Menu

Jet Lag Upsets Gut Microbes

Frequent airplane travel may contribute to obesity by throwing off circadian rhythms and changing the composition of the intestinal microbiome, according to a new study.

Oct 17, 2014
Bob Grant

WIKIMEDIA, BOB SMITH, EPAJet lag may be as disorienting to the microbes that inhabit the human intestinal tract as it is to the human, according to a new study of how disturbances to the circadian clock can impact the gut microbiome. Researchers in Israel have shown, in both mice and humans, that the bacterial assemblages inhabiting the digestive tract are vulnerable to the ravages of circadian rhythm alterations. And when the gut microbiome is disrupted, they found, a suite of maladies, including glucose intolerance and obesity, result.

Immunologist Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot led a team of researchers that subjected mice to a disruption in their sleep cycle that mimicked jet lag from an 8-hour time difference in humans and surveyed changes to their gut microbes. The researchers, who published their work in Cell on Wednesday (October 15), also studied the microbiota of two people who flew from the U.S. to Israel, and found similar compositional and functional changes. “We saw that in the presence of jet lag, their microbes were completely messed up,” Elinav told Time.

When Elinav and his colleagues transferred jet-lagged microbes from either mice or humans into germ-free mice, the rodents became more susceptible to glucose intolerance and diabetes. “We could very nicely see that transferring the gut microbes from the point where jet lag was at its highest induced much more obesity and glucose intolerance,” he said.

The human microbiomes that changed in response to jet lag did, however, return to normal two weeks after their flight. But frequent air travel or other activities that disrupt sleep/wake cycles, such as shift work, could make the disruptions, and their resultant health problems, chronic.

January/February 2020

A Light in the Dark

Unpacking the Complex Neurobiology of Suicide

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Distek, Inc. Awarded the Prestigious IDEA Bronze Trophy for the BIOne 1250 Bioprocess Control System
Distek, Inc. Awarded the Prestigious IDEA Bronze Trophy for the BIOne 1250 Bioprocess Control System
Distek, Inc., a leading manufacturer of laboratory testing instruments for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for over 40 years, along with our industrial design partner -  Phase One Design, has been awarded the IDEA (International Design Excellence Awards) Bronze trophy for the BIOne 1250 Bioprocess Control System.
Bio-Rad Enters RNA-Seq Library Prep Market with Launch of the SEQuoia Complete Stranded RNA Library Prep Kit
Bio-Rad Enters RNA-Seq Library Prep Market with Launch of the SEQuoia Complete Stranded RNA Library Prep Kit
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today announced the launch of the SEQuoia Complete Stranded RNA Library Prep Kit, a novel approach to RNA-Seq library preparation.
Inductive Charging Stand from BrandTech® Scientific
Inductive Charging Stand from BrandTech® Scientific
 NEW! An inductive charging stand is now available for the BRAND® HandyStep® touch and HandyStep® touch S repeating pipettes.
Horizon Discovery signs collaboration and license agreement with Mammoth Biosciences
Horizon Discovery signs collaboration and license agreement with Mammoth Biosciences
Aims to develop the next generation of engineered CHO cell lines, to improve production of biotherapeuticsBioproduction is a key business unit within Horizon, this agreement underlines strategy to focus on core markets