"Circadian rhythms, metabolism, and nutrition are intimately linked, although effects of meal timing on the human circadian system are poorly understood. We investigated the effect of a 5-hr delay in meals on markers of the human master clock and multiple peripheral circadian rhythms. A 5-hr delay in meal times changes the phase relationship of human circadian rhythms. Plasma glucose, but not insulin or triglyceride, rhythms are delayed by late meals," noted the study.
Experts studied meals timings in 10 healthy young adults for 13 days. Participants first had early meals and then switched to late meal timings for 6 days. This change in meal time did not have any effect on their hunger or sleep pattern, the brain master clock also remained as is, however blood sugar levels got affected.
"Timed meals therefore play a role in synchronizing peripheral circadian rhythms in humans and may have particular relevance for patients with circadian rhythm disorders, shift workers, and trans-meridian travelers," noted the study.
Another recently published study associated late meal consumption with health issues like weight gain, altered cholesterol levels and so on. “Eating later can promote a negative profile of weight, energy, and hormone markers - such as higher glucose and insulin, which are implicated in diabetes, and cholesterol and triglycerides, which are linked with cardiovascular problems and other health conditions,” said lead author of the ongoing study Namni Goel, Research Associate Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.
The new findings, scheduled to be presented at SLEEP 2017, the 31st annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS) in Boston, offer experimental evidence on the metabolic consequences of consistent delayed eating compared to daytime eating.
Experts carried out experiments on nine healthy weight adults who were first put on daytime-eating routine - three meals and two snacks between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m - for eight weeks followed by a delayed eating routine - three meals and two snacks eating from noon to 11 p.m - for eight weeks. Both routines had a a two-week washout period in between to ensure no carry over effect. The sleep period was held constant, between 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. Participants reported weight gain when put on the delayed-eating routine. It also led to metabolising fewer lipids and more carbs.
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Experts across the globe stress on the importance of timely meals. Skipping meals or delaying them is known to have adverse impact on our body. According to a research published online on Cell Press Selections, maintaining timely meal times is important to regulate the body clock. This 24-hor clock is controlled by the brain and other bodily processes and is known to get affected by light and darkness. The study suggests that meal time can reset or tweak this clock.