The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 18 No. 6 • October 2015


THE MEXICAN SIESTA:GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH, NOT JUST FOR A NAP AFTER LUNCH

HYPOTHESIS: Sandy thinks that the Mexican siesta, where people sleep for a while following a heavy lunch, is linked to the pulsatile release of prostaglandin D2 (also released by the niacin flush as a pulse. See Sandy’s paper on that subject if interested in technical discussion, available in three parts at the Life Enhancement magazine for July, August, and September, www.life-enhancement.com). The Mexican foods found in a lunch are generally high in hot chili peppers that contain capsaicin, which activates the TRPV1 receptor (Lee, 2015). That receptor does a number of interesting things, such as reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes (Lee, 2015), reducing pain (Origoni, 2014), reducing inflammation (Zhao, 2013) generally, as well as being a major sleep-inducing signal (hence the siesta).

A major part of the pathway by which TRPV1 accomplishes these effects is via the pulsatile release of the prostaglandin PGD2, which suppresses the chronic release of PGD2 that has proinflammatory effects in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and also reduces the release of PGE2, an inflammatory prostaglandin associated with hyperalgesia (severe pain). (Ndengele, 2008) (Also see Sandy Shaw’s paper on the niacin flush in the section on Alzheimer’s disease that appeared in the August issue of the LIFE ENHANCEMENT magazine online at www.life-enhancement.com.)

  • Lee, Jung, Kim, et al. Transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 channel regulates diet-induced obesity, insulin resistance, and leptin resistance. FASEB J. 29:3182-92 (2015).
  • Origoni, Maggiore, et al. Neurobiological mechanisms of pelvic pain. Biomed Res Int. 2014:903848. doi: 10.1155/2014/903848. Epub 2014 Jul 8 (2014).
  • Zhao, Ching, Kou, et al. Activation of TRPV1 prevents OxLDL-induced lipid accumulation and TNF-alpha-induced inflammation in macrophages: role of liver X receptor alpha. Mediators Inflamm. 2013:925171. doi: 10.1155/2013/925171. Epub 2013 Jun 26 (2013).
  • Ndengele, Cuzzocrea, et al. Cyclooxygenases 1 and 2 contribute to peroxynitrite-mediated inflammatory pain hypersensitivity. FASEB J. 22:3154-64 (2008).

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