Allison Elliott-Shannon

By

College: Arts and Sciences

Scientist Looks at Eating Patterns, Biological Clocks

Published: Oct 10, 2013

 

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2013) — When you eat could have as much impact on your health as what you eat. That's the conclusion reached by researchers in an ongoing series of papers and studies funded as part of a major grant from the National Institutes of Health.

 

Vincent Cassone, University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences professor and chair of the Department of Biology, has published more than 100 papers in leading academic journals on the internal timekeeping functions of the body.

 

"Biological rhythms are a fundamental property of all living things," said Cassone, who has extensively studied biological clocks in animal models and cites high rates of gastrointestinal illnesses and cancer that can be impacted by, among other things, eating patterns and digestion.

 

Cassone began working on body clocks and digestion as part of a collaboration with a gastroenterologist studying the role of body clocks in the digestive system. He is currently working with the support of $1 million grant from the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to study how the gastrointestinal clock is affected by aging.

 

Scientists have known for some time that there is a localized brain clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). This neurobiological timekeeper sends out signals to the brain telling the body when to eat, rest, rebuild tissues and perform other key functions.

 

Cassone has noted that in addition to the SCN, there are circadian clocks embedded in tissues throughout the body. Regulated by genes, these clocks tell the various organs and tissues when to perform their functions that maintain the body. However, when the SCN and the peripheral body clocks come into conflict, the body is thrown into confusion.

 

One way that the SCN and peripheral body clocks can be thrown out of sync is through off-schedule eating.  A great deal of evidence underscores the idea that people who eat at unusual times — including night shift workers, international travelers, and others who are up and active at odd hours — have more digestive illnesses than those who eat primarily during daytime hours, when the motility of the gastrointestinal system is at its peak.

 

"The biological clock doesn't match our modern lifestyles," said Cassone, speaking of Americans' tendency to eat late, heavy meals over the protestations and natural rhythms and progression of their internal clocks.

 

People who eat large amounts of food at a time when their SCN believes they should be asleep and performing bodily processes associated with healing and restoration, rather than digestion, are more prone to suffer from an array of ailments including colitis, Crohn's disease, colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.

 

Even if the person is used to being up all night for their work or other lifestyle requirements, the clocks governing their body are not prepared to digest full meals at a time when the body believes it should be resting and restoring itself. High rates of gastrointestinal illnesses, for example, have been documented in populations such as night-shift nurses.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Allison Elliott-Shannon, allison.elliott@uky.edu

039danarogersphotography.jpg
Tags:
November
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
College of Pharmacy Open House
Iron Pour
UK Women's Choir 20th Anniversary Concert
Adventure Hiking & Rappelling @ Red River Gorge
Pickin' Time Mountain Music and Harvest Day
Purposeful Retirement: Planning Your Next Stage of Life
Diwali Dhoom 2014
Sat
2
UK Percussion Ensemble
Day Hike
Curator Tour: Take My Word For It
Sun
3
Industry Career Week: Resumes and Cover Letters
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Morehead State
Mon
4
Industry Career Week: How to Impress Your Boss in 90 Days
Rock Star Professionalism Series
UK Lab Band
Tue
5
Industry Career Week: Networking and Job Search
Social Enterprise and Innovation / Certified Nonprofit Professional Program Informational Meeting
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Appalachian Forum with Dr. Fran Ansley
Dana Harper Gallery Reception
Wed
6
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Zona Sur
LNFS Presents: The Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Jazz Ensemble
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Abstract Workshop
Lauren Potter
Thu
7
LNFS Presents: V for Vendetta
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Circle of Love Name Distribution
R.C. May Photography Lecture Series: Marvin Heiferman
Men's Soccer vs. Charlotte
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Georgia
Free Friday Evening Swing Dance
Fri
8
Kentucky Football vs. Georgia
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
The Power of Poetry
The Lexington Lowdown and Free Lindy Hop Workshop
Swing Dance Featuring Live music by"The Metrognomes Orchestra"
Sat
9
UK Combos Concert
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Missouri
Sun
10
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Mon
11
UK Sax Ensembles
Job Club - Interviewing Strategies
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Jose Abisambra Presentation on Current Alzheimer's Research
Women of the World: Judy Smith
Tue
12
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Reservoir Dogs
Refugee Life in America
#UKEDTALKS: International Opportunities for Education Majors
Leadership Assessment
Wed
13
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Iron Man 3
Chili and Pie Cook-Off Supper
#TrendingTopics: Vegetarians vs. Meat-Eaters
Campus Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics KY
LNFS Presents: La Demora
Thu
14
LNFS Presents: Pretty in Pink
LNFS Presents: Mean Girls
Fri
15
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
16
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Florida
Greek Cinematography: Critical Approach and Discussion
"Storied Streets" Documentary Showing about Experiences of Homelessness
Sun
17
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
UK Rep Bands Concert
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research
Amanda Rogers, "Black Flags, ISIS 'Swag' & Jihadi Rap: Marketing Militancy after the Arab Spring"
Stories of Homelessness: Panel Discussion
Mon
18
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
A Positive Approach to Caregiving Conference
Education Abroad Open House
CatWatch Party
Appalachian Forum and Film Screening of "Up the Ridge"
Tue
19
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
LNFS Presents: The Princess and the Frog
Pinterest Party
International Games Day
Global Design with Phil Duncan
Caregiver Support Group
OXFAM Social Issues Banquet
Wed
20
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
LNFS Presents: The Big Lebowski
International Education Week Keynote Speaker: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
Tobacco-free Tailgate 5 Year Anniversary
Bollywood Night
Thu
21
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: Water For Elephants
4th Annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging & Dementia
Freedom from Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
MEAT.
Fri
22
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
23
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
UK Symphony Band and UK Concert Band
Sun
24
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Mon
25
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Job Club - What is your money habitude?
Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner
Tue
26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Wed
27
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Thu
28
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Fri
29
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Arkansas
Sat
30
 
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 29 2014 except Sat Sep 20 2014, Sat Oct 18 2014.
Sat, 11/29/2014

Sat, 11/29/2014

Mon, 12/01/2014

Tue, 12/02/2014

Reset Page