Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fun fact: Scientist are beginning to understand the molecular basis of why we feel poorly after holiday overeating

There are many reasons why you may wake this morning feeling a bit ill; such as eating rich food and drinking in excess.


Photographic reproduction of 'The Hangover' by Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (circa 1888)

However a recent study shows that there is a molecular basis that can explain why alteration in the amount we eat and the time of day which we eat results in our bodies feeling unwell. A collaboration between UCSF in the U.S. and the Max Planck Institute in Germany entitled 'PKC gamma particpates in food entrainment by regulating BMAL1' sheds new light on the molecular basis of our 'food clock'. The study compared mice with and without PKC gamma and investigated their ability to adjust to a new feeding time. Mice with PKC gamma awoke before their feeding time while mice without slept through the new feeding time.
The concept of the food clock has been accepted as a part of our normal circadian rhythms which allows us and other animals to make the most of our available food resources. The food clock initiates changes that anticipate feeding time so that our bodies can best utilize food when it arrives. This helps to explain why you are ready for lunch at the same time each day or the birds at your birdfeeder arrive at the same time every morning. While this clock can be reset overtime, overeating and eating at odd times may lead to disruptions at the molecular level that affect your clock and therefore how you feel the day after.