New study suggests chronic disruption negatively affects intestinal flora
A disruption of circadian rhythms, when combined with a high-fat, high-sugar diet, may contribute to inflammatory bowel disease and other harmful conditions, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Rush University Medical Center. The study is online at the peer-reviewed, open-access journal, PLOS ONE.
"Circadian rhythms, which impose a 24-hour cycle on our bodies, are different from sleep patterns," said Robin M. Voigt, PhD, assistant professor at Rush Medical College and first author of the study. "Sleep is a consequence of circadian rhythms," Voigt said.
While circadian rhythm disruption may be common among some, the research suggests that it may be contributing to a host of diseases that may be prevented by regulating things such as sleep/wake patterns and times of eating to help prevent circadian rhythm disruption. Including prebiotics or probiotics in the diet can also help normalize the effects of circadian rhythm disruption on the intestinal microbiota to reduce the presence of inflammation.
"It's something that needs to be addressed — not something people need to be very concerned about, but aware. If you have some of these other risk factors, like a high-fat, high-sugar diet," or a genetic tendency toward disruption in circadian rhythms, "take precautions, watch your diet, take pre- and probiotics, monitor your health, be vigilant," Voigt said.
The prevailing theory is that of a "second hit hypothesis" whereby individuals with at-risk lifestyle choices or genetic predispositions will only develop disease if a secondary insult is present. "We believe that chronic circadian rhythm disruption promotes/exacerbates inflammatory-mediated diseases, at least in part, due to changes in the intestinal microbiota," she said.
Inflammation is associated with a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer, and can cause organ damage and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.
In the study, male mice had their cycles of exposure to light and dark reversed on a weekly basis (i.e., "shifted"), an experience that is known to disrupt an organism's innate circadian rhythm. Some of the mice ate standard food; others ate a high-fat, high-sugar diet. Researchers found that the microbiota of the mice that had their circadian rhythms disrupted were significantly different from that of the control group — but only if they had consumed the high-fat, high-sugar diet.
All the mice that ate the high-fat, high-sugar diet displayed changes in the makeup of the microorganisms in their guts, regardless of circadian status. However, mice that ate the high-fat, high-sugar diet, and had circadian-rhythm disruptions, had higher concentrations of bacteria that are known to promote inflammation than any of the other mice in the study. Disrupting the circadian rhythms of the mice fed standard chow did not significantly affect the microbiota in their intestines.
These findings support previous studies that have shown that the negative effects of circadian disruption are subtle enough that "a second environmental insult is often necessary to reveal [their] deleterious effects," the study says.
Many people have their circadian rhythms disrupted on a regular basis — shift workers like nurses, doctors, firefighters and policemen. "Other people have 'social jet lag,' a lifestyle pattern that leads them to maintain a normal schedule on weekdays, but then stay up late and sleep in on the weekends," Voigt said.
"Looking forward, we would like to functionally evaluate how circadian rhythm disruption may influence diseases including colon cancer, which may in part be the consequence of altered intestinal microbiota," she concluded.
The study received support from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The research was conducted at Rush University Medical Center and included work from collaborators from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University.
Rush is a not-for-profit academic medical center comprising Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush Health.
Nancy DiFiore | Eurek Alert!
New concept: Can Resuscitation be delayed?
31.03.2015 | Europäische Akademie Bozen - European Academy Bozen/Bolzano
For drivers with telescopic lenses, driving experience and training affect road test results
30.03.2015 | Wolters Kluwer Health
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
31.03.2015 | Life Sciences
31.03.2015 | Materials Sciences
31.03.2015 | Earth Sciences