Highlights and a different perspective
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Hey Everybody!

It’s NBT highlights time! Every week we’ll send you a short email containing the following:

  1. One piece of simple, actionable advice to improve your health and performance.

  2. Something we would like to give a different perspective on, and why.

  3. One awesome thing that we think you’ll enjoy!

One action to add to your health routine this week:

Eat to the clock to improve fat loss, sleep quality, and metabolic health.

Dr. Satchidananda Panda is probably the world’s foremost expert on circadian rhythm, particularly when it comes to meal timing. Some recent pilot work by his group used a smartphone app to help people better understand when and how they eat. In people eating over a period of more than 14 hours per day (yes, your morning coffee counts), reducing this to a 10-12 hour eating window resulted in weight loss and improved sleep. It also helped if people kept the same schedule across the whole week, rather than having different eating patterns on the weekend, which can cause metabolic “jet lag”.

Though an exact time of day wasn’t specified in that study, we’d start earlier and avoid eating large meals late in the day, as this can also negatively impact metabolic health.

A different perspective:

We recently heard a functional medicine doc say that you shouldn’t worry about thyroid autoantibody levels until they’re over 500IU/ml. These antibodies are significant contributors to autoimmune thyroid diseases like Hashimoto’s, and 500IU/ml is way higher than we consider to be normal (we like them as close to zero as possible). 

The cut-off of 500IU/ml is based on this study, which suggested that only those with thyroid antibody levels >500IU/ml were at an increased risk of hypothyroidism. However, their definition of hypothyroidism was a TSH level of >4.6mIU/l! Most people nowadays would say that a TSH level <2mIU/l should be the target. In this study, the only group of people who had average TSH levels under 2 were those with thyroid antibodies <100IU/ml. Sadly they didn’t look at those with even lower antibody levels.

Though the correlation isn’t great, TSH levels tend to increase as thyroid autoantibodies increase, so tracking these numbers over time can be useful. If your antibody numbers are going up, regardless of where they started, you should look at what’s going on under the hood. Waiting until your antibodies hit 500IU/ml before taking action is like waiting until you have type 2 diabetes before you worry about your blood sugar.

Something awesome:

After a long wait, the video of my talk from the inaugural Icelandic Health Symposium was recently released. It’s basically a blueprint for the stuff that should underpin any treatment protocol to improve health - movement, stress modification, light, love, and meaning. References included!

Thanks for reading!

Tommy Wood, MD, PhD

P.S Got anything that you think is a highlight? We’d love to hear from you! Send your thoughts to

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