Ayurveda and “Circadian Rhythm And Well-being
“This 2017 Nobel Prize winning research work is based on the circadian rhythm, which refers to biochemical oscillators that respond to solar cycles. Laureates Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash discovered that PER, the protein encoded by period, accumulated during the night and was degraded during the day. Thus, PER protein levels oscillate over a 24-hour cycle, in synchrony with the circadian rhythm.
It is striking to note how Ayurveda establishes the link between the revolution-rotation of the earth and human health. According to Ayurveda, the different tridoshas (the three humors: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, in the body that need to be balanced for perfect health), are predominant during different times of the day. For instance, Pitta Dosha which controls digestion, metabolism and energy production is high between 10am and 2pm. Pitta ensures the availability of energy to perform various activities. This very well correlates with the high alertness, best co-ordination and fastest reaction times shown in the illustration below. Research works on circadian rhythm from the perspective of Ayurveda correlate the time of the day and hormonal activity, very similar to the degeneration of protein with the day as discovered by the laureates. For example, Kapha dosha is predominant in early phase of the day. Most of the hormones are at the peak level in the morning and they decline with the time and are lowest at the evening time.”
From Nobel Prize summary:
“Keeping time on our human physiology
The biological clock is involved in many aspects of our complex physiology. We now know that all multicellular organisms, including humans, utilize a similar mechanism to control circadian rhythms. A large proportion of our genes are regulated by the biological clock and, consequently, a carefully calibrated circadian rhythm adapts our physiology to the different phases of the day (below). Since the seminal discoveries by the three laureates, circadian biology has developed into a vast and highly dynamic research field, with implications for our health and wellbeing.
The circadian clock anticipates and adapts our physiology to the different phases of the day. Our biological clock helps to regulate sleep patterns, feeding behavior, hormone release, blood pressure, and body temperature.”
A simplified illustration of the feedback regulation of the periodgene. The figure shows the sequence of events during a 24h oscillation. When the period gene is active, period mRNA is made. The mRNA is transported to the cell’s cytoplasm and serves as template for the production of PER protein. The PER protein accumulates in the cell’s nucleus, where the period gene activity is blocked. This gives rise to the inhibitory feedback mechanism that underlies a circadian rhythm.”
Source: Swarajyamag.com; Nobelprize.org
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