Your diet can determine the success of weight loss and starts at the molecular level.
A new study published in Scientific Reports says that fat cells have a circadian rhythm that could affect metabolic processes – meaning that your personal schedule could affect weight loss and gain.
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"This is the first time we are able to identify such rhythms in human fat," says Dr. Jonathan Johnston, lead author of the study, from the University of Surrey.
Disruption and misalignment of circadian rhythms, which occur approximately every 24 hours, is considered an important factor in weight gain and poor health.
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For the study, seven participants followed a sleep-wake-meal cycle determined by the researchers. After a few days of the regulated schedule, they spent an unregulated 37-hour period in a lab where they experienced no change in brightness or darkness, or ate and slept at random. During this period, adipose tissue biopsies were performed at six intervals.
Researchers analyzed the expression of genes in fat cells and found 727 genes running on a circadian rhythm. They found that about one-third of the genes had completed most of their work in the morning, while the remaining two-thirds came in the evening. These molecular programs are unaffected by our own interactions with light and food; However, this research suggests a theory that the time of day could have an impact on metabolism.
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"Tissues made up of fat cells do not just store excess energy, they are active metabolic tissues, full of their own rhythms," says Johnston. "This [research] provides us with more information on how human metabolism changes during the day and perhaps why the body processes food differently day and night. "