How intermittent fasting affects our biological clock


Intermittent fasting diets are recognized to benefit us in many aspects, Such as in reducing weight, body fat and cholesterol or increasing energy and cognitive function. And new investigations decide to learn how they affect our daily cycle.

At present there are various types of fashion diets, and intermittent fasting does not escape people's attention.

As the name suggests, it consists of do not eat anything for a long time, to redistribute different foods every day in different time frames.

Recently, a group of scientists from the University of California, Irvine, USA, investigate the effects of fasting on our circadian clock. Their findings were published in a magazine Cell Report.

Daily sleep and wake cycles, or circadian rhythms, involve metabolic, physiological, and behavioral changes that affect all body tissues. In our case, they last 24 hours.

The best known way to influence the clock is through exposure to bright light, but that is not the only way, because food consumption also has a big impact.

Although there is information about the role of food, it is not known how food deficiencies can affect the circadian rhythm.

Fasting and our bodies

Fasting is a natural phenomenon for most animals, because food is not always available. When this happens, metabolic changes caused by various factors occur, to allow the body to adapt. These factors also seem to affect the circadian rhythm.

The authors of the new study were interested in understanding how fasting affects the circadian rhythm in the liver and skeletal muscles.

To do this, they work with mice that undergo a 24-hour fasting period, to measure several physiological functions. What they notice when fasting mice, is that they use less oxygen and energy.

However, as soon as the rat eats, this physiological change is reversed. This reflects what the previous researchers saw in humans.

The study's lead author, Professor Paolo Sassone-Corsi, explained "We found it fasting affects circadian hours and different cellular responses, which together, work to achieve temporal gene regulation"

He also noted that this diet affects various types of tissues in different degrees. "Skeletal muscle, for example, seems to be twice as sensitive to fasting as the heart."

Scientists believe that having a clear cycle can explain why fasting improves health.

What are the benefits for us?

After analyzing the genetic changes that occur with fasting, experts need to explain how this practice can benefit us.

Sassone-Corsi said: "Fasting is basically able to reprogram various cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a programmed strategic way to positively influence cellular function and, ultimately, benefit health and protect against diseases associated with aging. . "

Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that changes in circadian rhythms can increase the risk of obesity and metabolic disorders, such as diabetes. This new job allows us to understand why this can happen.

Knowledge of the effect of fasting on the circadian rhythm and gene expression is still at the starting point. However, the authors hope that one day their work will enable finding an optimal fasting regime for health.

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