The Metabolic Harms of Night Shifts and Irregular Meals

The Metabolic Harms of Night Shifts and Irregular Meals
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What shift workers can do to moderate the adverse effects of circadian rhythm disruption.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Shift workers may have higher rates of death from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Graveyard shift, indeed! But, is it just because they’re eating out of vending machines, or not getting enough sleep? Highly controlled studies have recently attempted to tease out these other factors by putting people on the same diets, with the same sleep, but just at the wrong time of day. Redistributing eating to the nighttime resulted in elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation. No wonder shift workers are at higher risk; shifting meals to the night in a simulated night shift protocol turned about a third of the subjects effectively prediabetic in just 10 days. Our bodies just weren’t designed to handle food at night.

Just as avoiding bright light at night can prevent circadian misalignment, so can avoiding night eating. We may have no control over the lighting at our workplace, but we can try to minimize overnight food intake, which has been shown to help limit the negative metabolic consequences of shift work. When we finally do get home in the morning, though, we may disproportionately crave unhealthy foods. In this experiment, 81% of participants in a nightshift scenario chose high-fat foods such as croissants out of a breakfast buffet, compared to just 43% of the same subjects during a control period on a normal schedule.

Shiftwork may also have people too fatigued to exercise, but even at the same physical activity levels, chronodisruption can affect energy expenditure. Researchers found that you burn 12-16% fewer calories while sleeping during the daytime compared to night. Just a single improperly-timed snack can affect how much fat you burn every day. Study subjects eating a specified snack at 10 am burned about 6 grams more fat from their body than on the days they ate the same snack at 11pm. That’s only about a pat and a half of butter’s worth, but it was the identical snack––just given at a different time. The late snack group also suffered about a 9% bump in their LDL cholesterol within just 2 weeks.

Even just sleeping in on the weekends may screw up our metabolism. “Social jet lag” is the discrepancy in sleep timing between our work days and our free days. From a circadian rhythm standpoint, when we go to bed late and sleep in on the weekends, it’s as we flew a few time zones west on Friday evening and fly back Monday morning. Travel-induced jet lag goes away in a few days, but what might the consequences be of constantly shifting your sleep schedule every week over your entire working career? Interventional studies have yet put it to the test, but population studies suggest that those who have at least an hour of social jet lag a week (which may describe more than two-thirds of people) have twice the odds of being overweight.

If sleep regularity is important, what about meal regularity? The importance of regular meals at roughly the same time every day was evidently emphasized by such luminaries as Hippocrates and Florence Nightingale, but wasn’t put to the test until the 21st century. A few population studies had suggested that those eating meals irregularly were at a metabolic disadvantage, but the first interventional studies weren’t published until 2004. Subjects were randomized to eat their regular diets split up into 6 regular eating occasions a day, or 3 to 9 a day in an irregular manner. Researchers found that eating an irregular pattern of meals every day can cause a drop in insulin sensitivity and cause cholesterol levels to rise, and reduce the calorie-burn immediately after meals in both lean and obese individuals. They ended up eating more, though, on the irregular meals. And so, it’s difficult to disentangle the circadian effect. The fact that overweight individuals may overeat on an irregular pattern may be telling in and of itself, but it would be nice to see such a study repeated using identical diets to see if irregularity itself has metabolic effects. And, just such a study was published in 2016.

During two periods, people were randomized to eat identical foods in a regular or irregular meal pattern. During the irregular period, people had impaired glucose tolerance––meaning higher blood sugar responses to the same food, and lower diet-induced thermogenesis––meaning burned fewer calories to process each meal. The difference in thermogenesis only comes out to be about 10 calories per meal, and indeed there was no difference in weight changes over the two-week periods. But diet-induced thermogenesis can act as a satiety signal. The extra work put into processing a meal can help slake one’s appetite. And indeed, lower hunger and higher fullness ratings during the regular meal period could potentially translate into better weight control over the long term.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: 12019 via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Shift workers may have higher rates of death from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Graveyard shift, indeed! But, is it just because they’re eating out of vending machines, or not getting enough sleep? Highly controlled studies have recently attempted to tease out these other factors by putting people on the same diets, with the same sleep, but just at the wrong time of day. Redistributing eating to the nighttime resulted in elevated cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation. No wonder shift workers are at higher risk; shifting meals to the night in a simulated night shift protocol turned about a third of the subjects effectively prediabetic in just 10 days. Our bodies just weren’t designed to handle food at night.

Just as avoiding bright light at night can prevent circadian misalignment, so can avoiding night eating. We may have no control over the lighting at our workplace, but we can try to minimize overnight food intake, which has been shown to help limit the negative metabolic consequences of shift work. When we finally do get home in the morning, though, we may disproportionately crave unhealthy foods. In this experiment, 81% of participants in a nightshift scenario chose high-fat foods such as croissants out of a breakfast buffet, compared to just 43% of the same subjects during a control period on a normal schedule.

Shiftwork may also have people too fatigued to exercise, but even at the same physical activity levels, chronodisruption can affect energy expenditure. Researchers found that you burn 12-16% fewer calories while sleeping during the daytime compared to night. Just a single improperly-timed snack can affect how much fat you burn every day. Study subjects eating a specified snack at 10 am burned about 6 grams more fat from their body than on the days they ate the same snack at 11pm. That’s only about a pat and a half of butter’s worth, but it was the identical snack––just given at a different time. The late snack group also suffered about a 9% bump in their LDL cholesterol within just 2 weeks.

Even just sleeping in on the weekends may screw up our metabolism. “Social jet lag” is the discrepancy in sleep timing between our work days and our free days. From a circadian rhythm standpoint, when we go to bed late and sleep in on the weekends, it’s as we flew a few time zones west on Friday evening and fly back Monday morning. Travel-induced jet lag goes away in a few days, but what might the consequences be of constantly shifting your sleep schedule every week over your entire working career? Interventional studies have yet put it to the test, but population studies suggest that those who have at least an hour of social jet lag a week (which may describe more than two-thirds of people) have twice the odds of being overweight.

If sleep regularity is important, what about meal regularity? The importance of regular meals at roughly the same time every day was evidently emphasized by such luminaries as Hippocrates and Florence Nightingale, but wasn’t put to the test until the 21st century. A few population studies had suggested that those eating meals irregularly were at a metabolic disadvantage, but the first interventional studies weren’t published until 2004. Subjects were randomized to eat their regular diets split up into 6 regular eating occasions a day, or 3 to 9 a day in an irregular manner. Researchers found that eating an irregular pattern of meals every day can cause a drop in insulin sensitivity and cause cholesterol levels to rise, and reduce the calorie-burn immediately after meals in both lean and obese individuals. They ended up eating more, though, on the irregular meals. And so, it’s difficult to disentangle the circadian effect. The fact that overweight individuals may overeat on an irregular pattern may be telling in and of itself, but it would be nice to see such a study repeated using identical diets to see if irregularity itself has metabolic effects. And, just such a study was published in 2016.

During two periods, people were randomized to eat identical foods in a regular or irregular meal pattern. During the irregular period, people had impaired glucose tolerance––meaning higher blood sugar responses to the same food, and lower diet-induced thermogenesis––meaning burned fewer calories to process each meal. The difference in thermogenesis only comes out to be about 10 calories per meal, and indeed there was no difference in weight changes over the two-week periods. But diet-induced thermogenesis can act as a satiety signal. The extra work put into processing a meal can help slake one’s appetite. And indeed, lower hunger and higher fullness ratings during the regular meal period could potentially translate into better weight control over the long term.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: 12019 via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

67 responses to “The Metabolic Harms of Night Shifts and Irregular Meals

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      1. Good one.

        I wonder how many of us who have social jetlag were the ones who were always lagging behind in our formative years?

        I am sure the social jet laggers are often the ones who ran ahead.

    1. It could be. One anecdotal evidence. In 1990 my brother suffered sudden cardiac arrest due to a congenital arrhythmia. He was near a hospital and was resuscitated, but he continued to code out every morning around 3 a.m. That was the time he usually got up for work. He was transferred to the Cleveland Clinic which diagnosed the arrhythmia and implanted a defibrillator.

    2. Hello Dr Greger,
      I notice that some of your fantastic videos receive a less than 5 star rating. I cannot fathom how anyone can be less than absolutely rapt and blessed to receive this factual and FREE potentially life-saving information!
      I can only think it might be due to your relatively new facial hair. Hhmm. I would have to agree that the ckean shaven look suits you much better. Could you please putittothetest!!!!
      I’d love to see a poll.
      Keep up the amazing work mate!
      Kim

    3. I was hoping there were going to be some tips to help mitigate the ill effects of night shifts. I’m working continentals and will be for another few years.

      1. amitabhamettalove, some of the volunteers or at least one of them in the comments section did make a good meal-timing suggestion under one of the videos on circadian rhythms/meal timing. It was basically to eat at the same healthy times just shift it so your largest meal was before you went to bed or something… don’t take my word, I hardly remember. But maybe you can find the comment or someone else can offer you the info here I hope.

    4. plant_this_thought,

      I would think that weekend HABITS would be much more likely the culprit. E.g. drinking, getting drunk, in some cases weed, in some cases harder drugs, eating more “treats” like pizza and ice cream–a lot of people tend to have their “cheat days” on the weekend–and so on. Also, when people drink, they tend to eat their worst and very late. I have seen very health-concious people scarf down deep fried cheese crap covered in melted cheese and “bacon” late at night when drunk. Going to junky restaurants after a bar is a huge trend too. And a lot of people who never eat fast food will tell you they only crave it after a night of drinking. A lot of people only smoke when they’re drunk, too. And then there’s the getting high… I don’t get high, but the period I did occasionally, I would crave pancakes and indeed, we did go to ihop and it was always pretty late.

  1. The WHO classified night shift work as a probable carcinogen in 2007.

    In 2012 study of 18,500 Danish women found those that worked nights had a 40% higher risk of developing breast cancer.

    Researchers, in 2015, found that women who worked night shift for 5 years had an 11% greater mortality risk from all causes, and a 19% greater risk of cardiovascular disease death. Women on rotating night shifts for 15 years or more were 23% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and 25% more likely to die from lung cancer.

    There were a lot of other risk factors.

    Unfortunately, we live in a culture where tens of millions of people have no choice but to work the night shift.

    1. I seem to remember a study somewhere, maybe reported by Fuhrman(?), that women who slept in the light had more breast cancer. So is it possible that there’s more breast cancer due to not having darkness sometime during 24 hrs? It’s possible, but difficult, to entirely blacken out a room in which to sleep during the day.

    1. YR,

      That is the truth.

      Hospitals, police, fire, security guards, transportation, etcetera.

      Society needs them, but they are genuinely making a sacrifice that will likely shorten their lives.

      Officially, night shift workers are heroes.

      My friends went down to NYC post-911. Some to serve food and minister to people. One to run excavating equipment. There were crews working all hours.

      They fully knew that they were more likely to get cancer and other health conditions, and that is happening, but society needed them and they genuinely willingly volunteered. Knowing exactly what would happen later.

      My friend and I have been talking about heroism and that sacrifice meets my definition.

        1. The RationalWiki article on this general topic is worth a read, eg

          ‘In general, New Agers tend to embrace vitalism as a binding principle of the Universe – though they don’t commonly call it that – believing that such things as extrasensory perception, psychic phenomena, astrology, and the paranormal all can be observed and have direct impact on the daily lives of people. There is some overlap with the neopagan faith community, though even neopagans find their patience tried by the New Age mindset, calling them “fluffbunnies” and sometimes saying that “New Age” rhymes with “sewage,” due to many New Agers’ seeming self-centeredness, lack of commitment, and focus on “sweetness and light” aspects of paganism.

          New Age thought is not a monolithic body of work and has many contradictions and competing ideas – though, in a form of “vindication of all kooks”, all ideas within the cultural tent are treated as valid to some degree, and calling attention to contradictions is considered rude. The process is to take on an indiscriminate hodgepodge of woo and sand it all down into lifestyle accessories.

          It is very common for New Age writers to downplay the importance of logic and overvalue intuition while avoiding “negative” emotions like fear and anger. Avoiding these emotions usually means suppressing them (not good!) and consciously avoiding getting oneself into situations where fear or anger may arise. This includes completely avoiding people who are depressed or desperate – even if those people are one’s friends or family. New Agers are usually instructed to “let go” of the people in their lives who are pulling them down. This is consistent with the remarkable self-centeredness of New Age philosophy, in sharp contrast to the emphasis on charitable works and outreach to others in many religions. The whole point of New Age thinking is development of one’s own spirituality, one’s own happiness, and the importance of keeping one’s “vibration” high:

          “”While it may seem as if lightworkers are not engaging in social issues, the opposite is actually true. While everyone else is out there fighting, arguing, debating, pushing, warring, and creating conflict, a true lightworker knows that the way to change our planet is to hold the vibration of what we want: peace, love, compassion, kindness, gratitude, and joy. While everyone else is sinking down into the mud to fight about things, the lightworkers are cleverly keeping their vibration high.
          —Erin Pavlina[1]

          The New Age movement is generally considered a load of bollocks by rationalists, and several well-known skeptical writers (particularly James Randi and Martin Gardner) honed their skills using the early New Age movement for target practice. Nevertheless, New Age rituals and paraphernalia are big business; some places such as Sedona (AZ), Salem (MA), and Glastonbury (UK) have a particularly large business; some places such as Sedona (AZ), Salem (MA), and Glastonbury (UK) have a particularly large business presence of New Age practitioners plying their trade, and “psychics” such as John Edward and Sylvia Browne have gotten quite wealthy pretending they can talk to the dead.’
          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/New_Age

          Let’s not forget the ‘medical intuitives’ and authors of ‘channelled entities’ books who have also entered the ranks of the wealthy.

          1. “Entered the ranks of the wealthy.”
            – – – – –

            How one makes his/her dough seems to be a big concern of yours, Fumbles. It seems that, according to you, very few make it honestly; they’re conniving snake oil salesmen. Especially the *shudder* New Age types. (However, people in ANY field can be in it mainly for the Big Bucks they think they’ll be getting. Looking out for No. 1 and all that.

            I have many interests, and am open to “anything is possible.” It makes life more interesting that way. :-P

            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/snake-oil-salesmen-knew-something/

            1. I have always found reality interesting enough.

              ‘How one makes his/her dough seems to be a big concern of yours, Fumbles’

              Yes, let’s just ignore all the money those people make. Closing one’s eyes to the huge amounts of money raked in by tele evangelists, New Age gurus and purveyors of alternative medicine seems a trifle naive to me. It is amusing though when the supporters of these people are often strident in dismissing mainstream evidence based medicine as fatally flawed because of financial conflicts of interest by Big Pharma etc etc.

              Surely you don’t believe that all of them are honest seekers of the truth and as pure as the driven snow?

              I have the feeling that they are laughing all the way to the bank. Perhaps though they feel that they are practising a kind of obligatory morality. What did WC Fields say? I think ‘It’s morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money.’

              1. “I have always found reality interesting enough.”
                – – – – – –

                That’s great, Fumbles. Pundits and Those Who Claim to Know say we create our own realities. I am always striving to make mine better. Remember the oldie but goodie:

                https://presentoutlook.com/day-by-day-in-every-way-im-getting-better-and-better/

                “Closing one’s eyes to the huge amounts of money raked in by tele evangelists, New Age gurus and purveyors of alternative medicine seems a trifle naive to me.”
                – – – –

                What goes around, comes around. Could be those who are taken in by all those “shady” money-makers need the experience of being suckerpunched. So you’re against alternative medicine now, too?

                https://www.sbs.com.au/news/comment-scientific-evidence-what-is-it-and-how-can-we-trust-it

                1. ‘So you’re against alternative medicine now, too?’

                  Given that rejecting conventional cancer treatment in favour of alternative medicine appears to deliver two and a half times the mortality rate experienced by matched patients opting for conventional cancer treatment, it would be fair to say that I am extremely wary of alternative medicine.

                  https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/110/1/121/4064136

                  But people are free to choose. I personally think that most alternative medicine claims are a threat to both our wealth and our health. Not to mention our intelligence. Conventional medicine might be flawed but that doesn’t magically make alternative medicine effective.

              2. Reality. There is a slippery slope. Richard Feynman (do I have the right physicist here?) may have said, “If you think you understand quantum physics, you don’t understand quantum physics.” A biologist (the name escapes me) said, “Give us a miracle (existence, I guess) and science will do the rest.” Charlatans ? I was watching The Doctors recently on TV and the topic was, “patients who get stent surgeries don’t live any longer than patients that don’t get stents.” Perhaps more than 80% of illness is food borne. But multi-billions can not be made encouraging WFPB nutrition.

    2. the trick may be to have the “right people” working night shifts. I’ve had a theory for decades that the time we’re born is our natural morning, and my own surveys bear this out. for example, I was born at 5:55pm, and no matter how tired I am or how little sleep I’ve had, somewhere around 6pm I’m suddenly wide awake and full of energy. this created havoc during childhood because my schedule was unalterable, but when I became an “adult,” I chose schedules (for college classes, and then for careers/jobs) which allowed me to work nights, and life was MUCH improved.

      not everyone does well with the typical routine. some were born to study the stars, and to take the night watch. not everyone was born to eat at the same table, either. as a natural-born intermittent faster, the only time I want food is between about 9pm and midnight. if I eat when I’m not hungry (just because everyone else is eating), I have no energy afterward, but I do have massive brain fog. and I gain weight!

      forcing people out of their natural schedules is what, to my mind, causes problems. maybe I’m way off base and headed for a stroke or a massive coronary, but I’ve been following my natural inclinations (and noticing the patterns and problems of others) for more than 50 years, and in my late 60s am healthier and more active than most people half my age. being a lifelong vegetarian probably has something to do with that, but I’m still a late-night eater (on no medications). and a committed night-worker. YMMV

  2. One of the studies cited makes the following statement:
    It is important to note that, due to individual differences in circadian timing in humans, eating at a late clock time in individuals whose circadian timing is significantly later than normal does not necessarily equal to eating at a “wrong time” of the day.
    The endogenous circadian clock programs animals to eat at certain times of the 24-hour day: what if we ignore the clock?
    Physiol. Behav. 2018 Sept. 1; 193 (Pt B): 211-217
    We have all heard of night people. Would they suffer the same negative effects if they were required to adhere to a daylight schedule?

  3. So would individual circadian rhythm not have an effect. Matthew Walker in his book “Why we sleep” argues that only 40% of us are true morning people with 30% being somewhat later and 30% being total night owls. (Furthermore, we seem to change the circadian rhythm slightly During out lifetime with teens having a later one and elderly becoming predominantly early risers. Would each group not have their own rhythm according to the preferred sleep schedule?

    Would love to hear your thoughts,

    Thanks for an awesome site!

    1. Joan,

      Chef AJ had a speaker at the summit she just held who said that he doesn’t believe in that concept. I can’t quite remember his logic.

      I will say though that night-shift workers have much higher rates of death and disease and that reality has to trump other theories.

      If they could find people who thrive as night-shift workers and who live longer and have fewer cased of diabetes and cancer, then maybe that would be a basis to start an opposing theory, but the WHO has declared night-shift work carcinogenic.

      Any opposing theories would have to spring from health-related evidence.

      That being said, my brother was a night owl from birth. We had an 8:00 bedtime during school and he would not sleep ever and stayed up to see Santa and all sorts of fun things for parents to deal with. So, did it cause his health to thrive? Nope. It didn’t seem to affect him for decades, but now, he is the one who has the Diabetes diagnosis. He still can’t sleep at night and neither can his wife. Two peas in a pod.

      1. Joan,

        I thought of a few theories.

        There are genes involved in circadian rhythms – so that might be where some people seem more genetically predisposed to being night owls, but Dr. Ornish found that genes could be turned on and off with diet.

        I didn’t see a study on that yet, but it is an interesting concept to me.

        Another potential factor might be gut microbiome.

        https://www.cell.com/trends/endocrinology-metabolism/fulltext/S1043-2760(19)30180-8

        Lack of Vitamin D is one that I have been playing with.

        But there are so many behavioral and environmental reasons people become night owls so it is hard to tease that out.

        The house my family lived in had one bedroom that gets sunlight immediately first thing in the morning and the other bedroom is still very dark until the afternoon and it is facing the street lamps, so it is bright at night. To some extent, the rooms dictated which person woke up early and which one stayed up late. I say that because I had lived in both rooms at different times and I briefly became a morning person when I was in the bright light room and that was probably the only time I became a morning person..

    1. Lonie,

      Yes, but it didn’t sound promising: Melatonin prevented the decrease in sleep time during daytime sleep relative to baseline, but only on the first day of melatonin administration.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11696071

      But this is the Vitamin D plus low dose Melatonin study and it is why I took the one higher dose Vitamin D. I didn’t take melatonin because that had backfired with me a few years ago.

      So far, so good with the Vitamin D and sleep, and I am still jumping up and down inside that I lost just about 10 pounds just taking Vitamin D.

      I might try adding the 2 pistachios Dr. Greger talked about as a source of Melatonin soon.

      1. Thanks Deb,

        My regular sleep cycle experience is what had me wondering. If I need to be awake early the next morning and want to get to sleep earlier than normal, I’ll take a few drops from a dropper to get me to sleep. Oddly when I do this I often wake up fully rested about 5 hours later (Lately, even only 4 hours later.)

        I wonder if their method of administering (they referenced 1.8 mg sustained release, so tablets?) as opposed to mine (liquid drops) might cause a different outcome?

  4. Astronauts probably control the light schedule simulating day and night. The sun comes up so many times during a day that they would have to wear blind folds or completely zip up their sleeping bags. The crew probably synchronize their living routines. Maybe even rotating the night shift.

  5. I wonder about the impact of physician training before the advent of any work length rules. A good week as a resident in the 70’s and 80’s would have been 110 hours. Sometimes working 36 hours straight, it was better not to nap if you had less than 2 hours.

    1. I never understood why physician interns are worked insane hours. It seems there should be a liability concern with management about getting sued by a patient because their attending doctor was asleep on their feet while making executive decisions.

  6. I felt the video did not address how night shift workers deal with the effects metabolic disruptions that night shift work has on our bodies. There was more discussion of eating at night than the effect that night work has on our bodies. are there any suggestions on how to deal with this. I did have a doctor say that I should stop working at night because of the metabolic disturbances that night work has on our bodies

    1. robert moore, Dr Greger has also mentioned the metabolic and health risks in working nights. It’s something to consider.
      As to other suggestions, you might find it easier to read the transcripts to clearly identify those behaviors that make a difference.

      To name just a few (starting in second paragraph), not eating at night (little as possible), planning a healthy breakfast , incorporate exercise into your daily routine, schedule your meals in a regular fashion eating earler vs later, and don’t oversleep on weekends. All this on top of eating a whole foods plants based diet (see Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen videos) should help!

      1. Barb,

        Thanks for the simple list. Sometimes the amount of information we have to process makes it more complicated. It helps to see the simple version.

      1. Lucy,

        Dr Greger already did ask for feedback and DR used the word everyone else used. Distracted.

        DR, it is just your tone. Those of us who highly value Dr Greger don’t mind his mannerisms, but agree that this particular format is often distracting.

        I am enjoying him and his mannerisms, but miss getting up close and personal with the science.

        The thing I don’t want to see is people who are critical of the man, Dr Michael Greger, trying to push his personality out of his videos.

        But because he is on the screen at the same time as the text now, it is easy to think he is the one who is distracting when it is the format.

        1. Dr Greger,

          I used the word, Michael, and, to be honest, if you lost your whole shtick, or kept it, or cut it in half, I wouldn’t care. If you stopped doing all of this today, other than being worried about you, I would already have benefited enough for a whole lifetime.

          Do whatever you want. Be true to who you are.

          Just never let any audience steal your soul.

        2. Well I am spouting off about others who have mentioned that he is not handsome enough or that his voice and mannerisms are off-putting.

          It’s not just DR——-

  7. Let’s hear it for the flight attendants! We can be in several time zones a week, we do redeyes, we are bombarded with rays of all kinds, we have toxins everywhere, germs of all kind, and suffer the rudeness of passengers, (hard to believe eh?) Where does that leave us?

    1. Let’s hear it for the flight attendants! We can be in several time zones a week, we do redeyes, we are bombarded with rays of all kinds
      ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————
      Cate, in re: the bombarded with rays of all kinds, I’ve recently read that Ginkgo Biloba is protective from radiation. I’m off to bed right now but if you like, I’ll look up the link tomorrow and post it.

    2. Woo hoo! I have a cousin that is a senior flight attendant. She’s been around the world countless times, sometimes two or three times a week. She’s dealt with the A-hole passengers and has been slammed by air turbulence that crippled her only to go back flying after back surgery. Tough as a boot. Eats nails and spits bullets!

    3. Since we’re doing shout outs, I think we should all appreciate doctors, nurses, care takers (progressional or those caring for loved ones at home) doing night shifts and the police and ambulance drivers… We would all be thoroughly screwed without these people.

  8. Hi, Cate! My late husband was a pilot, and I have tremendous respect for flight attendants. I also know that you are not subject to the same duty time restrictions as pilots. Thanks for all that you do! That said, your work is likely to be very disruptive to your circadian rhythms. The best you can do is maintain as healthy a lifestyle as possible in your situation. With increased seniority, you may be able to choose better schedules. Meanwhile, eating the healthiest foods, with most of your calories as early in the day as possible, and maintaining the best exercise and sleep habits you are able may offset some of the harmful effects of your job. I hope that helps!

  9. Well, last night the Vitamin D that I had taken a week ago didn’t work to help me sleep, but today, I did the higher dose again and once again it felt like I took Benadryl and I have already slept 2 hours.

  10. It’s really hard when Dr. Greger speeds through certain words–it makes it impossible to understand. I don’t know if he said 9% or 90% and I replayed it several times. Obviously I’ll look at the transcript to check, but I’d prefer to get all the info in the video and not have to take time to search the transcript for one single word. It’s incredibly frustrating. This happens a lot in the live Q&A’s or some interviews. I LOVE the Q&A’s and interviews and I love the science he freely presents, but when you literally don’t know a key word no matter how much you reply it, once again, it’s sooo frustrating. To this day I don’t know if he once said that it was OK to eat citrus seeds or that it was NOT ok to eat citrus seeds because he sped through his words and they were impossible to understand. I don’t recall this happening in his older videos. My guess is he’s more busy than ever so he speeds through things quicker, but it’s so important to be able to hear what he’s saying.

  11. My thoughts on this video… It would have been incredibly helpful if Dr. Greger gave an example of what irregular eating was… What definitely is “regular” eating and “irregular” meals… how many hours apart each day; how exact? I’m asking out of curiosity of the study I am not concerned personally about it.

    Things seem to be getting too insane. I understand circadian rhythms to in eating early and eating regularly within reason. But if this is suggesting we should be on-the-mark EXACT in our meal timing, that is unlivable and not worth it and also, I have a very difficult time believing it as 1) I think the world would be a much bigger mess than it is if this were so and 2) it would be so evolutionarily unnatural.

    And then with the weekend thing… So it’s not enough to just a WFPB diet, be active, and live a healthy lifestyle… Now, no paritiesoryou’lldie! …If you have to not LIVE in order not to DIE, I ask you, what is the point? I don’t believe it, I don’t believe that you can never celebrate and never stay up later and never catch up on lost sleep, I just don’t believe it. I do believe that the practice in which it’s often done is unhealthy: go out and get drunk on the weekends then back to work on monday till you start all over again friday night–or at least is a normal practice among my peers. I think that is ok sometimes (no need to get SO drunk though, seriously) but it’s like the thing to do. And I do believe that switching to 5-6am waking to 3am or beyond and then sleeping in till or past noon regularly could definitely mess with your circadian goodness, but no study could possibly convince me that it is healthy not to live and enjoy life and be free and natural–natural in that you don’t obsessively clock in in every single thing you do.

  12. I began flying for the airlines as a pilot in 1978, and I went out on medical disability in 2007. I have always felt the affects of crossing multiple time zones, U.S. to Asia or Europe and back, plus being on the wrong side of the world (day when it was night back home) plus the fact that almost all of my domestic flying consisted of all night red eye flights. I’d work for a week and have a week off. So after staying up all night long, I’d return home to a family that expected me to sleep at night and be bright and chipper during the day. I’ve eaten whole food plant based low fat since 1999 after reading Dr. Ornish’s book. I think it really helped me, but ultimately I’m fighting cancer now at the age of 69. I really feel as though the abuse of my body clock for decades took its toll. That and stress. You can knock the legs out of a perfect diet by disregarding sleep rhythms. I’m not even including having a high stress job.

  13. Great video! As a NOC shift RN, I appreciate hearing what the science says on this matter. I’ve eaten WFPB for 3yrs now; my energy has increased and I can function on my days off. Please share more info for all us NOC nurses trying to care for our patients and ourselves!!

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