Why Is Late Night Eating Bad For You?

hi my name is dr. Keegan to gisela and

the medical director of the health

nucleus in San Diego California and

let's talk about why late-night eating

is so bad for you we've all done it it's

10:00 p.m. you're exhausted after a long

day and you can't wait to sit on the

couch and dig into some ice cream it

tastes so good but you know deep down is

probably not the best for you we all

know that highly processed foods and

refined sugars will spike your blood

glucose levels and while what you eat

matters when you eat could be just as

important our metabolism actually

changes throughout the day if you give

somebody the exact same meal for

breakfast lunch and dinner you'd expect

your blood sugar spikes to be the

similar but they're not the lowest blood

sugar spike is in the morning and the

highest isn't evening again for the

exact same meal and quantity of food so

what's going on in nighttime it could be

melatonin in the evening about two to

three hours before our bedtime our

pineal gland secretes melatonin

melatonin binds to receptors on the

pancreas telling the pancreas to stop

secreting insulin it essentially tells

the Pingris to go to sleep if there's no

insulin your blood sugar stays high this

has implications not just for people

with diabetes but for all of you with

just borderline elevated sugars one

study showed that people with high

normal and borderline fasting blood

glucose levels

we're associated with lower hippocampal

volumes the structures in the brain that

are involved in cognition and memory and

we know that hippocampal atrophy or

shrinking of this tissue is associated

with certain neurodegenerative disease

like Alzheimer's dementia just a quick

note here genetics plays a role as well

there's a variant of the MT NR 1 B gene

that about a third of the population has

that makes pancreatic cells more

sensitive to the effects of melatonin

resulting in less insulin secretion in a

higher blood sugar spike knowing you

have this variant could make it even

more vigilant about avoiding those

late-night snacks so let's recap why is

it so awful to eat late at night

well hours before you go to bed your

brain releases melatonin which tells

your pancreas to stop releasing insulin

that sugar in your bloodstream from the

ice cream stays elevated which over time

is associated with hippocampal atrophy

and a higher risk of Alzheimer's

so my recommendation try to have your

last food intake at least a few hours

before you go to bed

and before that natural increase in

melatonin and let's be honest we make

very poor decisions with our late-night

food selections anyways no one's on the

couch watching their favorite TV show

with a big bowl of salad at 10:00 p.m.

it just doesn't happen alright so I hope

you enjoyed this segment on why you

should avoid late-night eating

references and links to some really good

studies are down below and I encourage

you to subscribe if you're interested in

learning more about precision medicine

and optimizing your health

I'm dr. Keegan Dutch Estela take care

and be well