Posted on Sep 07, 2012, 6 a.m.
What and when we eat can alter our body clocks – consequently impacting overall health, weight, and life expectancy.
The human body is regulated by a "circadian clock system" – a complex timing system governing the body's key biological processes. Researchers from the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) submit that oscillations in the gene and protein components in the body clock modulate physiological and metabolic outputs. As a result, they submit that what we eat and when we do so have the ability to reset biological rhythms, thus it important to understand the relationship between food, feeding, and the circadian clock. Explaining that the brain, heart, endocrine system, gastrointestinal tract, and other key systems are regulated by the circadian rhythm, the researchers suggest that it may be possible to use food or time of a meal to be efficiently impact overall health, weight, and life expectancy. The study authors conclude that: "alterations in environmental cues could disrupt normal clock function, which may have profound effects on the health and well-being of an individual.”
Cagampang FR, Bruce KD. “The role of the circadian clock system in nutrition and metabolism.” Br J Nutr. 2012 Aug;108(3):381-92.