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The Biological Clock

October 17, 2010

Tags: food, biological clock, chronobiology, circadian rhythm, compost pile, day and night, diabetes type II, drosophila, ebb and flow, fats – h & h, fruit fly, margarine, Nature Magazine, pancreas, sleep-wake cycle, The Biological Clock, trans-fats

Our biological clock is ticking – but not the one you are thinking about. “Nature,” the eminent science journal, published an article that a team of scientists found a “clock” in pancreas cells. The pancreas is the organ responsible - when failing - for diabetes.

We used to think that diabetes was a “sugar” disease. Too much sugar (and starches, which are nothing else than one sugar after the other in a row like beads on a necklace) definitely play a role in the worst (and most preventable) disease of our times. Bad fats are the other culprits – mainly trans-fats, fats that are heated (frying!) or hardened (margarine!) – let’s call them h & h fats.

The “Nature” article gives us evidence that WHEN we eat plays a major role, too. Granted, the studies so far have only been done in mice. But I am convinced that it is only a matter of time that the same biological clock will be found ticking in the human pancreas also.

And not only in the pancreas. It is already known that fruit flies (drosophila) have such a clock in every single cell. I can’t believe that our bodies are less sophisticated than fruit flies’; our bodies are just harder to study. Chronobiology is the branch of science called that concerns itself with biological rhythms. From beginning of times, the Earth has indulged her majestic rhythms: ebb and flow, day and night, coming and going, death and renewal - think of compost pile!

What does the biological clock mean for you and me? Nothing new, actually. Natural Medicine has long stressed the importance of enough sleep, regularity and good habits. A little more of one hundred years of electricity has changed the world profoundly. But it hasn’t made a dent in our ancient bodies and primordial souls: They still have the same physiological and emotional needs as they always had.

Yes, you can raid the fridge in the middle of the night, go shopping in the wee hours, or sit at your computer all night long – but in the long run, going against your natural sleep-wake cycle will take a toll on your body – might even trigger diabetes, as we are learning.
Aspen eyes, by Peggy Peters

Iguazu Falls, by Xin Liu

Alexa Fleckenstein M.D. 2012, by Lolita Parker jr.

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