20

votes

Can stomach acid help explain the "Big Protein Breakfast"

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 13, 2011 at 4:00 PM

All the nutrition reading I've been doing in class and on the internets makes me wake up thinking about this stuff now.

Most of the paleo community suggests a protein packed first meal these days (pastured eggs and bacon anyone?) I know I feel better when I start my day with a plate full of meat and eggs and although lots of people are talking about it, I still think about reasons why.

This morning I woke up wondering. How much better do breakfast and meals that break a fast (waittt a second, that's just like the last word, weird...) get broken down than other meals? After a full night's sleep or any type of intermittent fast, the supply and potency of stomach acid and pancreatic enzymes must be at it's fullest ready to destroy some food.

So, the question. Is it possible that we break down food more efficiently and therefore have access to more nutrients in meals that break a fast due to stronger and more plentiful enzymes and stomach acid?

I know there are other mechanisms at work but could this be one of them?

Sorry to start your Sunday with a 33 word question but the leaves are falling, the sun is out and the wheels are turning. Thanks yo's.

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:55 AM

@Quilt, I was referring carbohydrate restriction for controlling abnormal patterns of gastri acid secretion due to H. pylori. The target is reducing the activity of H+ producing gut bacteria (ie. Klebisella) which feeds H. pylori. Molecular hydrogen produced in the gut can be transferred to other tissues, stimulating abnormal colonization of H.pylori to the gastric mucosa (emphasize "abnormal", H. pylori is a normal resident of the stomach). Would love to read something about the connection of CLOCK and BMAL1 with glucorregulation. Recent studies with CLOCK KO mice are impressive.

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:49 AM

@Chris and Quilt, cortisol is a BIG issue. Its morning rise is VERY important for glucorregulation. Expecting that post.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Could it have something to do with the interaction between CCK, leptin, the circadian rhythm, and digestion? Guess we'll find out.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Lucas again is correct.....and CCK controls those two. Also in my next blog. You guys are hitting home runs all here. Great thread. Plus one all around.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Chris you are going to love tomorrows post.....i promise with your above questions. Cortisol is a huge issue.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:14 AM

Actually the ultradian rhythm requires carbs and protein to work optimally. the reason why this is critical I will discuss in detail in my next blog. What one should do after the Leptin Rx reset of the hypothalamus is complete. It explains this in detail.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:13 AM

Lucas it goes even deeper......Ulcer patients, RA, OA patients all have altered ultradian and circadian rhythms for several very interesting issues. One of which we discussed here and is part of my next blog.

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Dextery, yes, and I would emphasize low carbohydrate.

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Nutritionator, the enzymes necessary for digestion are released in response to food stimuli. In the case of proteases, an acid pH stimulates the conversion of propepsin to pepsin. The "right types and amounts of enzymes in the secretion" would not refer to gastric acid secretion (H+) but to bile and pancreatic juice.

Medium avatar

on November 13, 2011
at 08:43 PM

Maybe it doesn't matter when we eat our first meal but when we eat our last since there is some evidence that melatonin (from being in darkness) increases leptin levels and if we eat too late that disrupts melatonin release. Here's more outside the box thinking (possibly wrong though): isn't it possible that it's better not to eat right after waking because leptin inhibits cortisol, so eating will raise leptin and reduce cortisol, causing us to be less alert in the morning and possibly raise cortisol levels later on when they should be lower?

Medium avatar

on November 13, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Would this also correspond with the fact that cortisol levels are lower at night and higher when we wake up? It seems to me that our ancestors may not have had a supply of food with them when they woke up, but probably had to go find it, which likely took a while. If all this is evidence that it's optimal not to eat breakfast, how does this fit in with the fact that our metabolic activity (and thus eating) and sleep wake cycle is connected via the hypocretin neurons that are activated by leptin?

3a567c1637db69f1455ce35e78201a2c

(1054)

on November 13, 2011
at 07:18 PM

@Lucas & @Quilt, Cure for abnormal gastric acid secretion patterns? Cure leaky gut=cure gastric acid abnomalities? – Dextery 1 min ago

3a567c1637db69f1455ce35e78201a2c

(1054)

on November 13, 2011
at 07:13 PM

@Lucas & @Quilt, Cure for abnormal gastric acid secretion patterns? Cure leaky gut=cure gastric acid abnomalities?

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Warning, thinking outside the box. Is fasting gastric secretion even meaningful? Secretion is going to change as needed according to meals so how relevant is secretion when we're not eating? I think the more important side of the coin might be making sure we have the right types and amounts of enzymes in the secretion. Sorry, my brain is leaking today.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:47 PM

This would only apply to the denaturing of proteins, right? The consumption of, say, tubers should be largely unaffected. Because meat in HG societies takes considerable effort to acquire, it would make sense that our stomachs would not 'expect' it immediately upon waking.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

OK, so I guess that means I have a really good excuse for not eating breakfast :) I'd still love to see some data from non-Western non-agrarian populations.

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Well, the data is from the 70's, and results over the years have been consistent. Additionally, subjects have been controlled for confounding Zeitgebers. Obviously, there are individual variations. If I remember well, you have had past health issues, which could have affected the normal rhythm. Other patterns of secretion of hormones involved in metabolism support my hypothesis.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 13, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I also tend to be suspicious of data collected from Westerners eating a conventional diet.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 13, 2011
at 06:08 PM

I want to believe this since I hate eating in the morning, but my own experience is that I seem to be more vulnerable to digestive upsets if I don't eat anything at all until later. I've managed to compromise by having just a small amount of protein in the morning.

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:03 PM

@Adam, yes, as Quilt mentioned, the data is from fasted subjects (see the comment below). It would be like the "basal" level. The circadian clocks can be entrained by different factors. @Quilt, if I remember well, patients with GERD and gastritis have abnormal gastric acid secretion patterns which can further complicate symptoms.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 13, 2011
at 05:59 PM

1.Moore JG, Halberg F. Circadian rhythm of gastric acid secretion in active duodenal ulcer: chronobiological statistical characteristics and comparison of acid secretory and plasma gastrin patterns with healthy subjects and post-vagotomy and pyloroplasty patients. Chronobiology International. 1987;4:101-110. 2.Moore JG, Merki H. Gastrointestinal tract. In: Physiology and Physiology of Biological Rhythms. Peter H. Redfern and Bjorn Lemmer, Editors. Berlin, Springer, 1997, pp.351-373.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 13, 2011
at 05:58 PM

The response is also dose dependent upon the types of food eaten and when they are eaten.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 13, 2011
at 05:57 PM

Very true Lucas. There are several reasons why GERD is worse after meals and at night. First, stomach acid production is highly circadian rhythmic. Research studies on fasted subjects showed stomach acid secretion is 2-3 times greater between 10PM and 2AM than in the daylight. Secondly, eating and drinking immediately stimulates stomach acid production. Daytime GERD symptoms arise from meal timing acid secretion, while night time ones result from the circadian rhythm of stomach acid production that peaks at night.

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on November 13, 2011
at 05:55 PM

@Lucas, Is that in the absence or presence of differing foods?

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 13, 2011
at 05:29 PM

yes you are (pretty) @|^ 1

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 13, 2011
at 05:15 PM

In fact, the circadian rhythm of gastric acid secretion shows that is greater in the evening than in the morning.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 13, 2011
at 05:00 PM

I don't have the study at hand right now, but there is one that showed that protein in the morning helped stimulate acid production, which is important for digesting the rest of your day's food properly.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 13, 2011
at 04:41 PM

you are starting to get real smart......this is why circadian medicine matters. Plus one.

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5 Answers

9
68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

on November 13, 2011
at 05:58 PM

I interpret the evidence regarding circadian rhythms as a "proof" that we have adapted to eat in the evening and fast in the morning. Secretion vs. hours is seen below. Gastric acid secretion starts peaking in the evening and is reduced progressively until the morning. The fact that breakfast can help some people would indicate a dysruption of the circadian clock, which is very common in most diseases.

can-stomach-acid-help-explain-the-

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:23 PM

Well, the data is from the 70's, and results over the years have been consistent. Additionally, subjects have been controlled for confounding Zeitgebers. Obviously, there are individual variations. If I remember well, you have had past health issues, which could have affected the normal rhythm. Other patterns of secretion of hormones involved in metabolism support my hypothesis.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:49 PM

Warning, thinking outside the box. Is fasting gastric secretion even meaningful? Secretion is going to change as needed according to meals so how relevant is secretion when we're not eating? I think the more important side of the coin might be making sure we have the right types and amounts of enzymes in the secretion. Sorry, my brain is leaking today.

Medium avatar

on November 13, 2011
at 08:06 PM

Would this also correspond with the fact that cortisol levels are lower at night and higher when we wake up? It seems to me that our ancestors may not have had a supply of food with them when they woke up, but probably had to go find it, which likely took a while. If all this is evidence that it's optimal not to eat breakfast, how does this fit in with the fact that our metabolic activity (and thus eating) and sleep wake cycle is connected via the hypocretin neurons that are activated by leptin?

Medium avatar

(39821)

on November 13, 2011
at 06:47 PM

This would only apply to the denaturing of proteins, right? The consumption of, say, tubers should be largely unaffected. Because meat in HG societies takes considerable effort to acquire, it would make sense that our stomachs would not 'expect' it immediately upon waking.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 13, 2011
at 06:09 PM

I also tend to be suspicious of data collected from Westerners eating a conventional diet.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:25 AM

Chris you are going to love tomorrows post.....i promise with your above questions. Cortisol is a huge issue.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 13, 2011
at 06:45 PM

OK, so I guess that means I have a really good excuse for not eating breakfast :) I'd still love to see some data from non-Western non-agrarian populations.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 13, 2011
at 06:08 PM

I want to believe this since I hate eating in the morning, but my own experience is that I seem to be more vulnerable to digestive upsets if I don't eat anything at all until later. I've managed to compromise by having just a small amount of protein in the morning.

Medium avatar

on November 13, 2011
at 08:43 PM

Maybe it doesn't matter when we eat our first meal but when we eat our last since there is some evidence that melatonin (from being in darkness) increases leptin levels and if we eat too late that disrupts melatonin release. Here's more outside the box thinking (possibly wrong though): isn't it possible that it's better not to eat right after waking because leptin inhibits cortisol, so eating will raise leptin and reduce cortisol, causing us to be less alert in the morning and possibly raise cortisol levels later on when they should be lower?

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:49 AM

@Chris and Quilt, cortisol is a BIG issue. Its morning rise is VERY important for glucorregulation. Expecting that post.

68f2734a5078a7106f560a7079df45fd

(1550)

on November 14, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Nutritionator, the enzymes necessary for digestion are released in response to food stimuli. In the case of proteases, an acid pH stimulates the conversion of propepsin to pepsin. The "right types and amounts of enzymes in the secretion" would not refer to gastric acid secretion (H+) but to bile and pancreatic juice.

Medium avatar

on November 15, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Could it have something to do with the interaction between CCK, leptin, the circadian rhythm, and digestion? Guess we'll find out.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 15, 2011
at 12:26 AM

Lucas again is correct.....and CCK controls those two. Also in my next blog. You guys are hitting home runs all here. Great thread. Plus one all around.

7
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on November 13, 2011
at 05:10 PM

I'm pretty sure that gastric acid production in the morning is fairly low and eating things like beef stimulates it. So it's not that your stomach can better digest things in the morning, it's probably that protein stimulates the production of the gastric acids and enzymes needed that will help you digest the rest of your food for the day.

E167c0387a5f0b87bb1f2c3e6aec73a8

(1240)

on November 13, 2011
at 05:29 PM

yes you are (pretty) @|^ 1

3
E0250b1e6dc5ec1539ffb745042b4d80

(3651)

on March 12, 2012
at 06:42 PM

You can have my big azz breakfast when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

This is one I don't want any charts, data or graphs on. I experimented too much and big breakfast, lite lunch, and little or no dinner is working better than anything.

I can even IF in the evening at will if I do a big breakfast, but I don't like to call it that. How do you "do" something that means "don't do something?" That's like accusing an atheist of DO-ing "non-believing."

Let's keep it simple. I skip dinner when I feel like it. :)

0
F4225d2219f7ca44bf62c4209ce7b5f9

on March 12, 2012
at 05:47 PM

It does seem to me that some of the skinnier people often forget breakfast. Might be anecdotal, but who really believes anything we are taught anymore?

0
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on November 13, 2011
at 04:34 PM

So, the question. Is it possible that we break down food more efficiently and therefore have access to more nutrients in meals that break a fast due to stronger and more plentiful enzymes and stomach acid?

Sure, its possible, BUT how much more efficiency is possible? 1%? less? Does it matter?

What many people fail to understand is that EVERYTHING we eat gets 'processed' and very little makes it out in the same form it was consumed. Specifically, every single sugar eaten definitively gets 'processed', no matter how much is eaten. And, w regard to fat gain, the instant glycogen stores are full, all sugar is stored as fat, as well as any excess fat floating around (hence why ice cream is bad for you).

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