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AHS13 Grayson Wheatley - What is Optimal Health? Complexity Science, Chaos Theory and Its Impact on Ancestral Health


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An ancestral lifestyle relies on alignment of nutrition, physical activity and sleep for achieving optimal health and well-being. New research in complexity science - a rapidly evolving body of work that studies dynamic networking systems - has cast doubt on the effectiveness of how we measure expected outcomes in health and medicine. Complex systems may better explain human health by focusing not on single data elements as “cause-and-effect” but on the interactions among complex biological systems. The implications of complexity science and chaos theory on leading an ancestral lifestyle and achieving optimal health will be discussed.

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AHS13 Grayson Wheatley - What is Optimal Health? Complexity Science, Chaos Theory and Its Impact on Ancestral Health

  1. 1. What is Optimal Health? Complexity Science, Chaos Theory and its Impact on Ancestral Health Grayson H. Wheatley, MD Phoenix, Arizona
  2. 2. Disclaimer The comments and statements in this presentation are solely my own and in no way represent my employer. 2
  3. 3. “Typical Day” 3
  4. 4. Why Am I Here? AHS 2012
  5. 5. Heart Disease Prevention and the Ancestral Diet Decrease inflammation (biomarkers) Ancestral Diet Prevent/slow heart disease
  6. 6. Optimal Health What is “Optimal Health”? Do we know it when we see it? How do we measure it? How do we achieve it?
  7. 7. Ancestral Health nutrient dense duration quality absence of processed foods intensity functional
  8. 8. Ancestral Health ? Chaos Theory
  9. 9. “Alongside relativity and quantum mechanics, it is being hailed as the twentieth century's third revolution.” The Butterfly Effect: This effect grants the power to cause a hurricane in China to a butterfly flapping its wings in New Mexico. 1988 Small changes in the initial conditions….lead to drastic changes in the results
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  11. 11. Foundational Principles “The human mind has a trusty device for simplifying a complex world: reduce to averages and identify trends.” “… our culture encodes a strong bias either to neglect or ignore variation. We tend to focus instead on measures of central tendency, and as a result we make some terrible mistakes, often with considerable practical import.” 1996
  12. 12. Variation is the NATURE of Life Fractal - iterative pattern of nesting sequences. “self-similarity”
  13. 13. Fractal Anatomy
  14. 14. Heart Rate
  15. 15. Heart Rate Variability
  16. 16. Heart Rate Variability
  17. 17. “A Healthy Complexity” A. Goldberger. Nature 1999; 399:461
  18. 18. Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
  19. 19. Age related entropy in HRV
  20. 20. Do we need to re-design pacemakers?
  21. 21. HRV as a tool to monitor overtraining
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Esko Hyvärinen Tampere University of Technology,, Ragnar Granit Institute Sensatex, Inc
  24. 24. “Smart Band-aids” Corventis 29
  25. 25. HRV and Ancestral Health
  26. 26. HRV and Ancestral Health ?
  27. 27. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may modulate autonomic control of the heart. Omega-3 PUFA is abundant in the brain and other nervous tissue as well as in cardiac tissue. Studies have demonstrated a positive association between cellular content of omega-3 PUFA and HRV Supplementation with omega-3 PUFA seems to increase HRV Could be a possible explanation for decreased risk of arrhythmic events and sudden cardiac death sometimes observed after omega-3 PUFA supplementation.
  28. 28. HRV and Ancestral Health
  29. 29. HRV and Ancestral Health ?
  30. 30. HRV and Ancestral Health
  31. 31. HRV and Ancestral Health
  32. 32. “Anticipatory Medicine” signal complexity  health Heart beats Sleep apnea Brain waves Gait pattern “We’re developing and refining computational tools to pull useful information out of extremely complex data sets.” – Ary Goldberger, MD, Wyss Institute, Boston, MA
  33. 33. Modifying factors Ancestral Health Heart rate variability Chaos Theory
  34. 34. “Fractal Physiology” Fractal breathing Fractal gait Fractal temperature Fractal neurons Where Medicine Went Wrong. Bruce J. West. World Scientific 2006
  35. 35. Fractal Gut
  36. 36. Fractal Gut Loss of villi secondary to gluten sensitivity. LOSS OF FRACTAL ARCHITECTURE Sign of disease
  37. 37. Claude Bernard (1813-1878) “Constancy of internal mileu is the essential condition to a free life.” -Introduction to Experimental Medicine (1865)
  38. 38. Homeostasis -Greek words “same” and “steady” -Resistance to change -General property of all highly complex systems
  39. 39. Regulation of Calcium
  40. 40. Law of Frequency of Errors
  41. 41. Normal distribution is not compatible with complexity science and chaos Vital Signs Heart rate Respiratory rate Temperature Blood pressure 89 beats per minute 18 breaths per minute 98.9 degress F 128/78 mmHg Does not capture or reflect variability in the system.
  42. 42. Circulation 2009; 120: 118-125
  43. 43. Chris Masterjohn – AHS 2012 Framingham Heart Study
  44. 44. Inverse Power-Law Distribution “Simple Systems” “Complex Systems” Inverse power-law
  45. 45. Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) Inverse power –law distribution Ubiquitous in the real world Ubiquitous in Medicine Differences between physical sciences and life sciences “The few are important and determine the properties of complex systems and the many are irrelevant and readily replaceable.” – Bruce J. West
  46. 46. HRV – Inverse Power-Law
  47. 47. Optimal Health Measures of health (i.e. laboratory values, vital signs) fail to capture intrinsic variability in our health A certain level of random variation is an essential part of health Loss of randomness to biologic functions reflects disease and ageing
  48. 48. Ancestral Health + Chaos Diet Promote and support variability Intermittent calorie intake Intermittent supplement intake Doses and frequency Diversified nutrients Avoid anti-nutrients
  49. 49. Ancestral Health Exercise Robert Dos Remedios
  50. 50. Ancestral Health Sleep Quality and duration Variability Bedtime Waking-up Duration Measurements Attention to sleep cycle
  51. 51. Thank you! Wheatley AHS2012 56