Menu

Circadian Clock Controls Sugar Metabolism

The body’s circadian rhythm has more of an effect on glucose tolerance than one’s eating and sleeping patterns, a study shows.  

Apr 17, 2015
Anna Azvolinsky

WIKIMEDIA, JACOB TOORNVLIET's 'THE SLEEPING WOMAN' Humans’ 24-hour circadian clock plays a leading role in glucose tolerance, according to a study published Moday (April 13) in PNAS. Researchers in Boston have found that, because of body’s circadian rhythm, human glucose tolerance is reduced during the evening hours, even when “day” and “night” times are experimentally reversed.

“In a prior [human] study, we found that when behavior cycles of feeding and sleeping are not in normal alignment with the internal body clock, that this negatively affects the regulation of blood sugar and especially glucose tolerance,” said neuroscientist Frank Scheer from the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. People who work night shifts are more prone to type 2 diabetes and obesity, he noted.

In an attempt to understand the independent effects of eating and sleeping behaviors versus the circadian clock on glucose tolerance, Scheer and his colleagues mimicked night-shift work in 14 healthy individuals under controlled laboratory conditions. Participants spent eight days on a typical day-shift schedule, eating breakfast at 8:00 a.m., dinner at 8:00 p.m., and sleeping during the night. Several weeks later, the same individuals had their days reversed: they then ate breakfast at 8:00 p.m., had dinner at 8:00 a.m., and slept during the day.

“We showed that glucose levels after identical meals were 17 percent higher [indicating lower glucose tolerance] in the evening than in the morning, independent of when a participant had slept or had their meals,” study coauthor Christopher Morris, an instructor of medicine at the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Harvard Medical School, wrote in an e-mail to The Scientist.

The results suggest that, rather than behavioral cycles, the body clock largely dictates the body’s daily glucose tolerance.

“This phenomenon of mistiming of the behavioral cycle relative to the . . . body clock, [called] ‘circadian misalignment,’ may have important implications for shift workers,” Morris added.

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.