There is a constant debate out of the loud TRE and IF camps as to whether it is better to skip breakfast, eat an early dinner, coffee or no coffee during “fast,” (with or without grass fed ghee or butter) etc. They all have their physiological pros and cons. And we all have our own physiological uniqueness. What practice works for one, may not be optimal for the other, which is not only based on how you feel, function, and alter lab markers during these dietary modifications, but what other demands or commitments that you have, and thus may or may not want to be in a fasted state.
It all circles back to finding the practice that works best for you and your lifestyle. There also is nothing wrong with variety. Skipping breakfast on some days, coffee on other days, dinner at 5:30, even committing to the occasional 24 hour+ fast; these are all options that exist and are out there for you to experiment with, provided you do not have a condition where fasting is contraindicated.
As stated, this topic is a loaded and popular one at the moment so we’ll continue to touch on various components of it. Relating to this talk, chalk a pro up for an earlier dinner based on wanting to avoid unnecessary glycation, and thus aging from AGEs. More on AGEs and their link to neurodegeneration like that seen in Alzheimer’s, below. Happy experimenting.
A bit more on AGEs and aging…
Alzheimer’s is referred as type III diabetes for a variety of reasons. Other than the high levels of blood glucose, leading to an overflow of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in the brain, and thus excite-toxicity (another topic, another talk), Alzheimer’s and diabetes are also linked due to the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end products). As noted on the talk above, these are formed when glucose reacts with proteins (and lipids aka fats) in the body. Our bodies have built in mechanisms to break these downs, but again, when they are formed at increased rate the body cannot keep pace and the AGEs persist.
This is a presumed culprit of issues all throughout the body, including the brain. As a matter of fact the presence of AGEs in the brain are elevated in Alzheimer’s patients and have been linked to the formation of one of the diagnostic signs of Alzheimer’s; plaque on your brain. It must also be understood this is not just a diabetic we are talking about here. Any type of overeating or high carb load leads to the overload of AGEs throughout the body, including the brain.
Another pertinent AGE related matter has to do with color changes that take place when cooking food. More specifically, you want to try to avoid that scrumptious browning reaction from taking place.
This reaction unfortunately signifies the formation of acrylamides (carcinogen), and our AGEs.
Whether exogenous (formed outside of the body usually during reactions taking place while cooking, and then consumed), or endogenous (the mechanisms we covered above of where glucose interacts with proteins throughout the body), AGEs can attach to and react with any tissue that contains a receptor for them, known as a RAGE. RAGEs are known to be present in smooth muscle cells (heart and intestines), endothelial cells (blood vessels), cells of the immune system, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, etc. These chemical complexes damage proteins, enzymes, DNA, and hormonal receptor sites and contribute to normal aging and the diseases we attribute to it like Alzheimer’s, CVD, peripheral neuropathies, deafness, etc. This link demonstrates the power each one of us possesses to prevent or at least lessen the severity of ample conditions, including biological aging.
We know we can’t slow down the merciless clock marking our chronological age, but avoiding overproduction of AGEs could very well be another way to keep that biological age well behind the latter.