Should we blame the diabetes epidemic on lightbulbs?
“People who work at night have a 150 percent higher rate of metabolic disease,” says Panda.
“If you overlay the CDC diabetes map with the NASA nighttime satellite map, there’s an almost perfect match,” says Satchin Panda, regulatory biology specialist at the Salk Institute. The more light in a region at night, the higher the incidence of diabetes. According to Panda, this is because your liver needs sleep. Actually, it’s not the sleep per se that your liver needs, but a defined period of fasting each day, which throughout humanity’s evolutionary history was the hours of darkness when you couldn’t really do much but snooze.
“Look at one-hundred-year-olds around the world, across all different diets, and across all different professions, and you find one common denominator,” says Panda. “They always stick to a scheduled feeding pattern, and they always have an early dinner followed by a defined fasting time.”
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