The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Z_CNHI News Service

October 11, 2013

Meal times can predict illness, say researchers

What time you eat dinner may be just as important to your health as whether you eat a cheeseburger or salad, according to scientists who study digestion and health.

Biological rhythms are controlled by various body "clocks" that usually work together but can be thrown out of sync by off-schedule meals, researchers say. People who dine when their bodies are inclined toward rest or sleep are more prone to ailments such as colitis, Chron's disease or colon cancer.

Those at most risk include people who work at night, international travelers, and others active during late hours. Night-shift nurses, for example, are among those shown to have higher rates of gastrointestinal illness.

"The biological clock doesn't match our modern lifestyles," says Vincent Cassone, chairman of the biology department at the University of Kentucky.

Cassone, who studies the internal timekeeping of animals, is now focused on how aging affects people's internal clocks and digestion. His study is funded by a $1 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Cassone noted eating patterns are related to rates of gastrointestinal illness, including cancer.

The body has various internal mechanisms that control cycles of activity, rest and eating, he explained. These include a central "clock" in the brain - in the suprachiasmatic nucleus - as well as circadian clocks governing specific organs and tissues.

These systems usually work in tandem but can be thrown out of sync when someone eats a meal, for example, when the internal clock in the brain is timed for rest and restoration.

This happens even to those accustomed to working the night shift.

Details for this story were provided by Allison Elliott-Shannon, a senior information specialist at the University of Kentucky, and KyForward.com.

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
E-edition
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Must Read