Circadian desynchrony: The serious side effect for shift workers is diabetes

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Weight gain and high blood sugar levels would be caused by the imbalance of the internal biological clock





A study conducted by Pennsylvania University researchers on the internal clock seems to give substance to the theory that people who work at night or who frequently change hours on work shifts are more likely to gain weight or suffer from diabetes: a large percentage of workers who work shifts suffer from diabetes or overweight, and this has been attributed to a disconnect between working hours and their internal clock, or the circadian rhythm

When the external world does not coincide with the internal cycles of the organism, metamolism is the first to pay the consequences - explains the author of the study Mitchell A. Lazar. - This happens, for example, when people work at times that do not coincide with natural biological rhythms.

The research has tried to explore circadian desynchronia, or the imbalances of the internal biological clock: workers who work shifts - who work for many hours consecutively, at night, or who have intermittent rest periods - they are more prone to this phenomenon, which seems to bring with it a higher risk of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic problems. Fortunately, circadian desynchronia is an easily solved problem: once normal rhythms of life are resumed, the metabolism also returns to optimal conditions - and this removes the risk of metabolic diseases (obviously, if these are not already in place).

This discovery could help prevent or reduce obesity and diabetes for shift workers. For example, setting a meal time that best matches the workers' biological clock could have many advantages - continues the professor. - This has also been supported by several previous studies which have suggested that eating at specific times of the day can improve or worsen weight control and metabolic function. What's more, information like this could be combined with smarter decisions about when to eat, while monitoring blood sugar levels can help better dose insulin.



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Fonte: Pennsylvania University

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