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Internal clock may impact sugar metabolism

Posted - Nov. 2, 2004 at 9:20 a.m.



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PHILADELPHIA, Nov 01, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers discovered that components of the internal molecular clock of mammals affects sugar metabolism.

The investigators demonstrated a role for the circadian clock proteins, Bmal1 and Clock, in regulating the day-to-day levels of glucose in the blood. Suppressing the action of these molecules eliminates the diurnal variation in glucose and triglyceride levels, according to senior author Dr. Garret FitzGerald, of the Department of Pharmacology.

The findings, published in the online journal PLoS Biology, represent the first molecular insight into how timing of what we eat can influence metabolism.

"We noticed a variation in the recovery of blood glucose with clock time," said lead author Dan Rudic.

Humans have moved from eating at one sitting after the hunt to continuous availability of fast food and nutritionists have speculated that it might matter whether we "nibble" or "gorge" our calories in how our bodies handle a high-fat diet, the study said.

"These results suggest that it may not just be what we eat, but also, to some extent, when we eat it," concludes FitzGerald.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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