Food Clock 1Happy New Year 2013, my friends! I hope you all had great times celebrating, and enjoyed every minute of the magic new year night! I also hope that you had a great party and a great holiday eating with your family and friends. The New Year night is the time when most of us forget about dieting or healthy eating and can easily afford some tasty and delicious alternatives to healthy meals. Scientists say that there is nothing wrong about it, but doing such ‘exceptions’ too often can be linked to serious damage to the body, not only due to increased amounts of fats and calories consumed, but also due to shifts and changes in the body rhythm system known as our ‘food clock’. A new study published the last week of 2012 opens the secrets and helps to shed some light to this interesting side of our body complexity.

The findings of a research group at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) appeared in the December issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The scientists found out that overeating or making a fundamental change in our daily diet leads to serious changes in plenty of chemical processes in our body, linked primarily to metabolism and related chemical reactions. The scientists found out that everyone of us has so called own ‘food clock’, or a system of molecules and genes that interact vividly and play the key role in metabolism. This system is primarily responsible for all the processes linked to digestion, energy production, metabolism, and others, on molecular levels. Food ClockAs the study has shown, it is very important to keep the food clock working fine and avoid any sort of big changes in our eating routine. In case if those kind of changes happen (caused by overeating or a drastic change in our daily diet), the effects will be similar to the ones that we feel when we travel through time zones and have to change our sleep-awake routine accordingly.

Moreover, as the experiments with lab mice have shown, a protein named PKCĪ³ is responsible for resetting our fool clock when we have a serious change of our eating habits. Those mice who had normal amounts of this protein could easily adjust their food clock to almost any kind of feeding routine. For example, if such mice were fed during their sleep hours, their food clock started getting adjusted and the mice started waking up right for the mealtime. In contrast to that, the mice who had a lack of PKCĪ³ protein could never experience such changes and get used to any kind of changes in their mealtime. It also became apparent that a non-synchronized food clock leads to gaining weight and developing serious diseases like metabolic syndrome, diabetes mellitus, and others. Therefore, the researchers from the University of California are convinced that their findings will be used in the future scientific studies to learn more about the natural causing factors for diabetes and other metabolism-related diseases.

Understanding the molecular mechanism of how eating at the “wrong” time of the day desynchronizes the clocks in our body can facilitate the development of better treatments for disorders associated with night-eating syndrome, shift work and jet lag,” underlined Louis Ptacek, MD, one of the study leaders and a Professor of Neurology at UCSF. He said that the study of his research group helped to understand that, in addition to the main biological ‘master clock’ known also as the “circadian oscillator’, there is also another system responsible for coordination and regulation of all the processes linked to our food intake. In particular, the ‘food clock’ helps us take the most nutritional benefits of the foods we consume, maximize the absorption of nutrients and assist nutrients coming to the main body organs and systems through the blood stream. It is necessary to remember that the ‘food clock’ is geared to anticipate our eating habits and diet patterns, that is why it is essential to follow a certain nutrition routine as strictly as possible. Read more about the findings of this interesting research in this report.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.


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