Register for updates

 
 

Medicine & Health
RSS Feed
Skipping Breakfast Disrupts "Clock Genes" that Regulate Body Weight and Glucose
Thursday, November 30, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Consuming breakfast normalizes the expression of genes that improve insulin and glucose responses all day long, TAU researchers say

Irregular eating habits such as skipping breakfast are often associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but the precise impact of meal times on the body's internal clock has been less clear.

A new Tel Aviv University study now pinpoints the effect of breakfast on the expression of "clock genes" that regulate the post-meal glucose and insulin responses of both healthy individuals and diabetics.

The importance of the body's internal clock and the impact of meal times on the body were the subject of this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine, awarded for the discovery of molecular mechanisms controlling our circadian rhythm.

This TAU study was led by Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Wolfson Medical Center's Diabetes Unit. It was conducted in collaboration with Prof. Julio Wainstein and Dr. Zohar Landau of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Wolfson Medical Center's Diabetes Unit; Prof. Itamar Raz and Prof. Oren Froy of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Prof. Bo Ahrén of Lund University in Sweden. It was recently published in Diabetes Care.

"Our study shows that breakfast consumption triggers the proper cyclic clock gene expression leading to improved glycaemic control," Prof. Jakubowicz says. "The circadian clock gene not only regulates the circadian changes of glucose metabolism, but also regulates our body weight, blood pressure, endothelial function and atherosclerosis.

"Proper meal timing — such as consuming breakfast before 9:30 AM — could lead to an improvement of the entire metabolism of the body, facilitate weight loss, and delay complications associated with type 2 diabetes and other age-related disorders."

For the study, 18 healthy volunteers and 18 obese volunteers with diabetes took part in a test day featuring breakfast and lunch, and in a test day featuring only lunch. On both days, the researchers conducted blood tests on the participants to measure their postprandial clock gene expression, plasma glucose, insulin and intact glucagon-like peptide-1 (iGLP-1) and dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) plasma activity.

"Our study showed that breakfast consumption triggers the proper cyclic clock gene expression leading to improved glycaemic control," says Prof. Jakubowicz. "In both healthy individuals and in diabetics, breakfast consumption acutely improved the expression of specific clock genes linked to more efficient weight loss, and was associated with improved glucose and insulin levels after lunch."

In contrast, in test days featuring only lunch (when participants skipped breakfast), the clock genes related to weight loss were downregulated, leading to blood sugar spikes and poor insulin responses for the rest of the day, suggesting also that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain even without the incidence of overeating the rest of the day.

"The fact that we can change the gene's expression in just four hours is very impressive," says Prof. Jakubowicz. The researchers are currently conducting a long-term study comparing the effect of different meal timing schedules on the body's clock gene expression, glucose balance and weight loss over time.




Latest News

TAU Scientists Make Paralyzed Rats Walk Again

Using stem cell-based biomedical engineering to rehabilitate a severed spinal cord, TAU and Technion scientists restore control of their legs.

Byzantine Mosaic Unearthed at Ashdod-Yam in Israel

Greek inscription is earliest known use of the Georgian calendar, TAU researchers say.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy May Alleviate Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

Treatment has potential to correct behavioral and physical deficits associated with the disease, TAU researchers say.

Skipping Breakfast Disrupts "Clock Genes" that Regulate Body Weight and Glucose

Consuming breakfast normalizes the expression of genes that improve insulin and glucose responses all day long, TAU researchers say.

Dual Virtual Reality/Treadmill Exercises Promote Brain Plasticity in Parkinson's Patients

Therapy effective even in later stages of the disease, TAU researchers say.

AFTAU to Celebrate the Steve Tisch School of Film & Television at Annual Gala Dinner

Philanthropist and producer Steve Tisch to be honored; prominent industry leaders to serve as vice chairs.

Children's Exposure to Secondhand Smoke May Be Vastly Underestimated by Parents

Smoking parents misperceive where and when their kids are exposed to cigarette smoke, TAU researchers say.

Your Stress and Mine

TAU study assesses how we perceive other people's stress levels in the workplace.

Consumption of Nicotine in Adolescence May Lead to Increased Alcohol Intake Later in Life

Nicotine "memories" from adolescence may lead to alcoholism years later, TAU researchers say.

When You're Tired, Your Brain Cells Actually Slow Down

Sleep rhythms can disrupt normal activity in specific regions of the brain, say TAU, UCLA and UW researchers.

contentSecondary
c

© 2017 American Friends of Tel Aviv University
39 Broadway, Suite 1510 | New York, NY 10006 | 212.742.9070 | info@aftau.org
Privacy policy | Tel Aviv University