July 7, 2022

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Only eating in daytime can reduce the physical damage caused by staying up late and working overtime

Only eating in daytime can reduce the physical damage caused by staying up late and working overtime



Science Advances: Only eating in daytime can reduce the physical damage caused by staying up late and working overtime.

As we all know, the circadian rhythm is an endogenous timing system (biological clock) with a cycle of approximately 24 hours.

Almost every cell in the human body has its own biological clock, which controls a series of biological processes in the body, including hormone secretion, metabolic circulation, and immune protection against pathogens.

It also induces our rhythmic natural behaviors, such as sleep/wake cycles and eating. Therefore, it can be said that the circadian rhythm controls our health.

Despite this, there are still many people who are “going against the path”, some of whom are forced to work (such as night shifts) .

Night work has been found to impair glucose tolerance, increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even cancer, which may be caused by internal disturbances between the central and peripheral circadian rhythms. So is there any way to reduce this adverse metabolic effect?

On December 3, 2021, an international research team led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School in the United States published a research paper titled: Daytime eating prevents internal circadian misalignment and glucose intolerance in night work in Science Advances .

This is the first time that a small, strictly controlled clinical trial has evaluated the effect of using eating time to interfere with circadian rhythm disturbances on metabolic health .

They found that eating at night does increase the risk of diabetes; and changing to only eating during the day can prevent the high blood sugar levels associated with stimulating night work.

Only eating in daytime can reduce the physical damage caused by staying up late and working overtime

In this study, the researchers investigated whether eating at night exhibits internal circadian imbalance and impaired glucose tolerance during simulated night work, and whether eating during the day can prevent this from happening.

To this end, they recruited young healthy participants (7 women and 12 men) with an average age of 26.5 years .

Participants were randomly assigned to a 14-day strictly controlled laboratory program that involved simulated night working conditions and two eating plans.

One group ate at night to simulate the typical eating time of night workers; the other group ate during the day.

Only eating in daytime can reduce the physical damage caused by staying up late and working overtime

The researchers then assessed the effects of the two eating times on the participants’ internal circadian rhythms.

They found that eating at night leads to central and peripheral (glucose) endogenous circadian rhythm disorders and impaired glucose tolerance, thereby increasing the risk of diabetes; and restricting eating during the day avoids the adverse effects of stimulating night work on glucose tolerance. During the simulated night work period, the average glucose level of participants in the night eating group increased by 6.4%; while the daytime eating group did not increase significantly.

Only eating in daytime can reduce the physical damage caused by staying up late and working overtime

Therefore, this study is an important step, showing that behavioral intervention can alleviate the adverse glucose regulation response caused by improper sleep-wake time in humans.

The co-corresponding author of the study, Dr. Frank Scheer , Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Medical Time Biology Program , said: “This is the first human clinical study to demonstrate the use of mealtimes as a response to glucose caused by night work. Measures for the combined negative effects of impaired tolerance and circadian rhythm disturbances. “

The researchers said that the mechanism behind the observed negative effects is complex.

They believe that during the simulated night work, the effect of night eating on blood sugar levels is caused by circadian rhythm disorders.

This is equivalent to the misalignment between the central circadian clock (located in the hypothalamus) and the behavioral sleep/wake, light/dark, and fasting/eating cycles.

It can affect the peripheral clock of the entire body, especially when it comes to fasting/eating. Periodically synchronized clocks play a key role in raising blood sugar levels.

This study further suggests that the beneficial effects of daytime eating on glucose levels when simulating night work may be driven by better consistency between these central and peripheral clocks.

The co-corresponding author of the study, Dr. Sarah L. Chellappa , a researcher at the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the University of Cologne, Germany , said: “This study reinforces the concept that when you eat is very important for determining health outcomes (such as blood sugar levels) . This is the same as night time. Workers are concerned because they usually eat during night shifts.”

The researchers said that in order to translate these findings into practical and effective mealtime intervention strategies, more research is needed, including real-life shift workers in a typical work environment.

Paper link:
https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abg9910

Only eating in daytime can reduce the physical damage caused by staying up late and working overtime

(source:internet, reference only)


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