Jet Lag could Trigger Obesity and Metabolic Problems

Updated at: Oct 18, 2014
Jet Lag could Trigger Obesity and Metabolic Problems

Recent findings of a study have shown that people who fly frequently and experience jet lag are prone to obesity and other metabolic problems.

Vasudha Bhat
LatestWritten by: Vasudha BhatPublished at: Oct 18, 2014

A recent research has suggested that frequent fliers, especially those who take international trips at regular intervals and experience jet lag are  at a higher risk of suffering from obesity and metabolic problems and this mainly happens because of the disturbance caused in the circadian clock.

Jet LagThe senior author of this study Eran Elinav, from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel said “the findings suggest that people with chronically disturbed day-night cycles due to repetitive jet lag or shift work have a tendency to develop obesity and other metabolic complications”.

The team of researchers found rhythmic fluctuations in abundance of microbes and their biological activities at different time of the day.

When mice were made to undergo a change in light-dark schedules and abnormal 24-hour feeding habits, the microbial community was found to have lost its rhythmic fluctuations and had changed composition.

Also, a high-fat diet was seen to make jet-lagged mice to gain weight and to develop metabolic problems linked with diabetes.

Elinav said “similarly, jet lag in two people who have travelled from the US to Israel changed the composition of gut microbes, favouring the growth of bacteria that have been linked to obesity and metabolic disease”.

In his conclusion Elinav said “targeting the harmful changes in the microbiota in these large human population with probiotic or antimicrobial therapies may reduce or even prevent their risk of developing obesity and its complications”.

The study has been published in the journal Cell.

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