Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study helps explain links between sleep loss and diabetes

19.02.2015

Lack of sleep can elevate levels of free fatty acids in the blood, accompanied by temporary pre-diabetic conditions in healthy young men, according to new research published online February 19, 2015, in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The study, the first to examine the impact of sleep loss on 24-hour fatty acid levels in the blood, adds to emerging evidence that insufficient sleep--a highly prevalent condition in modern society--may disrupt fat metabolism and reduce the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars. It suggests that something as simple as getting enough sleep could help counteract the current epidemics of diabetes and obesity.


These images show profiles of fatty acids (a) and growth hormone (b) during normal sleep (black lines) and restricted sleep (red lines) in 19 participants.

Credit: J. Broussard and co-authors

"At the population level, multiple studies have reported connections between restricted sleep, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes," said Esra Tasali, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and senior author of the study. "Experimental laboratory studies, like ours, help us unravel the mechanisms that may be responsible."

The researchers found that after three nights of getting only four hours of sleep, blood levels of fatty acids, which usually peak and then recede overnight, remained elevated from about 4 a.m. to 9 a.m. As long as fatty acid levels remained high, the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars was reduced.

The results provide new insights into the connections, first described by University of Chicago researchers 15 years ago, between sleep loss, insulin resistance and heightened risk of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers recruited 19 healthy male subjects between the ages of 18 and 30. These volunteers were monitored through two scenarios in randomized order. In one, they got a full night's rest--8.5 hours in bed (averaging 7.8 hours asleep) during four consecutive nights. In the other, they spent just 4.5 hours in bed (averaging 4.3 hours asleep) for four consecutive nights. The two studies were spaced at least four weeks apart.

Each subject's sleep was carefully monitored, diet was strictly controlled and blood samples were collected at 15 or 30 minute intervals for 24 hours, starting on the evening of the third night of each study. The researchers measured blood levels of free fatty acids and growth hormone, glucose and insulin, and the stress hormones noradrenaline and cortisol. After four nights in each sleep condition, an intravenous glucose-tolerance test was performed.

They found that sleep restriction resulted in a 15 to 30 percent increase in late night and early morning fatty acid levels. The nocturnal elevation of fatty acids (from about 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.) correlated with an increase in insulin resistance--a hallmark of pre-diabetes--that persisted for a nearly five hours.

Cutting back on sleep prolonged nighttime growth hormone secretion and led to an increase in noradrenaline in the blood, both of which contributed to the increase in fatty acid levels.

Although glucose levels were unchanged, the ability of available insulin to regulate blood glucose levels decreased by about 23 percent after a short sleep, "suggesting," the authors note, "an insulin-resistant state."

"It definitely looks like a packaged deal," said the study's lead author, Josiane Broussard, PhD, a former graduate student at the University of Chicago who is now a post-doctoral research scientist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute in Los Angeles.

"Curtailed sleep produced marked changes in the secretion of growth hormone and levels of noradrenaline--which can increase circulating fatty acids," Broussard said. "The result was a significant loss of the benefits of insulin. This crucial hormone was less able to do its job. Insulin action in these healthy young men resembled what we typically see in early stages of diabetes."

Plasma free or non-esterified fatty acids are an important energy source for most body tissues. The demand for fatty acids goes up during exercise, for example, where they are used by cardiac and skeletal muscle; this preserves glucose for use by the brain. But constantly elevated fatty-acid levels in the blood are usually seen only in obese individuals as well as those with type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. A 2012 study by a related research team emphasized the connections between sleep loss and the disruption of human fat cell function in energy regulation.

"This study opens the door to several intriguing questions," according to a Commentary in the journal by sleep specialists Jonathan Jun, MD, and Vsevolod Polotsky, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Could variations in individual responses to short sleep explain susceptibility to metabolic consequences? Could dysregulation of fatty acid metabolism represent a common pathway linking various sleep disorders to metabolic syndrome? And why don't clinicians routinely ask their patients about sleep?

The study provides evidence for "potential mechanisms by which sleep restriction may be associated with insulin resistance and increased type 2 diabetes risk," the authors conclude. It supports the growing sense that insufficient sleep may disrupt fat metabolism. And it suggests that an intervention as simple as getting enough sleep could counteract the current epidemics of diabetes and obesity.

###

The National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and Science in Society - Branco Weiss Fellowship funded this study. Additional authors include Florian Chapotot, Varghese Abraham, Fanny Delebecque and Harry R. Whitmore from the University of Chicago Medicine, and Andrew Day from the University of Wisconsin.

John Easton | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Metabolism acids fat metabolism fatty acid glucose levels hormone sleep type 2 diabetes

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>