Circadian rhythms (known also as a biological clock of a person) include all biological and physiological processes that we experience during a 24 hour-cycle, related to interchanging light and darkness, or other possible factors, too. Circadian rhythms are found in virtually all living things, from microbes and microorganisms to plants, animals and people. For many centuries scientists studied the links between a person’s circadian rhythm and sleep, because circadian rhythm disorders or disruptions cause primarily sleep problems, along with other quite serious health conditions. Researching the links between our biological clock and our metabolic rate was another quite promising filed for scientific research. According to the findings of a recent study, published this spring in the journal Endocrinology, circadian rhythms of a person can be a key to reducing cholesterol and developing possible new treatment for obesity.
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute reported that they had managed to synthesize molecules that can change circadian rhythms in animals and achieve amazing health effects linked to improved blood pressure, more effective diabetes prevention, lower chances to suffer from insomnia, as well as have more effective weight management, and possibly result in creating a new obesity treatment. For the experiments, a team of scientists led by Thomas Burris, Professor at the Scripps Florida, used a number of lab mice with obvious diet-induced obesity signs. The experts say that obesity model in such mice is very close to the one of humans and the findings can be applied to human nature with a very high degree of similarity.
Adding small doses of the synthesized substances twice a day for 12 days allowed the scientists to alter circadian rhythms of the mice resulting in decreased bad LDL cholesterol levels, reduced body mass, and improved blood sugar levels. The scientists observed that the synthesized molecules activated proteins known as REV-ERBα and REV-ERBβ which play an important part in our biological clock function, as well as in speeding up metabolism causing the mentioned positive effects. Therefore, there are obvious links not only between out circadian rhythm and sleep or metabolism, but also between our biological clock and our cholesterol or sugar levels.
“The idea behind this research is that our circadian rhythms are coupled with metabolic processes and that you can modulate them pharmacologically… As it turns out, the effect of that modulation is surprisingly positive—everything has been beneficial so far.” Thomas Burris said to mass media. He says that the most amazing result his team managed to receive during the experiments with mice is a 47 per cent decrease in bad LDL cholesterol levels in some mice after extensive treatment with newly produced molecules. Burris believes that using the findings of his colleagues will help in developing new approaches and new treatment for obesity, and a new prevention methods for such serious diseases as diabetes mellitus and elevated blood pressure. Read more about the findings and about the perspectives of creating a new obesity treatment based on these findings here and here.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.