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Medical News & Perspectives
April 4, 2017

Resetting the Circadian Clock Might Boost Metabolic Health

JAMA. 2017;317(13):1303-1305. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0653

Consider a quarterback’s passing game: throw the ball too soon and his receiver isn’t in place; throw the ball too late and he risks getting sacked. Either way, he isn’t in sync with his team to move the ball up field. A similar scenario may occur when eating and sleeping habits are out of sync with the body’s circadian clock, leading to metabolic disturbances.

Over the past 20 years, scientists have assembled a clearer picture of the circadian clocks that keep human physiology tuned to the 24-hour light-dark cycle. Now, the basic science is giving way to human studies that reveal how a person’s sleeping habits, eating patterns, and diet may desynchronize the body’s clocks and contribute to metabolic problems like obesity or diabetes.

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