are still hungry at the 30 minute timeframe
4) Avoid nutritive beverages like soda, juice, sports drinks, sweet tea and milk that add massive volumes of empty calories in rapid time
5) Move often aiming for 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily plus lots of walking. Shun elevators. Park farther away from the store's entrance. leverage wearables for a conscious reminder
6) Do 10 pushups and 10 setups every day working up to 50 a day
7) Learn about chemical toxicity and avoidance - Newsletter on chemicals and EWG