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07 November 2007

High fat bad for body's clock

A high fat diet disrupts the body's 24-hour internal clock which regulates sleeping, waking, eating, as well as the daily rhythms of many metabolic functions.

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There's more bad news about a high fat diet - it disrupts the body's 24-hour internal (circadian) clock, which regulates sleeping, waking, eating, as well as the daily rhythms of many metabolic functions, US researchers say.

A team from Northwestern University and Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) found that mice fed a high fat diet gained weight and showed a sudden disruption in their circadian clock, eating extra calories when they should have been sleeping or resting.

Changing genes
The team also found that a high fat diet caused changes in genes that encode the circadian clock in the brain and in peripheral tissues (such as fat), resulting in reduced expression of these genes.

"Our study was simple - to determine if food itself can alter the clock," senior author Dr Joe Bass, assistant professor of medicine and neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern and head of the division of endocrinology and metabolism at ENH, said in a prepared statement.

"The answer is, yes; alterations in feeding affect timing. We found that as an animal on a high fat diet gains weight, it eats at the inappropriate time for its sleep/wake cycle - all of the excess calories are consumed when the animal should be resting. For a human, that would be like raiding the refrigerator in the middle of the night and binging on junk food," Bass said. - (HealthDay News)

Source: Cell Metabolism

Read more:
Fast food warning from mice

 
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