Entrain all of your circadian clocks. Full stop.

Skipping breakfast shifts skin circadian clock and enhances UVB-induced skin aging and cancer (Wang et al., 2017)... ok, that's not the real title of the paper, but it's what the research showed. And it's kind of amazing.

Regarding skin cancer and wrinkles, there are two basic processes to focus on: proliferation and protection.

These processes don't really overlap: you want endogenous protective mechanisms during the day, to protect against UV rays, and you don't want to be proliferating at this time because that would increase the chances of a malignant mutation being passed on.

Conversely, at night when the risk of UV-induced DNA damage is considerably less, it's a green light for proliferation of skin cells. This is healthy, anti-aging-like turnover of skin cells.

We've discussed the importance of co-entrainment of your circadian clocks in the path: sunlight in the morning to start up the central pacemaker, breakfast in the morning to co-entrain many of the peripheral clocks with the master clock, exercise to get the skeletal muscle clock on board... but now we have another reason for breakfast: to co-entrain the circadian rhythms in your skin!

Consequences of skipping breakfast, going to the gym at night, staying up late, and having a big dinner: increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc., etc...

In this study: skin aging and cancer.

We know shining extra UV light on mice at night, which itself is a circadian disruption, induces more cancer-causing DNA damage than shining the same dose of UV during the day. This is mainly due to the circadian entrainment of daytime sunlight.

The wrench in the gears: switching around mouse feeding schedule reverses this.


Yes. There are a lot of moving parts here. Mice are nocturnal: their feeding window and active phase occurs in the dark. Shining extra UV on them at this time is carcinogenic. Now restrict their feeding window to the light phase (circadian disruption for nocturnal species), and that same UV dose is more carcinogenic during the day.

The researchers showed this fashion of circadian disruption repressed a DNA repair enzyme. Induced by feeding outside of the species-appropriate circadian window. Fascinating.

Take home: cover all your bases. Entrain ALL THE CLOCKS. Breakfast, sunlight, exercise in the morning. Don't stay up late and eat a large meal at night.

That's all for now!

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