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In this post:

  1. Fasting: The Influence of Meal Frequency & Timing on our Health
  2. Leaky Gut causes acute joint inflammation and "Leaky Brain" conditions
  3. A Microbiome-Driven Approach to Combating Anxiety & Depression During Lockdown

Fasting: Better Living Through Time Restricted Eating

Dr Peter Attia has described three levers of Nutrition that you can manipulate:

  1. Time restriction - Narrowing the window of time (eg. 16:8)
  2. Caloric restriction - How much we eat
  3. Dietary restriction - What we choose not to eat (eg. Gluten free, Ketogenic)

He suggests less than 10% of the population is robust enough to tolerate the Standard American (Australian) Diet (S.A.D.). For the other 90% of us, the S.A.D. is lethal.

Regular fasting (time restricted eating) periods may provide physiological benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved circadian rhythmicity, increased autophagy and stress resistance, changes in the gut microbiota and repairing leaky gut (gives the lining time to repair). (Source) 

fasting vs regular diet

Recently, Dr. Sachin Panda and Dr. Rhonda Patrick discussed how the body works best when activities, including eating, are aligned with the circadian rhythm.

Managing what, how much and when you eat, enables the body to focus on repair rather than digestion.

Studies have shown that even eating 'bad' food at the right time will be of relative benefit, because you're working with your body's metabolic clock (the time when you're most insulin sensitive and your organs are primed to work).

Some of the key takeaways:
  1. Eat no sooner than 2 hours after waking (cortisol peaks first thing in the morning).
  2. Eat no later than 2 hours before going to bed. Keep your eating window to no longer than 10 hours.
  3. Aim for 12-16 hours of fasting.
  4. Get natural light exposure first thing in the morning.


Leaky Gut Causes Acute Joint Inflammation and "Leaky Brain" Conditions

leaky gut illustration

A leaky gut lets harmful bacteria and other toxic digestive metabolites pass into the bloodstream which triggers an immune response.

Working out damages muscle and you need time off to repair. Similarly, eating causes oxidative damage. You need time off for the digestive system to repair.

Researchers at University College London have shown that, in arthritis, there is profound damage to the gut lining, which fails to work properly as a barrier, as well as an accumulation in the gut of white blood cells that cause inflammation.

Restoring the gut-barrier integrity (preventing the gut from becoming leaky) stops inflammatory cells from moving to and from to the gut. This could reduce the severity of arthritis in pre-clinical models. New Atlas | The Study

Leaky Gut is very common.

It contribute not only to chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis, but also to cognitive decline.

Links have been made to autistic spectrum disorder, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and schizophrenia.

The purpose of the¬†blood‚Äďbrain barrier¬†is to protect against circulating toxins or pathogens that could cause brain infections, while at the same time allowing vital nutrients to reach the brain. If the blood‚Äďbrain barrier becomes more porous, then bacteria and other toxins can infect the brain tissue. (source)

A breakdown in the blood-brain-barrier was observed in patients with major psychiatric illnesses, multiple sclerosis (MS), brain trauma, edema, brain cancers, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, meningitis and systemic diseases such as liver failure.

Microbes are implicated in contributing to the susceptibility and pathogenesis of these disease and blood-brain-barrier permeability and disruption has been established in Alzheimer’s disease, which may allow peripheral blood, amyloid beta, and cytokines to enter the brain and contribute to pathogenesis in vulnerable neurons.

What are the Causes of a Leaky Gut?

causes of leaky gut
Image source: MDPI

Dr. Minkoff says that in a normally functioning intestine, the mucosal inner cell lining will turn over every three or four days.

In a protein-deficient person, however, turnover may take up to ten days and culminate in what is called a leaky gut: a malfunctioning gut membrane that ‚Äúleaks‚ÄĚ in what it shouldn‚Äôt and won‚Äôt absorb what it should.

In a protein malnourished person, the cellular integrity breaks down and one is susceptible to leaky membranes of the gut, lungs, and blood-brain barrier.

If someone lacks quality protein in their diet with too few, or an imbalance of essential amino acids or has no stomach acid due to taking a drug to block it, they will have poor protein digestion.

If there are not enough enzymes in the stomach or pancreas, or, a weak intestinal membrane from protein deficiency, then absorption will not occur.

Of the twenty-two amino acids that the body uses to make proteins, eight of them are classified as essential. This means that we must get these from food or supplements, because the body is unable to make them.

If the body has the eight essential amino acids in the proper quantities and in the right proportion, then it can make the remaining fourteen non-essential acids.

A Microbiome-Driven Approach to Combating Depression During the Pandemic

Anxiety & Depression Are Common Side Effects of Lockdown

Antidepressant use graph in 2020
Just after the start of lockdowns, use of prescription Anti-anxiety drugs soared by up to 31%. Antidepressant prescriptions are up 13‚Äď22% over last year for each of the eight weeks ending 6 June 2020¬†RACGP

One approach to combat depression should include potential diet modification, nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes.

Increasing the abundance of beneficial organisms that exhibit a reduction in their levels during stress and depression (e.g., F. prausnitzii, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus) and decrease the levels of pathogens such as Candida, Corynebacterium and Ruthenibacterium should provide an improved gut microbiome.

Healthy eating habits involving limiting consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates and are associated with a decreased risk of depression.

gut brain connection
Bacteria inhabiting our gut have the ability to produce and/or consume a wide range of neurotransmitters.
Disturbance of these neurotransmitters is linked to a variety of mental disorders including depression, a target of many antidepressant pharmacological treatments.

A possible approach to rebalance these neurotransmitters, although not completely discovered, is by modulating the abundance of specific bacteria.

Increasing these beneficial organisms while decreasing pathogenic ones through diet may help in rebalancing neurotransmitter and reducing symptoms of some mental disorders including depression.

Probiotic consumption can restore the gut balance, and decrease the likelihood of colonization of the gut by opportunistic pathogens.

All Disease Begins in the Gut - Hippocrates

Shop for Gut Health Supplements

Leaky Gut Guardian¬ģ¬†is a supplement designed to weed out bad bacteria and reseed the good ones, as well as repair the gut lining.

Masszymes is the most potent enzyme blend for digestive function and nutrient absorption.

Guest Author
Guest Author

This article was contributed by a guest author with expert knowledge in their field.

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