This repeats itself day after day and week after week. We have a schedule for everything: to eat, to work, to exercise, to do leisure activities, to sleep… All this is divided into 24 hours a day, so that We present some periodic patterns that we got from our ancestors,
to the beat of our internal clock
During the day we are active and with the arrival of night there are physiological changes that prepare us for sleep. It’s like a clock. an internal clock that tells us that the body is about to change and is getting ready to eat, sleep, wake up… it’s called heart rhythm,
These refer to all kinds of changes (physical, mental and behavioural) that are repeated from day to day, almost every 24 hours. It is not difficult to understand the importance of maintaining them. We’ve all been at a party late into the night or loaded with tasks with no time to eat or sleep and have suffered the consequences.
The truth is that the western lifestyle does not help in maintaining the circadian rhythm. We enjoy fewer hours of natural light than our ancestors, because we are more sedentary and the number of hours in front of screens has increased significantly. one is added to high levels of stress, a social life that disrupts our schedules and a diet based on sugars and ultra-processed products,
They are factors that significantly alter our natural rhythms. What could be the implications of this? This imbalance is related to a lack or poor quality of sleep, mood swings, increased stress, disorientation, memory problems, fatigue, and anxiety, among other ailments. And if they’re maintained over time, they can have even more serious consequences.
Bacteria have their own biorhythms.
but Circadian rhythm disturbances don’t just affect us: They are also influenced by our intestinal bacteria, which have their own biorhythms synchronized with ours. Could disturbances in internal clocks then affect ours? gut health, Definitely yes.
Disturbances in biological rhythms are closely related to changes in digestion and metabolism. There is then an imbalance in glucose metabolism and an increased risk of weight gain and blood pressure, as well as loss of control of the hormones that control appetite and a preference for foods rich in sugars and saturated fats.
it may decrease insulin sensitivityOne decreased glucose tolerance and changes in lipid profile in the organism. These are changes that have a direct impact on gut health and, therefore, on the microbiota.
And it is not surprising that this connection occurs, since the digestion of food occurs during the day, at which time the intestine is active and in optimal condition for absorbing nutrients. when we eat, we put on time Clocks of organs and tissues involved in digestion: stomach, pancreas, liver, intestine and adipose tissue.
If we change the schedule, we change the microbiota
And what happens to the microbiota if we eat late? For example, eating between noon and 4 p.m. slows down the clock, disrupts the normal rhythm of intestinal function, and changes the composition and functionality of intestinal bacteria.
microbiota It is mainly influenced by the type of diet that we follow on a daily basis. But changes in eating schedules (whether due to increased eating behavior, fasting, or increased meal frequency) also have an effect. The intestinal bacteria present their own fluctuations depending on the time of day, both in composition and function.
In fact, scientific evidence shows us that they have their own circadian rhythms, which they try to synchronize with their hosts in order to make the most of them.
Most research on the microbiota and circadian rhythms has been done in animals. It focuses on the study of meditation intermittent fastingWhich has revealed some benefits in mice, such as increased microbial diversity, decreased inflammation, and production of beneficial compounds by gut bacteria.
In humans, a study with females found that late eating reversed the rate of oral microbial diversity. Then, on the contrary, a pattern of pathological conditions appears, which occurs in obesity or intestinal inflammatory disorders.
However, it should not be forgotten that the intestinal microbiota is like a unique and individual signature of each subject, so each person will respond differently to both intermittent fasting and changes in meal timing.
The effect of microbes on our sleep
These studies show Intestinal microbiota affected by mismatch in biological rhythms, as they activate or deactivate genes involved in bacterial metabolism depending on the time of day. But it’s a two-way relationship: The metabolism of intestinal bacteria is also capable of modulating circadian rhythms.
How does it happen? This effect can occur in two ways: through the production of metabolites from the food we eat, or by responding to jet lag with changes in the abundance of certain bacterial groups.
Thus, the intestinal microbiome is responsible for producing certain chemical compounds (the above mentioned metabolites) that end up in our bloodstream and can induce or promote sleep. Bacteria synthesize these substances from the food we eat, and when we eat it, thanks to their own metabolism.
For example, bacteria Streptococcus and some strains Escherichia coli why abdominal cavity They contribute significantly to the serotonin production pathway associated with the sleep-wake cycle. Another neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid – from fermentation of dietary fiber by microbiota – may promote sleep through an action on the sensory system of the portal vein of the liver.
Our microbial community may also respond to disruption of the circadian rhythm or its lower quality by modulating the amounts of certain bacterial groups. in Extreme cases can reach a state of dysbiosis.That is, the predominance of harmful bacteria over beneficial bacteria.
To provide more insight into the effects of regulation of biological rhythms, researchers from the Federal University of Pernambuco (Brazil) and IMDEA Alimentación (Madrid) are working together to study fasting and eating rhythms on the gut microbiota. Can go that it may be on obesity and exploring bacterial biomarkers of dietary intake in projects called Dietary Deal and Metainflammation.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. read the original.