Disruption in body clock can make you obese, says study

  Disrupting your daily routine of sleeping and eating can make you add on pounds, a new study has found.

Researchers found that the cycle of sleeping, waking and digesting over a 24-hour period activates processes in all the cells in the human body, affecting the release of hormones controlling metabolism and other functions, the Daily Mail reported.

Light is the main force controlling the body clock of plants, animals and humans, synchronising them to earth’s orbit of the sun. “Electric light allowed humans to override an ancient synchronisation between the rhythm of the human clock and the environment,” Dr Cathy Wyse from the University of Aberdeen, said.

“Over the last century, daily rhythms in meal, sleep and working times have gradually disappeared from our lives. The human clock struggles to remain tuned to our highly irregular lifestyles and I believe this causes metabolic and other health problems, and makes us more likely to become obese,” Wyse was quoted as saying by the paper.She noted that the body clock of plants and animals is key to their survival.

In her paper, published in Bio-Essays, Wyse said that previous research on mice has shown that messing up the body clock – or circadian rhythm – causes changes to genes in the liver which control the breakdown of fat and glucose.

When the normal pattern of dark and light was disrupted, the animals put on weight compared with those in natural conditions, but did not eat more.
“This was a really significant finding. We don’t know how the mechanism works, but the circadian rhythm is important in regulating metabolism, more important than we suspected it was,” Wyse said.

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