Could Jet Lag Lead to Weight Gain?
A recent study published in Cell reports there could be a link between jet lag and weight gain.
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel studied fecal samples collected from mice and humans and found "the make-up of bacterial types in the gut vary by the time of day in both groups," Carmen Meier MD, of the TriHealth Digestive Institute, explains.
In this study, researchers switched up the mice's light and dark schedules to induce a jet-lagged state, finding that the bacteria in the gut microbe (the bacteria living in our intestines) lost their normal rhythms and changed in composition. "When these jet-lagged mice are exposed to the same type of foods as normal mice, they tend to gain more weight," Dr. Meier explains. These mice also developed metabolic complications linked to diabetes.
At this point, it's too early to tell if anything in the gut microbe can be altered to prevent obesity linked to the stresses of jet lag and shift work (shift worker's bodies experience similar stresses), Dr. Meier adds.
Last Updated: December 15, 2014