I think this example from my webinar last night will be instructive here: a point to make here on Cycloset for the ladies: Anti aging docs push optimal Testosterone, Vitamin D, PG/E2 and IGF1 to improve lean muscle mass and decrease body fat. The dopamine receptor (D2R) agonist bromocriptine (cycloset) also decreases body fat in animal and human models and increases lean muscle mass, improves glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, and reduces triglycerides and free fatty acids in the HPA. One of the cardinal features of environmental mismatches and altered epigenetic switches is a low dopamine level in the HPA. This results in an abnormal diurnal pattern of AM and PM cortisol and melatonin. It is often associated with a low vitamin D too. Low dopamine levels are seen in lower light levels and cause autumnal weight gain by the changes seen in the conversion of Vit D1 to D2 and to D3. Many people think dopamine is just tied to the reward of food when it is directly responsible for altered light cycles on the skin and at the eye in the SCN. This is how proper circadian signaling keeps our cells growth pattern normalized. This is also why obesity is considered the first step to cancer......step two is T2D, and the final step is cancer generation itself. They are symptoms of declining circadian signaling of dopamine in the brain. Poor sleep is always associated with altered dopamine, cortisol and melatonin cycle issues too. The worse your dopamine levels are, the more likely it is for you to develop and epithelial cancers too. Poor sleep is also associated with these cancers and a sluggish metabolism. Activation of dopamine D2 receptors simultaneously ameliorates various metabolic features of obese women as well. Here is where the PCOS and T2D link enter.
Kok P et al. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2006 November; 291(5):E1038-43.
Why do women have a bigger issue with all this than men? Because of the leptin-dopamine link. Leptin is sexually dimorphic and higher in women naturally. It has been previously shown in several papers that there is a negative correlation between D2R receptor and body weight in obese individuals and in rodents . . . . This has made me conclude that; these observations are all consistent with the existence of unique leptin-Dopamine interactions at the hypothalamus level and the hypothesis that there is hyposensitivity of the Dopamine system in obesity, PCOS,T2D, and in cancer. All of these conditions show low dopamine, upside down PG/e2 ratios, low Vitamin D levels, and very alter diurnal cortisol and melatonin levels. The ideal way to modify this in women is to treat the HPA deficit while teach them how to re establish their circadian signaling at the brain level to improve their metabolism.
That is a focus of this webinar for ladies; ie teaching them why they are different than men in regards to weight and circadian biology. For those who believe the reward theory of food let me give you a new perspective and a 30,000 ft view of what got lost in because of a myopic perspective. Reward is directly tied to light levels in humans and not food, because of what I wrote in the Brain Gut 11 blog.
48% of our metabolic pathways are tied to light sensation. Food does not drive reward. Light does, because the food that carries high reward only grows when light cycles are long therefore controlled by sunlight exposure. I know that sounds sounds counterintuitive to some, but it is precisely how the brain is wired in humans to couple food and light. The body collects that data from the eye (SCN) and skin for the brain and the brain senses and correlates that data to set the the metabolic rate and growth cycle by going up or down with dopamine levels at the HPA. Dopamine interacts with leptin directly as mentioned above and this is why women and men are different at a central Nervous system level. This is why sleep, metabolism and the cell cycle are all linked to the dopamine pathways tied to light and not just food. Food reward is a good idea not looked into deep enough by those who buy it 100%.