Dr. Satchin Panda on Practical Implementation of Time-Restricted Eating & Shift Work Strategies

Posted on October 30th 2017 (about 2 years)

This episode is a round 2 episode with none other than Dr. Satchin Panda of the Salk Institute! While discussion with Dr. Panda invariably leads to eating behaviors, his deep background in circadian biology always tends to lend new and insightful perspectives. There's a good reason for this! It's an area he has made deep contributions to, especially through the discovery of melanopsin, which is a photopigment found in the eye that, rather than forming images, is specialized for communicating information about time-of-day to the "master oscillator" of circadian rhythm, the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

On the first episode with Dr. Panda, we were introduced to a new paradigm for eating known as time-restricted eating. Time-restricted eating, on the surface, shares many characteristics with an idea many of you may be more familiar with known as intermittent fasting. The difference, however, is that Dr. Panda's concept of time-restricted feeding has some degree of focus on the effect of poorly timed consumption food (or even xenobiotics) can have on the subtle behavior of our tissues. At nearly two hours of dialog, this episode touches on a lot of material, but also has a special focus on practical implementation of time-restricted eating, featuring a few of the most frequent questions that came after the first conversation. To see a list of these questions, click the timeline tab above and look for timepoints with the heading "practical implementation." (SPOILER: Yes, we cover black coffee!)

"10-14 hours of fasting when we get up in the morning means that we have given our gut rest." - Dr. Satchin Panda" Click To Tweet

In addition to these important and very practical how-to tidbits, we dive into lots of interesting new territory as well, including...

  • How human anecdote and animal evidence suggests time-restricted feeding may be especially useful for gut-related issues, including inflammatory bowel disease and acid reflux.
  • The fascinating way Dr. Panda is using human anecdote from his trial to ask new scientific questions he wouldn't think to ask and then going back to animal data to figure it out and how this unique approach forms a sort of closed loop pattern: animal → human feedback → back to animal for mechanism.
  • How labs doing caloric restriction research may have actually been reaping the benefits of time-restricted without realizing it as an incidental to their experimental design.
  • The revelation that 70% of FDA drugs are subject to circadian effects and are either less effective or more effective at certain times of the day.
  • The effect melatonin has on the pancreatic production of insulin and the insight this lends to why we should probably stop eating at least 2-3 hours before we go to bed.
  • The bizarre way circadian rhythms affects everything from susceptibility to UV damage to recovery from surgery to cancer risk (at least if you think the World Health Organization knows what they're talking about).

...plus a whole lot more...

Participating in the mobile app-based time-restricted eating study

If this podcast inspires you to give time-restricted eating a try, don't let your data go to waste! Dr. Panda's mobile app-based study of time-restricted eating is now accepting an international cohort. For those of you that are at least 18 years of age or older, you can sign-up by visiting myCircadianClock.org.

Participation is pretty simple, but, as mentioned in the video there are a few good rules of thumb:

  1. Don't start the habit right away. Track what your existing eating habits are first! This is important for the 2-week baseline needed for their research.
  2. After you figure out what your eating window has been, choose a new time window that you think you can reasonably adhere to for at least 12 weeks. This is about how long it takes to form a new habit anyway!
  3. If you feel like you've got the hang of it, stick with it! At the very least, try to submit a picture of your first meal and your last meal every day and your bodyweight once per week. By submitting your first and last meal, they're able to use the timestamps associated with these pictures to know how closely you're adhering to your self-selected intervention.

By following these basic rules of thumb, you're helping Satchin's group out and probably getting a little bit healthier in the process! Not a bad deal, right?

Click here to apply to participate in the clinical trial now.

Learn more about Dr. Satchidananda Panda

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