How would you hack metabolism ?

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On the subject of general hacking.

Look at the complexity of metabolism (via sigmaaldrich.com)

metabolicpathways_updated_02_072

Not so easy to hack a system so complex. Now the reason this system looks so complex is that it has been well studied (and because it is relatively easy to study). Our brain is likely several orders of magnitude more complex than metabolism in general.

While metabolism is not so easily hacked as evident by the lack of success with drugs to treat obesity. However, dietary restriction including – fasting, calorie restriction, and intermittent fasting (every-other-day fasting) has been shown to ‘hack’ this system to produce multiple health benefits (including (in animal studies): reduced , cardiovascular and heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, metabolic-syndrome, to name just a few). Therefore, it is no surprise (hence no plasticity) that since dietary restriction reduces a number of diseases listed above (many of them in the top 10 leading causes of death in humans) that in numerous different species tested that it extends lifespan.

Therefore, the metabolic system is hackable, in a fairly simple fashion, that can produce multiple beneficial results.

What other hacks can we come up with for metabolism to improve body and brain health?

2 comments for “How would you hack metabolism ?

  1. Carmen
    July 8, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Really really no bad side effects associated with DR?
    I’d become really depressed if I were to do it though…..

    Oh and those concentration/performance-enhancing drugs. I heard they do work, with ‘side effects’ such as decreased appetite and weight loss (ooooooohh). Aside from the ethical problem, would you say those are ‘good’ for brain health?

  2. Ward
    July 8, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Carmen,

    CR/DR does not appear to make you depressed and there are a few animals studies that show anxiety and depression is reduced with dietary restriction. Of course these studies are in animals.

    However, if you want to hear what a human thinks who underwent CR/DR check out this blog: https://weeklyadventuresdietgirl.blogspot.com/2008/05/you-will-need-some-time-for-this-one.html