Health care professionals should prescribe better sleep to prevent and treat metabolic disorders
Evidence increasingly suggests that insufficient or disturbed sleep is associated with metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity, and addressing poor quality sleep should be a target for the prevention – and even treatment – of these disorders, say the authors  of a Review, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
“Metabolic health, in addition to genetic predisposition, is largely dependent on behavioural factors such as dietary habits and physical activity. In the past few years, sleep loss as a disorder characterising the 24-hour lifestyle of modern societies has increasingly been shown to represent an additional behavioural factor adversely affecting metabolic health,” write the authors.
Addressing some types of sleep disturbance – such as sleep apnoea – may have a directly beneficial effect on patients’ metabolic health, say the authors. But a far more common problem is people simply not getting enough sleep, particularly due to the increased use of devices such as tablets and portable gaming devices.
Furthermore, disruption of the body’s natural sleeping and waking cycle (circadian desynchrony) often experienced by shift workers and others who work outside daylight hours, also appears to have a clear association with poor metabolic health, accompanied by increased rates of chronic illness and early mortality.
Although a number of epidemiological studies point to a clear association between poor quality sleep and metabolic disorders, until recently, the reason for this association was not clear. However, experimental studies are starting to provide evidence that there is a direct causal link between loss of sleep and the body’s ability to metabolise glucose, control food intake, and maintain its energy balance.
According to the study authors, “These findings open up new strategies for targeted interventions aimed at the present epidemic of the metabolic syndrome and related diseases. Ongoing and future studies will show whether interventions to improve sleep duration and quality can prevent or even reverse adverse metabolic traits. Meanwhile, on the basis of existing evidence, health care professionals can be safely recommended to motivate their patients to enjoy sufficient sleep at the right time of day.”
 The authors of the Review are Dr. Sebastian Schmid, University of Lübeck, Germany; Dr Manfred Hallschmid, University of Tübingen, Germany; and Professor Bernd Schultes, eSwiss Medical and Surgical Centre, St Gallen, Switzerland.
Eating breakfast has its health benefits. The frequency of breakfasts consumed was the main factor studied. Interestingly, the quality of the breakfast food choices consumed did not make an impact on the results.
OBJECTIVE The relation of breakfast intake frequency to metabolic health is not well studied. The aim of this study was to examine breakfast intake frequency with incidence of metabolic conditions.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We performed an analysis of 3,598 participants from the community-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study who were free of diabetes in the year 7 examination when breakfast and dietary habits were assessed (1992–1993) and participated in at least one of the five subsequent follow-up examinations over 18 years.
RESULTS Relative to those with infrequent breakfast consumption (0–3 days/week), participants who reported eating breakfast daily gained 1.9 kg less weight over 18 years (P = 0.001). In a Cox regression analysis, there was a stepwise decrease in risk across conditions in frequent breakfast consumers (4–6 days/week) and daily consumers.
The results for incidence of abdominal obesity, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension remained significant after adjustment for baseline measures of adiposity (waist circumference or BMI) in daily breakfast consumers. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for daily breakfast consumption were as follows:
abdominal obesity HR 0.78 (95% CI 0.66–0.91),
obesity 0.80 (0.67–0.96),
metabolic syndrome 0.82 (0.69–0.98), and
hypertension 0.84 (0.72–0.99).
For type 2 diabetes, the corresponding estimate was 0.81 (0.63–1.05), with a significant stepwise inverse association in black men and white men and women but no association in black women. There was no evidence of differential results for high versus low overall dietary quality.
CONCLUSIONS Daily breakfast intake is strongly associated with reduced risk of a spectrum of metabolic conditions.
- Andrew O. Odegaard, PHD1⇑,
- David R. Jacobs Jr., PHD1,
- Lyn M. Steffen, PHD1,
- Linda Van Horn, PHD2,
- David S. Ludwig, MD, PHD3 and
- Mark A. Pereira, PHD1
+ Author Affiliations
1Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois
3New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
- Corresponding author: Andrew Odegaard, firstname.lastname@example.org.
People with elevated levels of hydrogen and methane on their breath tend to be more overweight than others according to new research. The culprit is M.smithil and points to a connection between obesity and gut bugs.
Researchers tested 792 people and discovered that those with lots of methane and hydrogen had a higher body mass index (BMI) and a higher proportion of body fat.
Results seems to support the hypothesis that M.smithil, a leading intestinal methane producer absent in some people and elevated in others, enables cohabiting digestive microorganisms to operate more efficiently, boosting calorie availability to the host.
Can Enzymes Make the Meal?
That’s a question that was never asked when our food supply was more natural and unprocessed. With the explosion of genetically modified organisms in America’s food supply, digestive disorders have risen to new heights. It’s not surprising our bodies don’t handle the digestive process as well as they once did when we have foods registered as pesticides and the evidence they escape the intestines. Can’t imagine what they’re doing to our native intestinal flora.