Calories may be only part of the weight loss equation
In a recent report in the The FASEB Journal, French scientists show that impairments to a gene known to be responsible for our internal body clocks, called "Rev-Erb alpha," leads to excessive weight gain and related health problems. This provides new insights into the importance of proper alignment between the body's internal timing and natural environmental light cycles to prevent or limit excessive weight gain and the problems this weight gain causes.
According to Etienne Challet, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Neurobiology of Rhythms at the Institute of Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences at the University of Strasbourg in Pascal, France, "It is now clear that impairment of daily rhythms such as shift-work, exposure to artificial lighting, or jet-lag has multiple adverse effects on human health, every effort should be made to maintain or restore normal temporal organization and to avoid potentially disruptive behaviors such as nocturnal meals or light exposure at night."
To make this discovery, Challet and colleagues studied two groups of mice. One group was normal and the other group lacked the Rev-Erb alpha gene. In the mice lacking the Rev-Erb alpha gene, it was determined that they became obese and hyperglycaemic even if they ate the same quantity of food at the same time as normal mice. Further scientific investigation showed that when the Rev-Erb alpha-deficient mice were compared to the normal mice, there was a major difference in the way Rev-Erb alpha-deficient mice metabolized the food they ate. The Rev-Erb alpha deficient mice created much more fat than the normal mice, and this occurred specifically during the feeding period. Additionally, the Rev-Erb-alpha deficient mice relied less on carbohydrate stores when at rest.
"The phrase 'sick and tired' could never be more true," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "This research shows that we evolved to live in synch with the natural light and dark cycles of our planet. Strasbourg has long taught us the finer aspects of cuisine; its scientists now explain how night and day can influence whether we are fat or lean."
The above story is based on a May 7, 2012 news release by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. The abstract of the paper is found here: J. Delezie, S. Dumont, H. Dardente, H. Oudart, A. Grechez-Cassiau, P. Klosen, M. Teboul, F. Delaunay, P. Pevet, E. Challet. The nuclear receptor REV-ERB is required for the daily balance of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. The FASEB Journal, 2012; DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-208751
Related reports in Zestzfulness
Mar 29, 2012
In addition, unknown factors not yet elucidated and other co-morbid conditions like diabetes mellitus, obesity or hypertension may cause higher risk in those sleeping under six hours. Dr. Arora says larger prospective studies ...
Mar 24, 2012
Zestzfulness: Lack of Sleep Linked to Childhood Obesity. The researchers believe that lack sleep contributes to obesity by wreaking havoc on metabolism and the endocrine system -- and this is especially true.
Jan 26, 2012
People who suffer from sleep disturbances are at major risk for obesity, diabetes, and coronary artery disease, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jun 06, 2011
Staying up late every night and sleeping in is a habit that could put you at risk for gaining weight. Now, a study has demonstrated a relationship between the timing of feeding and weight regulation.
May 08, 2011
The obesity pandemic is claiming its presence even among youngest of children and is clearly on the rise. According to lead researcher Dr. David Gozal of the University of Chicago in Illinois, children who sleep the least could be four times more likely to develop an unhealthy body weight.