Satchidananda (Satchin) Panda is a professor at the Salk Institute, La Jolla, California, where his research focuses on the circadian regulation of behavior, physiology and metabolism in model organisms and in humans. He discovered a blue-light sensing cell type in the retina entrains our master circadian clock, affects mood, and regulates the production of sleep hormone melatonin. Recently he discovered that maintaining a daily feeding-fasting cycle – popularly known as Time-restricted feeding (TRF) – can prevent and reverse metabolic diseases. Based on a feasibility study in humans, his lab is currently carrying out a smartphone based study (www.mycircadianclock.org) to assess the extent of circadian disruption among adults.
The Circadian Code for the fountain of health
Over the last century biomedical research increased human longevity from ~45 years to ~90 years. However, this doubling of human lifespan has not been matched by living healthy. Nearly 1 out of 3 adults and 9 out of 10 people at the age of 60 suffer from at least one chronic disease for which the cure is rare. Doubling of lifespan was driven by the germ theory of disease. We need a similar unifying theory to extend years of life a good health. Here I propose “circadian theory of health” that can revolutionize health care and can give us decades of disease-free healthy life. By following simple lifestyle changes around time of the day and by selecting healthy lighting, we can prevent or reverse many chronic diseases ranging from obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart burn, depression, bipolar disease, dementia, cancer and many more. Even when we fall sick, accurate timing of everyday drugs that matches our circadian rhythm can accelerate cure and bring back our health.