The Sirtfood Diet by Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten
This book gives us the tools to leverage the benefits of caloric restriction, of which there are many, by consuming certain foods. And yes, wine is part of it!
As has been discussed on this page previously, we have the ability to leverage certain phenotypes (fancy word for manifestation or presentation in the body). One of the genes that are expressed during caloric restriction is a class called sirtuins (SIRT1 to SIRT7). It is thru these genes that many of the benefits realized from caloric restriction are executed metabolically.
“SUMMARY • Each of us possesses an ancient family of genes called sirtuins. • Sirtuins are master metabolic regulators that control our ability to burn fat and stay healthy. • Sirtuins act as energy sensors within our cells, and get activated when a shortage of energy is detected. • Fasting and exercise both activate our sirtuin genes, but can be hard to stick to and even have drawbacks. • There is a new groundbreaking way to activate our sirtuin genes: Sirtfoods. • By eating a diet rich in Sirtfoods, you can mimic the effects of fasting and exercise, and achieve the body you want.”
Sirtuins can influence the change from fat storage to fat burn (sounds good huh?). They also activate a regulator in the mitochondria, called PGC-1α, that encourages fat burning. Further genetic influences cause white adipose tissue (WAT or white fat) to convert to brown adipose tissue (BAT, brown fat). This is impactful metabolically as BAT can be used to burn energy and create heat by a process called uncoupling. This is where the energy creation system in the mitochondria can be diverted essentially from its normal ATP creation, and heat is the result. This is good in BAT cells (not so much in normal cells) because it can be consumed (fat loss) and the negative metabolic effects WAT possesses will be removed.
Losing fat mass is great, and this is paired with a reduction in muscle breakdown. SIRT1 inhibits muscle breakdown, so even though someone may be in a calorie restricted state, muscle is not broken down for fuel. They further can improve muscle mass.
Insulin resistance is among the biggest driver of chronic disease in the modern era. Sirtuins can help insulin work more effectively. the authors point out that metformin (probably the most popular oral diabetic agent) works thru SIRT1 for part of its action.
Here is the list of food components that the authors listed as sirtuin activating.
SIRTFOOD MAJOR SIRTUIN-ACTIVATING NUTRIENTS
1 arugula (quercetin, kaempferol)
2 buckwheat (rutin)
3 capers (kaempferol, quercetin)
4 celery (including its leaves apigenin, luteolin)
5 chilies (luteolin, myricetin)
6 cocoa (epicatechin)
7 coffee (caffeic acid)
8 extra virgin olive oil (oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol )
9 garlic (ajoene, myricetin)
10 green tea (especially matcha) epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
11 kale (kaempferol, quercetin)
12 Medjool dates (gallic acid, caffeic acid)
13 parsley (apigenin, myricetin)
14 red endive (luteolin)
15 red onion (quercetin)
16 red wine (resveratrol, piceatannol )
17 (soy daidzein, formononetin)
18 ORGANIC strawberries (fisetin)
19 turmeric (curcumin)
20 walnuts (gallic acid)
Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, The Sirtfood Diet, pg. 54, loc. 728
To me, this one of those win-win situations. Caloric restriction has many benefits, with the major drawback of not being very fun at all. While consuming fewer calories is the best way to capture these benefits, on the days when you want to/need to consume more, or just want to enhance your caloric restriction period, adding foods or supplements with these ingredients provides the opportunity for a major upgrade in the effectiveness. Definitely a hack worth considering, especially when wine and chocolate are on the list!
We have used these strategies in many people and even strategically used supplements to leverage the effect more greatly, please reach out if you are interested in learning more.
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