Dr Parker’s presentation is titled: Understanding the link between oestrogen, circadian rhythm and metabolic health. In his presentation, he’ll explore the mechanisms which link oestrogen, metabolism and circadian rhythms to wellness and ill-health.
As Dr Parker says: “Lifestyle and environmental factors such as poor quality diet, nutrient timing, artificial light exposure, lack of sleep and exercise, stress, social isolation and environmental chemical exposure, can all disrupt these ancient biological systems and have created an epidemic of chronic diseases.”
“Understanding the underlying mechanisms provides the rationale for emphasising lifestyle-based approaches for the prevention and management of chronic disease. This presentation proposes a new model for framing health and wellbeing that emphasises the importance of balancing our modern lifestyle with our ancient biology,” he adds.
Understanding why our circadian rhythms are so important
Dr Parker will explain more about the importance of our circadian rhythms: “All of the energy required for human survival and reproduction is derived from photosynthesis – a process which harnesses the energy of sunlight into dietary macronutrients,” he says.
“Metabolism is concerned with converting the energy stored in food into chemical energy for fuelling biological functions in every cell in our body. Optimal health and wellbeing is achieved by synchronising our metabolism and physiology, or internal environment, with our external environment or habitat. This requires that metabolic processes are linked to the changing external environment, during the 24 hour light/dark cycle, by genetically programmed circadian rhythms,” adds Dr Parker.
“The circadian timing system regulates the oscillation of many of our biological functions, in an effort to create hormonal and metabolic homeostasis. Most of the cells in our body have autonomous clocks that oscillate over an approximate 24 hour period. These internal genetic clocks need to be synchronised to the light/dark cycle of our environment so that feeding, sleeping, movement and behaviour can be matched to our metabolic needs,” he says.
Our health and wellbeing are dependent on our circadian rhythms
“Health and wellbeing is dependent on the synchronisation of mutually beneficial intracellular signalling pathways linking metabolism with the fundamental mechanisms of the circadian clock. This presentation will describe the interconnections between circadian rhythms and metabolic homeostasis, as well as the underlying consequences that circadian dysregulation might have in the development of common chronic diseases,” says Dr Parker.
“Oestrogen plays a fundamental role in regulating and co-ordinating metabolic and circadian rhythms in both men and women. Oestrogen receptors are thought to have evolved over 500 million years ago and are strategically placed in areas of the cell, and in specific areas of the body, that allow it to play a major role in linking metabolic processes to circadian rhythms. This ensures individual survival by synchronising the body’s internal environment to our external environment or habitat.
“In women, the reproductive function of oestrogen is superimposed on these underlying biological systems to ensure that both the internal and external environments are optimally co-ordinated with the reproductive cycle. Oestrogen therefore plays a fundamental role in linking optimal health and individual survival with species survival,” he adds.
Dr Jim Parker BMed, BSc, DRANZCOG, FRANZCOG is an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Endoscopic Surgeon and Nutritional and Environmental Medicine Health Researcher. He is a researcher and presenter on issues related to Women’s Health and Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.
Dr Parker has presented and published his research on a variety of metabolic issues including: A New Paradigm for Understanding the Common Origins of the Chronic Disease Epidemic, Emerging Concepts in the Pathogenesis and Management of Polycystic Ovary syndrome and Mitochondrial Dysfunction.
You can see Dr Jim Parker giving his full presentation titled: Understanding the link between oestrogen, circadian rhythm and metabolic health, at the ACNEM Conference – Evolving Landscapes of Nutrition in Medicine, held in Melbourne from 24-26 May this year.