Chrononutrition: The ‘when’ of food and drink consumption - not just the ‘what’ and the ‘how much’

Chrononutrition: The ‘when’ of food and drink consumption - not just the ‘what’ and the ‘how much’

Julian Mercer speaking at conference

Chrononutrition is the study of the human circadian clock in the context of nutrition, metabolism, energy balance and health. Chrononutrition could challenge many of the assumptions surrounding energy balance and body weight regulation.

Body clocks are critical to our relationship with food. The master “clock” in the hypothalamus part of the brain (regulated by the day-night cycle) sends signals to other clocks in the body. These include the liver, the gut, muscle, endocrine organs and fat tissue. External signals such as food intake and sleep patterns, can influence these body clocks, and these mixed messages can “desynchronize” the body clocks and increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

In November 2018, SEFARI researchers from the Rowett Institute organised a meeting in association with the Physiology Society. The meeting “Chrononutrition: From epidemiology to molecular mechanism” featured talks by leading researchers in chrononutrition from the UK and Europe. Research presented at the meeting focussed on sleep duration, the effect on fruit and vegetable consumption as well as how disrupted sleep can affect gene expression in some of the body clocks around the body.

Would you like to read more? Our full blog was originally posted here

This work was conducted by Professor Julian Mercer and Dr Perry Barrett

Research funded by the Scottish Government as part of the Strategic Research Programme