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article imageJet lag linked to obesity

By Tim Sandle     Oct 18, 2014 in Health
Tel Aviv - New findings suggest that frequent airplane travel could contribute to obesity. This is by throwing out circadian rhythms and changing the composition of the composition of gut bacteria.
The research findings suggest that jet lag may be as disorienting to the microbes that inhabit the human intestinal tract as it is to the human. The focus is on how disturbances to the circadian clock can impact the gut microbiome. The circadian clock makes it possible for organisms to coordinate their biology and behavior with daily and seasonal changes in the day-night cycle.
Scientists based in Israel have shown, in both mice and humans, that the bacteria inhabiting the digestive tract are vulnerable to circadian rhythm alterations. The studies further showed that when the gut microbiome is disrupted, a suite of maladies, including glucose intolerance and obesity, result within the mouse of human.
For the study, Time magazine reports, researchers subjected mice to a disruption in their sleep cycle that mimicked jet lag from an eight-hour time difference in humans and surveyed changes to their gut microbes. The researchers also studied the microbiota of two people who flew from the U.S. to Israel, and found similar compositional and functional changes. When the scientists transferred jet-lagged microbes from either mice or humans into germ-free mice, the rodents became more susceptible to glucose intolerance and diabetes.
Although human microbiomes that changed in response to jet lag returned to normal two weeks after their flight, the scientists warn that 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.
The research was led by Immunologist Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. The findings have been published in the journal Cell, in a paper headed "Transkingdom Control of Microbiota Diurnal Oscillations Promotes Metabolic Homeostasis."
More about Jet lag, Obesity, Gut, Microorganisms, Bacteria
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