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Alright. We are here in the UK for a special video with none other than Dr. [inaudible]. So if you remember a couple years ago, we went to Dr. Jeffrey Bland’s conference called “Mastering the Implementation of Lifestyle Medicine,” put on my PLMI. And it’s coming up again at the end of April in Chicago. And one of the keynotes this year is Dr. Chatagi. And I just wanted to do a little conversation here because this year’s conference is on understanding bio rhythms. And I just want to get in with that, to have a conversation with you about that to help practitioners understand why it’s so important. So when did you sort of get interested in this emerging part of medicine?
I think it’s probably over the last four or five years, if I’m honest. I think before that, yeah, we’d heard the term ‘circadian rhythm’ but we hadn’t really thought that much about how we apply that to our patients. And what I’ve realized in what, nearly 18 years of practice now, that actually our natural bio rhythms, our body’s circadian rhythms are really important to consider when we’re trying to get our patients [inaudible].
Now one of the talks I’m going to give at this conference is in relation to my experience on a Prime Time documentary series called Doctor in the House where I have the opportunity to go and live alongside families with chronic health problems for about four to six weeks. A whole variety of different problems, whether it was type two diabetes, panic attacks, fibromyalgia, cluster headaches. And what was interesting, although I saw a lot of people living with a lot of different conditions, when I started applying a lot of basic lifestyle principles, particularly in harmony with the body’s circadian rhythms, I saw all kinds of problems get better.
When we talk about circadian rhythms, I think the natural one everybody thinks about is sleep cycle. So we’re not really designed to sleep in the daytime when it’s bright. As it gets dark, levels of melatonin go up in our body and it helps us fall asleep. Obviously today, with the way we live our lives, shift work, not work, all these kind of things playing havoc with our circadian rhythms. So I really want to talk to the attendees about some tips that the science backs up, but also my practical experiment shows really, really work, certainly help them get their patients a little bit better.
Is there anything outside of sleep, whether it relates to any of the other fundamentals of lifestyle medicine?
Yeah. Absolutely. I think food. Food is something we all talk about. We talk about food as medicine. But there’s a lot of great research. A lot of it’s coming from the Salk Institute in California, actually, where it really … the research is starting to show that of course what you eat is important, but arguably when you eat might be more important. Which is really, really incredible. Better for paradigm shift really in terms of the way we think about nutrition. So I’m a huge fan. I’m going to talk about the science behind time restricted eating, where that science came in, starting off with my studies, how that’s translated to human studies. And we’re now showing that even if you don’t change what you eat, if you only change when you eat, you can get improvements in your blood sugar control. You can get a boost in your immune system function, you can even lose weight.
So I think that is incredible. There’s also a nice bit of research that maybe about 30% of us have got a variation … a variant in our … in one of our melatonin genes, which means in the presence of melatonin, we don’t really release insulin efficiently. And what does that mean? It means in the dark, when melatonin is high, we should be sleeping. Maybe we don’t release a very important of insulin that helps manage the carbohydrates and many other foods that we eat. So I think this is really shaping and changing the way that we actually try to look after our patients.
It’s interesting you say that. Because this is not just a lifestyle medicine conference, this is personalized lifestyle medicine. And it’s obvious from that this is something you need to be considering in your delivery in personalized medicine, which a lot of the functional medicine, integrated medicine community that we’re working with our delivery.
Yeah. And as you know, James, the course that I’ve put together here in the UK that I was describing last time I saw you, we teach doctors the fundamentals of lifestyle medicine. And we’ve created this deliverable framework of how they could personalize a lifestyle prescription. And if each of the factors, we ask how, what, and where. When is very, very important, when you want your patient to do this.