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Journal Club with Dr. Peter Attia | Effects of Light & Dark on Mental Health & Treatments for Cancer

Huberman Lab

Scicomm Media

Science, Life Sciences, Health & Fitness

4.923.3K Ratings

🗓️ 22 January 2024

⏱️ 189 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


In this journal club episode, my guest is Dr. Peter Attia, M.D., a Stanford and Johns Hopkins-trained physician focusing on healthspan and lifespan and the host of The Drive podcast. We each present a peer-reviewed scientific paper chosen because it contains novel, interesting, and actionable data. First, we discuss a paper on how bright light exposure at sunrise and throughout the day and dark exposure at night independently improve mental health and can offset some of the major symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Then, we discuss an article that explores a novel class of immunotherapy treatments to combat cancer. We also discuss some of the new data on low-calorie sweeteners and if they are safe. This episode should be of interest to listeners curious about maximizing their vitality and longevity and to anyone seeking science-supported ways to improve mental health and lifespan. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://www.eightsleep.com/huberman BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/huberman Joovv: https://joovv.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Dr. Peter Attia, Journal Club (00:02:40) Sponsors: Eight Sleep, BetterHelp & Joovv (00:07:14) Light, Dark & Mental Health; Retina (00:11:16) Outdoor vs. Indoor Light, Cataracts, Sunglasses (00:16:17) Tools: Sunrise & Sunsets, Circadian Rhythm; Midday Light (00:24:55) Tools: Night & Light Exposure; Waking Before Sunrise (00:31:05) Article #1, Light/Dark Exposure & Mental Health (00:36:50) Sponsor: AG1 (00:38:18) Odds Ratio, Hazard Ratio (00:45:43) Night vs. Daylight Exposure, Mental Health Disorders (00:51:35) Major Depression & Light Exposure; Error Bars & Significance (00:59:15) Sponsor: LMNT (01:00:39) Prescriptions; Environmental & Artificial Light; Red Lights (01:08:14) Nighttime Light Exposure; Sleep Trackers & Belief Effects (01:13:54) Light Directionality, Phone, Night (01:17:21) Light Wavelengths & Sensors; Sunglasses (01:20:58) Hawthorne Effect, Reverse Causality, Genetics (01:26:26) Artificial Sweeteners, Appetite (01:31:16) Natural Light Cycles, Circadian Rhythm & Mental Health (01:39:53) Article #2, Immune System & Cancer (01:43:18) T-Cell Activation; Viruses (01:50:41) Autoimmunity; Cancer & Immune System Evasion (02:00:09) Checkpoint Inhibitors, CTLA-4 (02:06:45) Anti-CTLA-4 Study Drug (Ipilimumab), Melanoma (02:12:07) Patient Population, Randomization, GP100 (02:18:09) Response Rate (02:22:52) Overall Survival & Response (02:28:38) Median Survival vs. Overall Survival, Drug Development (02:35:45) Gender & Dose (02:40:32) Adverse Events; Autoimmunity (02:46:42) Pancreatic Cancer; Aging & Immune System Health (02:53:57) Melanoma; Lynch Syndrome, Keytruda (02:58:43) Immunotherapy & Cancer Treatment; Melanoma Risk (03:06:26) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

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Welcome to the Huberman Lab Podcast, where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life.


I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.


Today marks the second episode in our Journal Club series with myself and Dr. Peter Attia.


Dr. Peter Attia, as many of you know, is a medical doctor who is a world expert in all things health span and lifespan.


He is the author of the best-selling book Outlive, as well as the host of his own terrific


podcast, The Drive. For today's episode, Peter and I each select a different


paper to share with you. We selected these papers because we feel they are both extremely interesting and extremely




First, I present a paper that is about how light exposure during the morning and daytime


as well as dark exposure at night, each have independent


and positive effects on mental health, as well as the ability to reduce the symptoms of many


different mental health disorders.


Now I've talked before on this podcast and elsewhere about the key importance of seeing


morning sunlight as well as trying to be in dim light at night.


However, the data presented in the paper today


really expands on that by identifying


the key importance of not just morning sunlight,


but getting bright light in one's eyes


as much as is safely possible throughout the entire day and a


separate additive effect of being in as much darkness at night as possible.


I describe the data in a lot of detail although you do not need a background in biology in order to understand that discussion and there's a key takeaway which is that if you can't get enough light in your eyes during the daytime, you would be well advised to get as much darkness


exposure at night. In other words, light and dark have independent and additive effects on mental health.


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