Eating Well, Fitness

High-Fat Diet Messes Up Body Clock, Seriously

imagesTiming may be everything, or at least a lot, when it comes to metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes. And that, according to researchers at Texas A&M University, is why it’s important that our internal biological clocks run properly. Yes, Virginia, there is an internal biological clock. In fact, there’s one in every cell, and it controls the 24-hour cycles that tell our bodies when to sleep and regulate many physiological processes, including inflammation and metabolism. Now the important part: researchers at Texas A&M are convinced that a high-fat diet “dysregulates” our biological clock, and that such dysregulation can encourage inflammation and fat deposition and lead to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. How do they know? A Texas A&M news release reports that the researchers fed two groups of mice different diets: one high-fat and one low-fat. Yes, you guessed right: they found that a high-fat diet changed the functioning body clock from a 24-hour cycle to a 30-33 hour cycle, particularly in immune cells involved in inflammation. This, in turn, can make critical inflammatory and metabolic processes occur at abnormal times throughout the day. It’s a bad thing.  “Keeping our body clock running properly is vital,” said study author David Earnest. “To promote health, we need to eat healthy foods, and more importantly keep a healthy lifestyle, which includes avoiding sleeping late and eating at night. Time your body right and it will work better.”

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