Light and Metabolic Functions
Until approximately 1926 research in the field of internal medicine appeared to indicate that the concentration of serum cholesterol is virtually constant in the healthy person insofar as alimentary stress does not cause an increase which then disappears after a few hours. A series of experiments conducted by Georgi (1944) demonstrated that blood samples taken at the same time of day from males in good mental and physical health did not reveal any significant fluctuations in serum cholesterol over a period of weeks and months. In contrast to the mentally healthy, the mentally ill suffering from depression showed increased cholesterol levels ranging from slight to severe. In order better to understand this abnormality in cholesterol balance, Georgi conducted cholesterol tolerance tests (using olive oil) finding that the levels of blood cholesterol produced a curve. He searched subsequently for autonomic fluctuations in concentration that were not induced by stress and discovered a diurnal curve with a rise in the morning, a peak at noon, and a drop in the afternoon.
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