Newsletter #64: Personalized Probiotics, Fasting, and Warm Baths for Good Sleep 😴
Welcome to the newest edition of the humanOS newsletter! Here, as always, is where we share our work, plus the various studies and media that captured our attention this week. 🤓
This Week’s Research Highlights
Nine endurance cyclists/triathletes completed a crossover experiment under three different conditions: sleep restriction (on average less than five hours of sleep per night), normal sleep (around seven hours per night) and extended sleep (more than eight hours per night). Sleep extension for three nights produced better maintenance of endurance performance compared with both normal and restricted sleep. Sleep restriction (unsurprisingly) impaired performance. Cumulative sleep time appeared to influence performance by altering perceived exertion of a given exercise intensity.
A systematic review found that a warm bath or shower (104-109 °F or 40–42.5 °C) improves sleep quality, sleep efficiency, and hastens sleep onset by ~10 minutes. Benefits are generally observed when the body heating occurs 1-2 hours before bedtime. For more information on why skin warming tends to facilitate sleep, and how you personally can take advantage of this phenomenon, check out this past blog on the subject.
Eleven overweight adults were assigned to 1) an early time-restricted feeding schedule (eating only from 8am to 2pm) for four days and 2) a control feeding schedule (eating from 8am to 8pm), also for four days. Compared to the control schedule, early time-restricted feeding decreased mean 24-hour glucose level (by 4 ± 1 mg/dl) and glycemic excursions (by 12 ± 3 mg/dl). In the morning, before breakfast, TRF increased ketones and expression of genes associated with aging and autophagy (SIRT1 and LC3A respectively). In the evening, time-restricted feeding increased BDNF and expression of MTOR.
Same study protocol as described above: Eleven overweight adults adopted both an early time-restricted feeding schedule (eating only from 8am to 2pm) and a control feeding schedule (eating from 8am to 8pm). During the time-restricted feeding, mean ghrelin levels decreased by 32 ± 10 pg/mL. Furthermore, subjects experienced reduced hunger and desire to eat, and increased subjective fullness, compared to a control schedule (eating from 8am to 8pm).
A systematic review of cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies found that adherence to the Mediterranean diet during midlife was associated with 36%-46% greater likelihood of healthy aging. Among the elderly, adherence to the Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with healthy aging, while diets with a similar composition to that of the Mediterranean diet were associated with 269% greater likelihood of successful aging, and 33% reduction in mortality risk.
New humanOS Content
- humanOS Radio: Optimizing Your Gut Microbiome with Personalized Probiotics. Podcast with Richard Lin
In this episode of humanOS Radio, Dan talks with Richard Lin. Richard’s story begins in a way that should sound all too familiar to many of you: He developed a serious health problem that failed to respond to conventional medical interventions. But fortunately, this gloomy narrative does have a happy ending. He came to realize that a disruption in his gut microbiota was the likely culprit. Once the dysbiosis was addressed, his health was restored.
This experience inspired him to start the company Thryve Inside. Thryve helps consumers test and learn about their own microbiota, by providing at-home microbiome test kits. But Thryve doesn’t just give you information about your gut microbiome, they also endeavor to provide solutions. They devise personalized probiotics, which are formulated based on your individual gut microbial composition and health goals. Richard’s company uses a comprehensive approach based on symptoms, goals, and testing to determine the right probiotic strains and foods for each person. Please check out the interview to learn more about Thryve Inside!
Podcasts We Loved This Week
- Lyle McDonald: Updated thoughts on refeeds and diet breaks. Via The Muscle Engineer Podcast.
- Sean Cain: Circadian Rhythms. Via Sleep4Performance Radio.
- Joe Gomes: Optimizing human performance and resiliency in the NFL and elite warfighters. Via STEM-Talk.
Products We Are Enjoying
Ginny says: Maté is rich in bioactive compounds - most notably the stimulants caffeine and theobromine - but is also a good source of antioxidants. Subjectively, it feels a little different to me than either tea or coffee in a way that is hard to pin down. Great for studying or concentrating on a writing project. 🤓 I like this brand in particular because the mint flavor complements the maté beautifully (plus it’s easy to find at Kroger).