Nina's Notes #2
Intermittent Fasting, micro-dosing and meditation study and how language shapes our thoughts
Nina here with the second edition of Nina’s Notes. The goal of this newsletter is to bring you into the world of longevity, psychedelic therapeutics, decentralized science & other interesting news.
In this note:
🥗 Intermittent Fasting Promotes Anti-Aging Effects
🔵 Artificial Blue Light and Why it’s Terrible
🌎 Global Micro-dosing & Meditation Study
🧘🏽♂️ Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy
💭 How Language shapes the way we think
📍 Say hi on Twitter, which will help you stay up to date on what’s happening in the space and what’s catching my attention.
Intermittent Fasting Promotes Positive Biomarkers of Health & Anti-aging
Calorie restriction has been studied to show positive anti-aging properties, including lowered risk of chronic disease, improved metabolism and longer life spans. Long term calorie restriction is hard to maintain for most people, because it requires a calorie reduction of 30-40% and sticking with it everyday. Meaning, instead of the recommended 2000-2500 calories per day, one would consume 1400-1750 calories, which depending on activity level can leave one feeling hungry & hangry. Instead, the method of intermittent fasting emerged as a way to produce the same results in a more manageable routine.
Many different regimes for intermittent fasting exist, with some more extreme than others including fasts ranging from 12 hours to 40 hours at a time. I typically adhere to the intermittent fasting called “time-restricted eating”. This involves fasting everyday for a 12 hour period. To achieve this, I typically have my last meal of the day around 7 or 8 pm and I eat breakfast the next day at 9 am. Intermittent fasting in this capacity for between 2-12 weeks has been shown in the laboratory rats to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, reduce weight in adherence to maintaining muscle mass, improve glucose and insulin sensitivity, lipid and triglyceride levels and several other biomarkers of health.
The biological effects of blue light
It is now well known that blue light can effect our sleep. Artificial blue light prevents the release of melatonin, a hormone that signals to us that it is time to go to bed and makes us feel sleepy. Putting away devices at least an hour before bed can prevent this missignalling and allow for a deeper sleep.
Recently, in addition to the blue light and sleep studies, a study performed in flies showed that excessive blue light can cause accelerated aging from cellular damage. As this has not been performed in humans and the study used a blue light more intense than those in our devices, let’s take it as a word of caution and limit our blue light exposure from artificial sources, especially at night.
Global Micro-dosing & Meditation Study
Quantified Citizen is leveraging citizen science to run global clinical trials. Their platform accelerates the pace and quality of health research. Previous studies conducted using Quantified Citizen have recruited over 10,000 participants. In traditional clinical studies, a study of this size would cost millions and take several years to plan and execute.
In collaboration with the Beckley Foundation, they are currently running a study on Micro-dosing and Meditation. Participants can choose micro-dose or not, which allows for some built in “placebos” or control groups. Quantified Citizen is not providing information on how to acquire or dose psychedelics, but simply organizing the study and analyzing the data.
Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy (PAP)
The current standard of care for psychedelic medicines for psychiatric diseases includes supportive therapy before, during and after administration of the medicine. Many different psychotherapy models are emerging to meet this need with over 17 models being used to date. I sat in on a conversation last night with Alex Belser, psychologist and psychedelic researcher at NYU and Yale and creator of the EMBARK model. This model can be adapted to any psychedelic assisted psychotherapy and allows a standardization of the care, and structure for regulators to accept and approve the combination therapy.
How Language Shapes the Way We Think
Living abroad has taught me many things about different cultures and myself, but one thing that always surprises me is that when I learn a new language I see how it can be much different than English, and this opens my eyes to other ways to view a situation. Lera Boroditsky explains this in detail in her TEDTalk here.
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